Warning: Expect foul language. I often blog when sleep deprived, and even when I'm not sleep deprived I cuss.
Warning the second: TMI often occurs. Read at your own risk. Feel free to laugh at my expense (I know I do!).
Warning the third: I suppose I should just put a general Trigger Warning here. I talk about mental illness (Anxiety, panic disorder, depression, social shit), abuse (rarely), and my fucked up relationship with food. And...other things. Actually, just consider this a general warning: If you might be triggered by things, you probably should read no further.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

What it means to be friends

Last night I talked another friend off the ledge. I don't know what's in the atmosphere lately, but a lot of people are going through slumps at the same time. At least that's what it seems like. It's kind of weird for me, because I'm feeling better than I have...EVER. Not to say my mental state is perfect, but...yeah.
I was struck by a few things during, and because of, that conversation. The least consequential is that I didn't realize how much of a fibro fog I've been in lately. I was talking to my friend when I jolted and realized I had no idea what I'd just been saying or what the purpose was. Fortunately my friend is used to deciphering my "unique" conversational style, so nothing bad happened. But it made me realize that maybe I'm not doing as well physically as I thought. Which is a minor minor thing, but still a realisation.
The other was that I'm really really really the wrong person to talk to if you want someone to convince you NOT to hurt yourself. Because (and I know how fucked up this is) I truly believe self-injury is a completely acceptable coping mechanism. As long as you know how to patch yourself up...All I care about is if you feel better. If it doesn't make you feel better, don't do it. This extends to all forms of self-medication really. As long as you're not hurting anyone else and it makes you feel better, then I'm not going to pressure you to change. I call full halt when it hurts someone else, and if it starts to hurt you then we're going to start having conversations about it.
But the things is...who the fuck am I to judge? I've self-medicated in different ways. I go through periods where I hurt myself. I don't cut, but that's only because I have a problem with the sight of my own blood (well, not completely, but I'm not into extensive explanation right now). I probably will hurt myself periodically for the rest of my life. Because, guess what? It makes me feel better and does no lasting damage. Which will frustrate every mental health practitioner I ever meet probably.
Anyways, after I got off the phone with my friend sitting back from the ledge, I started messaging another friend on Facebook. He's my BFAM and he helps me put things into perspective by his very existence. Like....I can talk to him about anything, but I don't have to. I can just message him and knowing he's there if I need him makes things better. It's the willingness to listen that helps.
I'm getting off-track from what I wanted to talk about. Again. As always.
I have two viewpoints on friendship that work well for me. One I learned from a dear friend who said that friends are like investments, dump the ones who don't give good returns. It took me a long time to figure out how to utilise that advice in a way that worked for me. In my case it rarely means I just drop the person, ne'er to be seen again. I usually stop making an effort or including them in my life. The other viewpoint I couldn't really put into words, until last night. Talking to my bfam clarified it for me. I'm going to copy and paste what I wrote because I want to hang on to it.
"The one thing I always needed was to be accepted for who I am, broken bits and all, so it would be hypocritical of me not to accept others, y'know?
doesn't mean I'll like them all
or be friends with them
but I can accept them as they are
It's proved a good strategy for finding friends who'll accept me"
I admit, sometimes I end up with some dead weight because of this philosophy. But y'know...the dead weight costs me very little time, and maintaining this attitude and philosophy does a lot of things for me. It makes me the friend, no, PERSON, I desire to be. It means I know how to deal with emotions, my own or others. It means that I've found people who I can call on if I need perspective, someone to listen, or just company. It means that I can be happy with the way I live my life. It means that I can see both the best and worst in people, and still like the human race in general.
I'll never be done growing, because that is a silly way to live. But I feel like...I don't my roots are firmly planted in the soil I want, that I can grow in the direction I want, and I have room enough to spread out to soak up the proverbial sun and rain.