More and more lately, I’ve been feeling a sense of isolation. Mostly from my friends. And the sad part is, it’s nothing they’ve done. It’s all me. I don’t feel like I know how to be a friend anymore. Haven’t been one in quite some time actually. After I got married, I pretty much said adios to all of my friends. Yeah, we’ve talked on occassion, and maybe even hung out a few times. But those times have been few and far between. What if they expect too much from me…time, energy, emotions – things I don’t have much of to give.Ten years is a long time and it’s hard to remember what I used to enjoy doing before I got married. Kind of lost a piece of myself so to speak.
Over the past few years I’ve allowed myself to drift away. What better way to keep all of my problems hidden; all of my insecurities; Yes, if I just kept away they wouldn’t see my weaknesses – I’d always been the strong one. I can’t dare let them know the truth – I’m not always as strong as they perceive me to be.
Yet, my friends are always good to me. Much better to me than I am to them, for sure. They call on my birthday. They call just to make sure I’m ok when they haven’t talked to me in awhile. They are ready to drop what they are doing to head my way if I wait too long to answer or return their calls. They will go to bat from me whenever I call, whether I’m right or wrong. They of course, tell me that I’m wrong, but they are there all the same. They love me and I love them. I just wish I could will myself back to the person I used to be. The fun loving, easy going, know-how-to-have-a-good-time girl that I used to be. The one who was always ready to hit the road when Millie said “let’s roll out!” Instead of always ignoring the phone calls, backing out of commitments, sulking around my house, complaining about being bored. Isolation, it’s not fun. I feel like a prisoner in my own home at times. But it’s something I’ve done to myself.
During the last few weeks, three of my dearest friends, Metrice, Melissa and Mildred, have reached out to me once again. Part of me wanted to continue to ignore their calls; pretend I didn’t get them or that S deleted their messages before I got them. That’s the comfortable side of me. The side of me that’s become content to be alone. The side of me that’s given up on expecting much from life but the same ole’ same ole’. Thge side of me that’s afraid to let me friends see the “real” me…upclose and personal. Then part of me wanted to yank the phone up, smiling from ear to ear, ecstatic that they’d called – that they still remembered me – that they hadn’t given up on me. I did talk to each of them. Which part of that was doing that talking, I really don’t know. I briefly mentioned to Mildred some of what I’d been feeling. I know that I can always be real with her. She’s going to give it to me like it is. She is a true friend and is the same whether we talk everyone or once a year. As I talked to her about being a friend, or my lack thereof, she commented: “To have a friend you have to be a friend.” She’s not big on subtleties, but everything she says and does is out of love. And I know this. I know that she will be there for me no matter what because that’s just who she is. But I don’t want to take this for granted anymore. I just wish I knew how to become the person that I no longer am anymore.
Millie, Melissa, Metrice, Maxine, Tam, & Roxey – I love you all more than you will ever know. Thanks for being there and loving me even when I didn’t know how to do the same in return.