Being The Second Best Option

Being the Second Best Option

Once you say you’re going to settle for second, that’s what happens in your life. – John F. Kennedy

I know that I have numerous flaws.  Listing them would take me far too long to count.  In fact, I have often said that if I was someone else, I would not be friends with me.  Yet I am stuck with myself and so I try to grow, mature, and learn each day.  Hoping to become a better person, I do not stop trying to find my identity and love others.

However it is painful growing up feeling like the second best option in the lives of others.  Whether it is being chosen last in a game, being ignored because more popular kids are around, or people simply forgetting a date we made, I often feel alone and confused.  Many times I wish that I could experience life as a fun, charming, beautiful, or talented person who others flock to immediately.  But the truth is that many times, I become a second thought, invisible until there are no other better options left.

Now, I do not blame anyone for this.  As said before, I do not think I would befriend myself.  Also, my mom continuously tells me that I put off vibes that push others away from me.  Because of my Aspergers and social anxiety, I can seem aloof, withdrawn, or scared.  Thus people tend to leave me alone.  Inside, however, a great conflict is stirring.  Part of me is terrified and simply wants to be away from the crowd.  However I also long for a warm smile, kind greeting, or recognition.  As these two desires war inside, I continue to become more and more nervous, silent, and miserable.

People with Aspergers might seem like they are uninterested or even upset when around others.  Sometimes they are just like other human beings.  However, often they too wish for conversation or at least acknowledgment.  Being in crowds is difficult enough but imagine being petrified of it and no one reaches out to you with a kind word.

Here is the truth; people with Aspergers need friends.  So do people with depression, social anxiety, eating disorders, PTSD, etc.  Everyone needs people in their lives.  Is it harder for some of these people to reach out for that support?  Yes but that does not mean they should be forgotten.  It means they need friends and support people who will be good listeners who will actively seek them out.

Those struggling with health problems or mental illness are not awful people.  In fact, they are many of the most caring, wise, humorous, talented, beautiful people I have ever met.  Being their friend is not a sacrifice; it is a blessing.  Thus I encourage all support people to continue to be there for your loved one.  Those who normally overlook those struggle with any type of illness or disorder, please reach out to them.  Just try it and see what happens.

As for those who constantly feel second best, I just want to let you know that you are not alone.  This is a difficult journey.  However there are many people out there that will accept and love you.  I am blessed with many wonderful support people.  Although I still struggle with feeling abandoned, I know that as I continue to discover who I am in recovery, I will find more friends who will care for me even if I think I deserve second best.

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2 thoughts on “Being The Second Best Option

  1. Aspie Story says:

    Some things you said are painfully recognizable, but it needs to be said and I’m glad you did. 🙂 I often feel like being the second best option or simply no option at all. Although there is one big positive thing about all of this. The people who are able to break through our (carefully build up) barriers, can be considered true friends and not the superfluous ones who are drawn to the most popular people in flocks. Thank you for this great post!

    • Yes, those people who do reach out are amazing! It is difficult because I sometimes have trouble trusting that they indeed will stay with me. Sadly, I sometimes push others away out of fear. However, I am trying to keep growing in wise trust and allow myself to be liked by others. It is a strange but nice feeling. Thank you for your encouragement!

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