To friends

I wrote an email to my good friends today. The 8 of them or so. I left out the two that know almost everything and who I am with or talking to constantly. Interestingly enough I also left out 4 others who I would normally include in major life updates. People too close to my family or people who I don’t trust to understand. 

I also went to the doctor to get a refill of my anti depressant. While I was there, I asked for some Ativan. I explained my anxiety and panic attacks were getting the best of me, that I think it’s situational (I do) but that I need something as a security blanket. I haven’t had any on hand for over a year, and it feels good to have them right now.  As for the emails to my friends, I wrote them all separately, but here’s an example. 

Hello <friend>

It’s been a while. 

I wanted to apologize for being absent from your life the past couple of months – I care so much about you and our friendship means the world to me, and lately life has thrown me a few curveballs that have prevented me from being the kind of friend I usually take pride in being. A loyal one, up to date on all the haps in your life (yes, I just used the word haps).

Shortly after the wedding I started dealing with some family issues that exacerbated my depression that had been at bay for 12+ months. It also started to bring up some other things for me, and I share this with you because I’m honestly so tired of pretending everything is okay when it isn’t some days. These symptoms are very real things I am contending with on a regular basis right now – that lots of people contend with on a regular basis – and there is no point in pretending that I don’t have these sidekicks along for the ride. Also, as someone I consider a good friend, I trust you to keep this between us, I also trust you to be someone who stays in my life and doesn’t run away or treat me differently because I’m sharing what I’m going through. I am so grateful you are someone I feel I can share with.

On top of all of that, my heart has been causing health problems – they aren’t life threatening, but uncomfortable and the cause is still unknown. 

Essentially what this all means is I’ve had to take some time for myself. I have had to prioritize sleep and my mental health in order to stay afloat. Instead of my usual busy schedule, I’ve reduced my life to eating, sleeping, freelancing, and working. I wish I could stop freelancing, but instead I’ve had to continue in order to afford counselling for myself. I’ve found myself withdrawing out of a need to rest and recuperate. An unpleasant side effect of that is that I have not been able to be the best of friends to people who mean the world to me – and that includes you. Some days simply getting out of bed is incredibly difficult. 

You won’t find me back <in homeland> until next December at the earliest, but know that I’m thinking of you. I’m always up for a skype or phone call on the weekends, with tea or a glass of wine. I also want to hear all about your life – please don’t think that because I’m going through something kind of crazy right now, that it means you can’t share what is happening with you. 

It’s my hope that I’ll get back on track for the early days of 2017 and by the end of March have a system in place that allows me to be the healthiest I can be given my mental health sidekicks. I love you, and want to hear what you’ve been up to, and how your Christmas is, and really simply connect again. 

I’m sorry that I’ve been so absent lately, it was so wonderful to see you – know that I love and care about you no matter how long we go without chatting.

Love, PD

I had been feeling like an awful friend lately – unable to reach out to those closest to me IRL and tell them what has been happening for me. I also felt afraid to do it – what if word got back to my parents what I was telling people? 

Today I thought – so what? So what if they find out? I am a lot safer than I think I am. I am not out to villainize anybody, or throw anyone under the bus, but I am done keeping secrets. People are going to know the truth about why I am not able to be there for them right now. 

I also am going to admit that this is me reaching for extra support in a way that is disguised as me simply updating people. I’m in for a bit of a ride the next little while, I think. And I need my tribe to rally around me. 

I’m never good at asking for what I need, and I hope this time it pays off. I’m asking for help from those closest to me again – which in and of itself has to be progress, right?


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5 thoughts on “To friends

  1. I hope you feel lighter, after sharing openly with your friends. I hope your honesty deepens your connection with them. And I hope that you won’t be afraid to reach out again if you don’t get the response you need from them – sometimes people have to hear “I need your support” before they realize it’s time to step up for you. And whatever the response is, I hope you’re proud of yourself and glad you wrote the letters, because it is awesome progress.

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