What is a “Friend”? For many many years, I wouldn’t call anyone by that name because 95% of people who were my “friends”, treated me as the opposite. My phase two idea in life was to have “non” friends. A name that was given to those I trusted as to not jinx the relationship. Today I am in phase three of friendship. I am 40, I have no patience for drama or games. I would rather have no friends at all than mediocre ones. Not because I am better than anyone else, but because my duty is to me and my family and MOST importantly keeping my depression in check.
I should also explain my expectations of “Friends” I keep. I expect them to be honest to me. That’s it! I don’t need daily, weekly or even yearly attention from them, but when our paths cross I would like nothing but honesty. If they truly are my friends they know I will not judge them so no fear in telling the truth should be held. For I too will offer nothing but honesty.
As I age I get more picky about who I want to surround myself with. I cannot stress enough that this has nothing to do with me believing I am better than anyone, but Depression has become so much darker the past year that to surround myself with toxic people, or people with false loyalty or negative outlook on life… I just can. not. do.
In every life there are emotions. It is my nature to feel what you are feeling thus taking me with you on your downward spiral if that is where you are taking yourself. If I do not agree with your lifestyle or the way you are a parent, my heart will hurt for your children or your lack of self-love. This will also trigger my dark days. I may love you a hundred times more than you love yourself but will have to stay an arm’s length away to keep the darkness out. One of the hardest things to do my first 40 years is watching others suffer or silently remain “Stuck” because they do not believe that they can change the situation. Sometimes they do not believe they are worth anything better. I just want to shake some people and yell “Can you not see your value? Can you not see the warped reality you are living in? Don’t you WANT to be happy?”
We all lose friends in the major life changes we go through. Getting married, having kids etc. I used to be mad when “Being around your Autistic kids is a culture shock” was said to me. Being wiser now I see, they gave me the truth and walked away. They WERE being the best them they could be and gave me the raw truth. Of course, any person would be sad during the loss of a relationship, any type.. or the fact your children are the cause of said loss. Today I see clearly that I don’t want them in my life with that perspective.
Am I a good friend? Probably not. Yes, I am honest and loyal. BUT my situation prevents me from being the friend you appear to need. At this moment I am visiting my hometown. I have received MULTIPLE messages asking to meet up. I love the love it came with, but my anxiety starts acting up. Where can I go, a physical place to meet up with all of these people? A physical place that my children can and might break things during a melt down because of the over-stimulation the visit will create. A place where all of my friends feel like they get what they need from me even though I will be playing referee the whole time with Autism. As I talk with my family trying to figure out a gameplan to make all this happen I start getting messages like “I do count right? you will visit me right?” As if in your head I am debating if I want to see you. OF COUSE I DO! I just DON’T KNOW HOW.
My anxiety is extra high this time because when I came home in January, I didn’t get the quality time in that others expected. I was knee deep in the depression trenches while trying to put on a birthday party for my daughter. By the time we left 75% of EVERYONE was disappointed in me. I cried the entire 15-hour drive home.
The reason it is so easy for me to not judge anyone no matter what the situation is… is because I know first hand of the wars going on inside that nobody sees. Depression is a whole world of darkness that co-exists side by side with reality. I could be sitting on a beach with a drink in my hand hearing nothing but waves crashing on the sand while at the same time I am in a dark hole with endless anxiety feeling like I hear the tormented screams of 1000 people race through my veins. Wondering how I am going to make it back to a bed to hide from the world until the darkness goes away.
**Just typing that made me break into a sweat and tears began to fall**
Tonight I meet up with my friends. Hoping to soak in the smell of the bonfire and focus on giving my children the life experience of another summer S’mores making event. I need to mentally prepare my focus for every multi-person event with my kids. Reminding myself what is important. Why I am there. I need to avoid any feelings of disappointment I may sense and just. be me.
Today I wish you love. Pure love for yourself. Unconditional, flawless love.
Wow. I could have written this. Total agreement with everything you wrote here.