All that I am, all that I ever was…

I am more than my mental health. I am more than my homelessness. I am more than any one aspect of me. I am Addy. And this is…

Does depression impact on friendship?

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———- —– ———-
“Without friends no one would choose to live, though he had all other goods”
Aristotle
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Friendship
So many people have sung about it;
Carole King, Bette Midler, Queen, Ben E King.
So many movies have been made about it:
Beaches, Now & Then, Au Revoir Les Enfants, Toy Story.
All sweetening it with a saccharine glow
that nothing in reality can ever dare to attain to.
The joys of friendship can never be overlooked,
in fact if you are lucky enough to have someone you call your
‘best friend’
you are already doing better than a lot of people out there.
I’ve experienced friendship before.
I’ve had a best friend before.
But they’ve all been lost to the erosive seas of time.
(and I hate that I let some of these go, for they went before their time)
It’s fairly obvious to state that friendship
like any form of relationship
requires work,
plus a smidgen of luck,
but is that all that’s needed for a solid friendship?
———- —– ———-
“Sorry sorry, I have this effect, people just get obsessed. Is it the smile? Is it the aftershave? Is it the capacity to laugh at myself? I dunno, it’s crazy!
The Master
———- —– ———-

Some friends expect you to act a certain way,
to behave in a way that contravenes your mood.
They ask you to lie about what you’re feeling
in exchange for the privilege of being their friend.

These stipulations seemingly driven from
all those songs and movies which tell everyone
what a friend should be
and
how they should behave.
A friend is someone who is there for you.
A friend is someone to laugh with.
A friend is someone to share your life with.
A friend is someone who’ll tell you “No, your bum doesn’t look big in that,”
A friend is someone who loves you unconditionally.
A friend is someone who doesn’t judge you.
A friend is someone who’ll let you know if you’re acting like a twat.You see we’re already jumping ahead of ourselves,
leaping into friendship with others
as if it’s the most important thing in the world.
Almost as if we are worth nothing
unless we are loved by other people.
We never consider what is singularly the most important thing
we must all do,
to achieve friendship.
It’s a catch-22.
Before you can really be a friend to someone,
you must already be a friend to yourself.
You have to:
Like yourself.
Love yourself.
Relish yourself.
Pleasure yourself.
You can’t be a friend to someone if you don’t know
how much youare worth to the world.
———- —– ———-
“A friend is someone who is there for you when he’d rather be anywhere else.”
Len Wein
———- —– ———-
Which leads to my question…
Does depression impact on friendship?I will never forget something that was once said to me:
“Surround yourself with positive people, Addy,”
They were the last words this person said to me.
Sounds good doesn’t it
Filling your life with positive people,
paints such an awesome ideal of utopia
that I want to skip down the street as if my life were a musical.
Shame I can’t sing…or dance…but no matter.
If it were only that simple!

What about the souls that
for some reason or another
never seem to able to achieve this
mythical ‘positive state’
they dream of so much?
The people everyone are looking for.
What happens to them?
What the hell is a positive person anyway?
Surely we are all positive/negative in equal balance.
It’s a momentary state of mind, not a personality trait.
I’ve never even considered myself a negative person,
(although I can see why other people would see me this way)
And this is why I personally think that the answer is
YES
Depression doesimpact on friendship!As depression affects the mind
and primarily how one views him/herself,
their views of who they are become tainted and skewed
by their own inner-voice.
This constant
scolding,
belittling
and criticising
of oneself makes it nigh on impossible to:Like yourself
(why? I’m a useless piece of excrement that fails at everything he does)
Love yourself
(why? I’m an overweight blubbery idiot with nothing interesting to say or views to share?)
Relish yourself
(why? I can’t even walk down the street without someone laughing at me and by frack can my belly button smell any more bad?)
Pleasure yourself
(pleasure? what the hell is pleasure?)
So the likelihood of being able to retain an ongoing,
loving friendship
with other people
when you can’t even carry one off with yourself
is nigh on impossible.
Don’t get me wrong,
it can be done,
I’m sure,
I just haven’t figured out how.I stated in an earlier post that right now,
I don’t really have anyone that I would call a friend.
(It doesn’t bother me all that much)
It works the other way too,
I’m sure there is no-one out there who would call me a friend.Which is a lonely and depressing thought,
but one that’s instantly understandable,
and something that I blame only on myself.
Suffering from depression can be painful and exhausting,
and I know from personal experience,
that this can impact drastically on friends.
Your mood carries over to them,
eventually exhausting them,
until your friendship implodes into infinity
(and beyond).You see,
however much I don’t want to believe it,
once a friendship is ended
(either by you, them or through the unfortunate intervention of an external force)
it is over!
It’s not just a case of people moving on,
growing,
drifting apart,
(all that nonsense).
A friendship is forged between two people
when they have a connection between souls.
If that friendship ends,
the connection is severed.
YOU, them or that darned external forcehas got in the way.YES
I do believe depression makes it difficult,
but not impossible,
to have friends.Until you learn to love yourself.
No-one will ever love you in return.
Acquaintances
Friends
Best Friends
Lovers
They are all but mere fragments of a dream we are all trying to reach.
———- —– ———-
“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”
Martin Luther King Jr
———- —– ———-
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One thought on “Does depression impact on friendship?

