\tIt's happened so that first few years of my life I spent without seeing any children of my age at all. And not only children, very often there were almost no humans around. One of the earliest memories I still bear in my head are of the endless snow stepps running from the small frozen window above my bed to the horizon. I was staying on my knees and elbows in my bed between potbelly stove made from oil barrel and a window. The heat from the stove on my butt getting mixed with freezing cold of the window. If I kept my nose close to the glass for few seconds it was getting glued to it and if I kept my butt too close to the stove my clothes were starting to smell burned. I also remember I was wondering what would happen when I grow up and could touch window and stove simultaneously. Would heat be able to get through my body and melt ice on the window? Unfortunately I never learned it. The next flash of memory is also about window but this time it was damn hot and the window was in the train. This might be not really true but now it seems like I sat behind it all my many days long journey through endless forests and fields. Both those memories are associated with the most clear and acute feeling of happiness. \n\n \tThen it was kindergarten, I remember it very well, kids in clean and cute clothes, huge colorful toys, and kindergarten teacher pushing me towards playground urging me to play with others. But I didn't how to play or even to speak to them so I just sat and watched them. Then there was another journey, another country, another language to learn and finally school which I already remember pretty well. And from what I remember I can say that I didn't already differ much from other pupils. I talked, played and did all what normal children do. Now I understand that I had very good chances to become an asocial weirdo but I was lucky enough to meet good friends and caring teachers who made a human out of me probably even not knowing they're virtually saving my life simply by being nice people. And I didn't know it either.\n \n \tIt's not until I was eighteen when I realized that I'm somewhat different from my friends. By that time most of us girls had relationships with boys, the exuberant sexual life was full of drama often turning into loud scenes heard well in all corners of our small dormitory. And so did I - I had got a boyfriend who I truly loved, we had been spending a lot of time together, having fun and all what was good so it seemed like we would never leave each other. Until one day he said that he got another girl and didn't want anymore to see me. The nastiest of it was that he did it right in from of my friends then took his new girl hand who appeared to be behind him and went away as if nothing had happened. I didn't know what to do so I just said “ok, good luck” and we moved on. Then rest of the day went as usually. Before going to beds we had our usual cinzano cup (small one) and discussed all the news, rumors and gossips. But today girls were silent and I understood they're waiting for my reaction to what happened. \n \t“Ok,” I said, “never mind, hell with that” naturally I didn't want to discuss it but there was an unwritten rule prescribing each girl having troubles with her boyfriend to share feelings with her roommates or at least a bit of the story. Sometimes the emotions were somewhat made up and exaggerated but in most cases were quite sincere. Girls tend to take love affairs very seriously and so did I. Breaking with my boyfriend was really a big stress to me and it hurt strong but it also was clear that I was handling it differently compared to other girls. And soon I figured what was the difference. \n \tNext week my roommate found her boyfriend cheating on her. She also didn't want to talk about it but she even refused to join evening tea. Next few day she was gloomy and we tactfully tried to avoid annoying her with our talks. Until once in the middle of the night we found her sitting on the windowsill sobbing and literally groaning. The window was open and it was clear that it's not to get some of fresh air. We brought her back to our room and tried to speak to her up but the only words she said were \n \t“I lost everything”\n \tAnd this was damn truth. She let that guy to oust everything from her life and then his disappearance left her empty. There were other occasions, some more dramatic, sometimes even funny, but each time I heard somebody saying “I don't have anything to live for” or “I am emptied” or “I'm dead to the core” and each time I was catching myself thinking that I would never feel like that. Whatever happens, there is always something left in me, something I can enjoy. Perhaps I've learned it while starting at the endless steppes hours long having nobody around me when I was a child. Feeling connected with other people is of course important part of everyone's life and mine too but the problem is that many forget about that there is whole world inside you and it's worth being lived for no matter what. \n\n \tDuring the years spent in the dormitory, thanks to my alleged insensitivity to love troubles I gained fame of a seasoned maid others can seek solace from in the days of soul troubles. This was and to great extent still is essentially wrong as I don't really have that much experience in romance or psychology, but I at least tried to do what I could. So my recipe is quite simple - try to find something in you what brings feeling of safety and tranquility. Usually it is associated with your early memories, but not always, a place you can be in or something you can keep doing for hours. A friend of mine for example loved to roam through NY subway, so weirdest stuff may work. And then make a plan or simply a list of what sounds enticing to you. The findings may be quite surprising, it's like a mushroom hunting - you never know where it's waiting for you, so \n\n \t\t happy joy hunting!\n \n\n front didn't know how all those teen love dramas are nothing but made up performance for friends. Usually everybody feels just fine the next day. I know for sure that for me it's music. I can sit hours long listening and feeling safe and tranquil but when it stops depression comes back then while it's playing, think about what interesting you could do in next 24 hours, make and hour by hour plan. From my dormitory experience, this works best:\n \n -cook something special, what you never did, specify exactly what should ie be and what ingredients you need to buy\n \n -read a book - again, plan should contain what exactly the book should be. Great if it will be some kind of a textbook or manual - describe in the plan what you need to learn from it, write it down when reading it.\n \n -if you're at least a bit gifted add a painting or any craftwork to your list, specify exactly what should it be (when you're out of your mental shelter you won't be able to come up with any ideas) \n\n -do clean up of certain area in your house/apartment (the area can be small, like a lobby or a pantry cause whole apartment will take too much effort and time) but it should be done perfectly.\n \n -in the evening go out for a walk, great if you'll have an audiobook with you (again decide what should it be in advance) take a pen and list of paper with you and make notices as you listen of what is happening in the book. This is to keep your mind occupied and do not let it return to depression.\n The longer evening walk will be the better - ideally when you're back at home you should fall asleep immediately.\n it you've got stove on your butt? 🤔