That Friend

Friendship doesn’t come naturally for me. Add a mental health diagnosis and it’s downright fraught. I tend to treat friend making like double Dutch jump rope. I watch some girls jump in, dance around and jump out. I watch for a really long time. Then I finally feel the beat, take the risk and make my move. I end up thwapped in the arm and the ropes are down around my ankles. It’s harder than it looks, apparently.

I’m the intense friend. I put a lot of effort into guessing how other people do it, this friendship thing. I crave connection and yet seem to thwart my objectives by over or under doing it. I’m enthusiastic and have a tendency to overshare. Or I anticipate rejection and clam up, revealing nothing. Where are the instructions for the middle ground?

During this pandemic, I’ve turned into the anxiety ridden friend. I recently finished my first book, a memoir. I had seven friends read it as beta readers. I’m having a hard time with feedback. It took a very long time to write the book and now that it’s complete, I could ask, “What did you think of X?” all day long. I feel pushy asking my pals for a dissertation on my work. I need their input to make final revisions and it has my laser focus right now.

I know what I should do: Relax. Easier said than done. I have bipolar affective disorder which comes with a side order of obsessive thinking. I think I’m having a revelation hangover. My truth is revealed in the book and I’ve heard both sides of feedback. You shared too much and you’re incredibly brave. I’ll have to be the final word on determining what I want to share.

Until then, I have to stop hitting “send” on emails and sitting there with a stopwatch waiting for the “Re:” response to come back. This stay at home time has allowed my clock watching to get seriously out of hand. I’m happy, okay ecstatic, the snow has finally melted where I live and May has arrived. I have to get out of my spot in front of my laptop and enjoy a nice walk in the woods. Thanks for being here, checking out my post and easing the angst of opening up, a little at a time. Maybe I’ll try jump roping again.



12 Replies to “That Friend”

  1. I relate 200%to this post. I have just never been sure about my friendability! It seems so complicated. Like a subject I keep on misunderstanding. Thank you for an honest post.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Are you writing about me? LOL. But seriously. It takes me awhile to feel I can trust someone and once I do, I overshare. Yet, I feel deeply betrayed when they don’t do the same. Then, I question my decision that they are a friend and I pull back. Polite, but distant.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Because of my bipolar depression and anxiety, I tend to run in extremes and it’s very difficult for others to handle. So friendships are difficult for me. I let them see too much of my reality, they’re alienated. I don’t make myself available enough, I come off as aloof or stuck up and alienate them.
    So rather than sweat being a popular girly girl, I have one or two good friends and keep everyone else as an acquaintance I might be very fond of, but not fond enough of to splay open my mental dysfunction.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I understand your dilemma. It is hopefully a relief to air how our diagnoses affect how we view relationships with others. Thanks for the comment and for taking the time to shed light on the subject.


  5. I talk to people easily but making them friends and letting them know what and who i am has always been a game.
    Loved reading it !!
    Do read my blogs too. Your reviews are valuable.

    Liked by 1 person

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