Image by Gilderic (OFF) via Flickr
Today “Wisdom a la Carte,” whom I heartily recommend for his presence on FaceBook, Twitter and his blog, http://wisdomalacarte.net/blog/, posed one of his usual great questions on his Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/wisdomalacarte. It was “have you been the kind of friend that you want as a friend?” I commented as follows:
Not since I have been sick. For many reasons, I withdrew from my friends, because I thought that I was protecting them. In hindsight, I regret it. I would not have been able to (still can’t) provide a balanced relationship, but especially when you are really ill, you need their friendship–if only for connection with the real world. Blessings.
Afterwards, I couldn’t get the question out of my mind. It was like a itch that I just couldn’t reach. and it suddenly dawned on me that I had some unfinished business.
Before I was really sick, I think that, for the most part, I was all that I’d want in a friend. When I became really ill, I changed, and I guess that changed as well. For a multitude of reasons, I totally withdrew from my friends, because I thought that I was protecting them and was doing the right thing. I was in so much mental, emotional and physical pain that I did not want to subject anyone to that part of me. So, I choose to go into isolation–for years. In hindsight, I regret the decision, not only because I needed my friends, but at a much deeper level I think because I didn’t trust my friends enough to choose for themselves. They never had an opportunity to see the bad and the ugly because I made the choice for them. Perhaps my decision was less about them than about my own fears that if they saw me at my worse that they would run like hell and no longer love me. Whatever their reaction, I should have allowed them to choose for themselves. I should have remembered that as the photo reminds me, true friends are stronger than darkness. I trust that they will forgive my lapse in judgment. I think that they will. Blessings.
Lydia, I think a lot of us retreat when we go through major health issues and maybe just things that we fear. I have a friend that is going through a medical issues now. I am glad that he has let me be his friend and help him through it. But saying that he would still be the same friend if he had backed off and dealt with it on his own. I have found that true friends only want to help in times like these. I hope you are well now. Larry
Dear Larry, Thank you for stopping by. I appreciate you. Your friend is wiser than I was and it will help him greatly in the long run. Unfortunately, I have quite a way to go in order to attain wellness, but I am not giving up or in. Had I been able to reach out instead of withdrawing, it would have helped me, if not physically, then, spiritually, mentally and emotionally. Clearly, the latter have a positive affect on one's physical health. When you are dealing with major health issues, the gift of friendship is more treasured then ever. Blessings to you and your friend