  1. I bookmarked your blog a while back in order to read it one day — can’t remember when, but obviously your “about” got my attention b/c that’s the only reason I bookmark a WP blog — and I started reading yesterday. Started again tonight where I left off. When I find someone’s blog, I start at the beginning and work my way through to the present as long as I continue to like it and it doesn’t contain things that will hurt my mental/emotional health. I realize this was written years ago and I have no idea if you’ve changed your opinion or kept it. I also realize I’m WAY older than you are. I hope you don’t mind if I disagree with you on part of what you’ve written.

    I totally agree that our mental/emotional health issues can affect our relationships in a negative way, but I’ve also seen the few that have stuck with me deepen. I had the unfortunate experience of having two friends I knew decades ago, but had lost touch with, come to my town to visit me. I warned one over and over before she came that I’d changed — a lot. We private messaged back & forth on FB. I just knew she was going to be disappointed in me. Not only had I undergone a drastic change when this illness-I-didn’t-know-I-had got out of control, but I’d undergone a drastic physical change b/c I’d gained so much weight in the years leading up to and the years after the “out of control” happened.

    She had a fun-filled weekend planned and I had barely set foot outside my apartment for over a year. She was so happy to see me, as I was to see her. It started out really well. I pushed myself extra hard to go and do as she wanted. Friday night was fine. Saturday morning was fine. Saturday afternoon I saw a distinct change come over her face when I could no longer keep up. Saturday evening was superficially better, but then she dropped me off at my apartment and went to be with another friend we both knew and whom neither of us had seen in years. I would have loved to have gone with her, but she’d obviously had her fill of me. This time she just said goodbye in the vehicle, no hug as when she saw me, and she said so many times that I knew she was lying, “I’ll come back this same time next year.” She didn’t and I knew she wouldn’t. She was looking for the 20-something I used to be — not the incredibly sick 50-something she found me to be, even though I’d told her over and over, warned her over and over, her expectations were still there.

    I won’t get into the other friend — different story, same outcome. I will say that whereas it is greatly possible that neither one understands my illnesses, no matter how I try to explain it, I do believe that when you find old friends there absolutely must be common ground other than the past in order for the friendship to flourish. You simply don’t become friends with someone when there is no common ground. And when time passes and people, hopefully, change and grow, the person you once knew is no longer there. You must work to take the time to get to know the new person they’ve grown up to be. If you don’t grow and change, but they do, it won’t work. If you grow and change, but they don’t, it won’t work. If you both grow and you both work at the commonality that was there and is still there, even if it’s in a different form, you can make it work. It does take work — time, energy, effort — and if that’s only one-sided it’s gonna die a painful death. Time and distance do lead to the death of friendship when one or both parties are unwilling to do what it takes to keep the friendship alive.

    Therefore, if you can count on one hand the number of friends you have — true friends who will be there for you no matter what and vice versa — you are truly blessed!!

    Thanks for reading this!!

    — Kathy

    Like

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