It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Fun*Run Time

It's ALREADY that time of year again: The ADAPT Fun*Run for Disability Rights is April 22nd 2012. Maryland's fundraising goal is $8,000 this year. Yes, that's right, $8,000

Donate $1! Donate $10! Donate $100! Donate $1,000! JUST DONATE so we can FREE OUR PEOPLE! I thank you very much for your support!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

On Depression & Friendship

In my B&N the teen self help section is right next to the bathroom, and so I've often found myself flipping through the anxiety workbook for teens on the way to or from. It seems good, from the very little I've actually read of it, and could be something I'd consider buying if I didn't think it would probably be very close to WRAP.

This last time though I couldn't find a copy. What I did find, that I'd never seen before (apparently it just came out in Feb), was the bipolar workbook for teens from the same series. I took a closer look at this one, at least the first 1/4 of it, and something really stood out to me. There was this section on identifying your inner/outer circles; who knows you have BP, who doesn't, I think you get it. An important thing to do. Then the book asks you to take a closer look at those in the inner most circle and jot things down that they can do to help support you. There were examples above the blank lines, and one of them seemed to speak just to me. "Ask my best friend to keep calling me even if I do not answer the phone."

This situation wasn't something I was planning on writing about, but I feel called to now (pun not intended). Now why would someone do that? Especially when I decided not to answer the phone for 2 months. I'd stop calling too if I were them. Me being me, and being on this side of things, I know that the best thing to do is to go over and bang on the door until the depressed person finally answers and then force them in the shower and drag them to the mall or the diner or somewhere against their will. I'll probably thank you for it later even though I'm most likely cursing you out under my breath the entire time. Calling's not going to work ever when you're too embarrassed to answer the phone.

I'm much more likely to answer the door then the phone, however even that's not a guarantee. I might actually be in the shower for my once weekly shower, or at my weekly shrink appt, or OOO (the only places I was going), or having noticed you calling from my caller ID, I may just be laying in bed watching Grey's DVDs purposely ignoring you because I just. can't. get. out. of. bed. or I am just too embarrassed to talk to you. What do you do then, person standing at my door? You find the person who is authorized to use my emergency key in such instances (I thought this through after this latest episode). But geez, that's A LOT of work for one person to do, and I don't expect anyone to want to go this far.

Therese talks about a friend "who is so wounded that they can't reciprocate the love." Well what if you're the one who is wounded? What if you're the one who can't ever seem to muster up the energy to empower others? Therese seems to imply that you should drop all those friends and run the other way before they suck you dry, which is in direct opposition to the viewpoint above. I don't think she meant it that way; I'm probably overly internalizing what she said due to the fact that I feel pretty wounded all the time and I've always had trouble making/keeping friends. It's hard to know that some people have had friends since infancy (not the norm, I know) but 95% of the friends I have I've known just 10 months.

I only had friends that went back 4 years (better enough to satisfy me and make me feel less like a loser) and I recently dropped them and ran. I wonder how much longer my mourning is going to last? I don't agree that friendships are required to empower you 100% of the time, but these friends made me feel pretty horrible about myself pretty often. They had boundary issues. I put up with them because I didn't know how to make other friends, I recognized that they have their own wounds (thus they don't know how to be a good friend any better then I do), and part of what they did that made me feel so bad I think they were doing because they cared.

WRAP started 3 Fridays ago, and there's something in the first powerpoint that spoke to me too. "The most valuable thing a supporter can do for you (or you can do for them) is to LISTEN. A good supporter knows that unasked for advice, criticism and judgements won't help and will probably make the other person feel worse."

Man they made me feel like crap all the time, simply because they do not know when to SHUT UP! Apparently this is a pretty global problem, or it wouldn't have made it into the WRAP powerpoint. Just because I don't choose to make the same choices you would make in dealing with my disabilities doesn't mean that they are wrong, and if they are wrong, I already know this and giving me frequent LONG tirades doesn't change this fact, nor will it help me to make a better choice the next time. I know you think it will, but really, it WON'T! All it did was make me isolate more because I was ashamed I wasn't capable of measuring up to my friends.

So I found new friends. I found new friends that are wounded just like I am and just like my old friends are. The difference? Everyone recognizes that we are just as flawed as everyone else and no one thinks or acts as if they are better then. That empowers me daily, to feel just as valued instead of constantly less valued. So the question is, why do I still mourn my old friends so much now that I've found better and know that I deserve better? I guess it's because I know, as I've said, that they were judgmental because they cared and because they don't know any better. I wouldn't want friends to drop me because I'm emotionally stunted, so I guess I feel like a hypocrite.


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