If you’ve ever wanted to know what it’s like to be my friend, you’re about to get a real glimpse. This is a look at my side of our friendship. This is the part you don’t see. So, you know, please love me after. And if you don’t love me after, well….get out?
So let me start with some background, my first friendships were at my private school I attended from Pre-K to 7th grade. That private school, at the time, was super small. Everybody knew everybody in every grade. No one was a stranger, and you all saw each other at church on Sunday and outside of school too. So to me, friends were family. They were lifelong and there wasn’t any other option.
So, imagine my surprise when I exited this school and discovered that not everyone treats friendships this way. In fact, most people don’t think of their friends this way. Friends are just friends. Friends can be replaced. Also, to my surprise, I found out that my own friends/family found me replaceable. They all stayed together at the school, and in the world before internet/social media/cell phones… you just didn’t keep in touch with a 12 year old after they’re gone. So I was replaced. And those new friends of mine? Sure, I had them… but they had their own friends. And in the sea of those friends? There was the coveted BEST friend. And that was that special friend that they’ve known their whole life and that is the one friend that can’t be replaced. The others can, that one cannot.
Thus began my journey of learning that I have a desperate desire for that one friend, that one person who will cling to me and share some magical part of my heart with me and we’ll have sleepovers and inside jokes and skip off to the playground together hand in hand. That’s how things work in your thirty’s, right? No? It’s weird to be hanging out on a playground as an adult? Well…this is awkward…
So, here’s the problem: I’m not just *me*. I’m me, plus my anxiety. So what I’m asking someone to love is not just my amazing personality (I mean, come on…), but I’m asking them to love the part of me that is falling apart differently every day. The part of me that is able to fully convince myself that when they cancel lunch with me because they’re sick, it’s really because they now hate me and I’ve come on too strong and I’ve screwed everything up and NO ONE WILL EVER LOVE ME. So then I become quiet and distanced and start cutting them out of my life before they get the chance to cut me out of theirs. I want to hurt them first. But really, I’ve already let them hurt me. The only problem is… they were just sick and needed a day. And now they’re sick and I’ve stopped being their friend.
Anxiety is my best friend and that jerk needs to get the hell out, amiright? Like, I didn’t ask for her. She’s the Regina George of my life.
So then through a lot of friendships, I’ve finally realized that, where I do not have that ONE special person in my life… I do have a few special people that give me just what I need. I have a special person I call when all I want to do is laugh, I have a special person I call when all I want to do is cry, I have a few special mom friends that I call when I need to be reminded that my kid isn’t the only psychopath on the loose, and I have a special friend I call when I need some therapy and wine. And I’ve realized I don’t have someone I call a “best friend”, because when you get to that point in my mind, I just move you over to the family category. And I have some people in that category I’ve known my whole life and I have some people in that category who I’ve only known a year. Sometimes it just is what it is and you know it’s that and you go straight to the category when we meet because we just know we’re in this for life.
And even though I’ve said all that, know that I still have anxiety with me. And I might be needy once in a while and you’ll need to remind me that you don’t really hate me and OMG, Tabitha, I drank a whole bottle of NyQuil, GET OFF MY BACK. I know, I know. I GO TO THERAPY FOR THIS! (Hi, D!)
Luckily I do have friends that know this about me and love me through it because they’re the same. And to this woman I say, “Dude… we’re crazy.”
So anyways…. basically what I’m saying is that maybe all you jerks need to fuel my ego more once in a while because YOU SUCK AT IT.
Totally just kidding, just wanted to let you know what it’s like when I love you as my friend. ❤
Although, loving you as more than my friend is a whole ‘nother level. Someone pray for my poor husband.