This Whole Friend Thing….
It might just be working out.
One of the things that happened for me when I became very depressed was that I withdrew pretty much completely from my friendships. I became pretty much isolated aside from dh and ds and then my colleagues at work (but never socialized with them after work.) I had friendships that I had had for years that I just dropped. I couldn’t handle it.
And besides, what do you say to people when you are so depressed you can barely function? Especially when reaching out to them seems an impossibility. Or when you are afraid of alienating them or being judged or being seen differently because you are mentally ill. Plus, I felt like I would be a burden on my relationships and be taking more than I could possible give.
And of course, my anxiety was peaked and actually leaving my home and trying to socialize with people that I knew was impossible, much less people that I barely knew (like folks at work.) (And for a friend or two who read my blog…If you ever wondered why I fell off the face of the earth…now you know why.)
So…As you know, I have been working harder at making contact with friends and developing some new friendships. Remember the Maternity Leave Mom? I saw her the other day and I mentioned that my per diem hours at work seem to be drying up and I joked that I might actually have to get a job. And she invited me to spend time with her and her baby during my free days.
I have reconnected with my friend, L, over the past several months. I keep in regular (pretty much daily contact) with my friend, A. And then there is the budding friendship with Social Strawberries, which I think has graduated from “budding” to being an established friendship. And you know what…I like having these friends. I feel less alone, less isolated and I get pleasure from my friendships.
I also get support from my friends. Maternity Mom does not know about my depression, but L, A and SS do. And being able to talk with them about how I actually am, how I actually feel and letting them into my little bubble seems somehow liberating for me. I guess it is because I don’t have to fake anything with them. I mean…I don’t drivel all my crazy and depressed crap at them…But it is okay to be me, crazy, depressed and all.
Hmmm….did you see what I just wrote? It is okay to be me, crazy, depressed and all. That is perilously close to some kind of self-acceptance! Shit…the AT will have a field day with that one! And actually, my PNP will pick right up on that too. She has been after me for <ahem> years to try to not be so socially isolated. What if she was right? Because it does seem like I do much better feeling not so alone.
Anyway, there is a point to all of this! Last night, I stayed up really late (for me) IMing SS. And it was really nice to talk to her. She always has good insights. Anyway, I wanted to share something she said. This was in regards to my last two blog posts.
So I have been reading your posts- are you interested in my opinion of your question today?
Two fold answer.
I have known you five years now. You seem far happier now then I ever knew you prior (others have mentioned the same thing to me). I think I along with others have just assumed it’s the decrease in stress from work. Since reading your blog I think I understand maybe a little better.
Two I see you put yourself out there. Someone with no hope doesn’t risk starting friendships. You clearly love and are loved by your husband and son. Relationships like that don’t flourish when someone doesn’t hold hope somewhere.
Your mental health maybe has altered the stone and the way the water travels…. But people and streams change over time. I admire your hard work.
This resulted in a very long conversation that I never would have had, had I not taken the risk and honestly put myself out there with her. And…she has offered me insights and given me food for thoughts in many of our conversations.
Oooh…wandering a bit off topic…speaking of SS, evidently Pixie-girl was talking about me last night. I’ll have to see if there is a time I can go over to visit in the next week or so. I have to drop off something for SS and I can get some visit time in with Pixie too.
And…if I can add one more thing to this epic blog post…Just as I finished my IM conversation with SS last night…Up popped my friend, A, who was wondering what I was doing up so late and then promptly sent me to bed. 🙂 I think I like having friends! Even bossy ones that send me to bed. LOL!