I think I am doing something wrong. I am getting so tired of “giving” everything in a friendship and not getting anything back. If it was just one or two friends I would not worry about it so much but I can name at least 4 “friends” in the last couple of years that never or very rarely return any kind of giving. And I am not talking about gifts … just simply giving time, love, basic caring. I am tired of unanswered emails, ignored cards and letters, text messages that are never replied to.
What am I doing wrong? Do I just have the talent of picking all the “worst” people? These are people I have cared about and thought cared about me but they sure don’t show it. I understand getting busy but… I have one friend in the past year I have seen ONCE for about 15 minutes. This was after she used to visit weekly. Another friend has health issue, I understand that… but is typing an email with “I’m doing ok” so time-consuming? Another friend who I have sent letters to three times now and not even a quick phone call to say she got them.
Do I just misunderstand friendship? I have always thought when you care you give of yourself in the relationship. Is that the wrong kind of thinking? I really even like to give. Sending a card or letter when I know someone is down, or just out of the blue for a little bit of a break from the bills in the mail. A text just to say I love you in the middle of the day. An offer of a listening ear when there are problems going on. But I have been left alone and wondering too many times.
So I must be doing it wrong. I should only reply to half of what I receive. I should stop with the random sentiments. And never take the time to write an actual letter to someone to send with a card that is not in digital form. I need to harden my heart and be a part-time “friend” so I match up with what others are doing. Or am I just picking the wrong people to trust and love? Do you share and give or yourself with your friends? Or as a society have we just all become self sufficient?
I may ramble here, but I know I wont change and I will continue to get to a point when it piles up and I think I am the only one who gives once again. I like to do things that make people smile. But just once I would like the kindness to be returned. Is that too much to ask?
What do you say to a friend who wants to die? How do you balance the purely selfish need to keep your friend versus their need to end the horrible pain they are in. I know he is in a deep depression and that is a lot of why he is talking like that. But his life has been one disaster after another. He has been homeless, abused, and spent time in jail. The family he still has is not supportive at all. He has only a handful of friends. The worst part for me is he now lives a thousand miles away. Add in the depression and he is even further away.
I know depression. I myself have been in a place where death seemed so much easier than life. I had enough friends and family around that I knew I needed help and got it. My friend is alone a lot. And that terrifies me. The fine line I must balance is between being a friend while offering support and becoming too pushy.
I know I cannot control him. I know I cannot stop him. All I can do is love him and hope this depression lessens soon for him. In the mean time I wait and worry. I know he has the numbers to reach out to. He is strong no matter how he feels right now. The magnitude of what he has survived so far is enormous. I know he is tired. But he can overcome this. I have to believe that. I love him like a brother and I always will. We go through this depression as best as we can, together in heart.
Can I take a minute of your time? This month is mental health awareness month and if anyone out there is actually reading my blogs I am sure you know I have issues with depression. I admit it fully and will add in some anxiety disorder for good measure too. Some days if feels like a recipe for disaster and other day can be close to what some call normal. Tonight I am not normal. I am crying and missing a friend who has locked me out of his life. I often wonder if that was because of my depression. He was very kind and caring at first and I thought we were great friends… then he asked to borrow some money. I gave it to him and felt I had really helped a friend out… that is when little things changed. He would no longer stand and talk for 5 or 10 minutes with me just because. Text responses became less and less until he was never responding. And a phone call was out of the question. …so why did he leave?
That was about 4 years ago. Now another friend I have actually known almost as long has started not responding to email. Another friend will never answer a phone call. And one more friend I used to visit at least once every week or two seems to always be busy. Depression takes those things and turns them ALL into my fault. I did something wrong. I am the toxic person in any relationship. I am doomed to be alone. Even my boyfriend is more and more distant. Is there any chance for an open and honest depressive to have a social life at all? Are we all destined to sabotage our relationships some how?
I have no answers only questions and sadness. The longer the sadness stays with me the worse I get … so I write. I used to write to my friends, but I think that may be part of the problem. So now I write to everyone and more likely no one. I am not good at this blog thing…. but just maybe one night I will connect with one person and they will see there is a way to let go of some of the depression and purge a little of the pain. To you dear reader … or if I dare to dream readerS… thank you for taking time, for giving me just a minute of your time. Letting me bleed out the pain like ink drops on paper (or keyboard to screen as it were). does help me a little and if there is only one single person out there having a bad night that sees a small connection and a bit of hope, then my late night ramblings are worth it. I will continue to expose my gaping wounds and try to find ways to heal… there is plenty of room on the depression train. Take a ride with me and I will supply the words and tissues.
Truly thanks for reading!