I'm pretty extroverted. I get a lot of my energy from being around other people, from getting out of the house and into the city, and from trying new things. This is really something I've discovered, or at least come to understand more fully, about myself in the past few years. I grew up in a house full of (admittedly depressed) introverts who wanted nothing to do with me or each other.

In my family, there was no real togetherness time, no talking about each other's days, no attempt to build closeness. I could literally be in my room for a solid week, alone, and have no one come in to check on me. It was bad. I was depressed a lot of the time because I craved interaction so much, but it just didn't come. I didn't even really act out in any way to get the attention I craved, I just sucked way back up in my shell and tried to stay out of everyone's way.

I was really lucky to have made some great friends in high school and in my first round at college, which helped tremendously, along with therapy, etc. I have figured out that it's not a good thing at all for me to be alone for long stretches of time, especially when I'm dealing with bouts depression (like right now) but it's a place that's comfortable for me at the same time. I start feeling like I'm socially awkward or a burden on other people despite real evidence to the contrary, and I pull way back until I just can't stand it anymore. Then, I'll get around other people, and feel wonderful, like someone just flipped a switch inside of my brain and I realize that was the missing piece all along. I need to be around others.

Anyway. My issue right now is that I'm dirt poor, and all of my really good close friends live at least 30 minutes to an hour away from me. I can't afford the gas money to go and see them constantly, and they have their own lives, spouses, children, jobs etc to attend to, so they can't always come out here. (whereas I'm a college student on winter break, I've got t idle time. I've had my own things to take care of here, but that only takes up so much of the day.) I have a roommate, but she's got a serious boyfriend that she's stays with 90% of the time, and she's got a demanding job. it's not like we're just shooting the shit all of the time or laughing and having these great discussions. Also, I feel like I need to get out of this fucking house. I've been home, mostly by myself for three days now. I have NYE plans that I budgeted a small amount of gas money for but I might go nuts before then.

I feel like this will get better when school gets back in next month, but for right now, what can I do? I text a lot, I talk on the phone sometimes, but I crave connection and face to face interaction. I need some way to be around others in a social capacity that won't cost money, or I need something I can do alone that will help me feel less lonely.