Friendship Revisited

I find myself struggling with the topic of friendship a lot, even at the age I’m at. I think it’s probably something everyone struggles with at any age but I keep asking myself the questions when it’s time to give up and when I’m just being oversensitive. I’m certainly not a perfect friend by any means and I could always put more effort in with certain people I think and I do flake sometimes. But then there’s moments when I feel like all I’m doing is putting in effort. When I’m doing all the contacting and asking about plans with certain people. Then I make the mistake of going on social media and I see those same people doing things together and I was never even told about them. It just makes you wonder. They were able to get a plan together for themselves, so why wasn’t I included? I’ve never even been on a trip with my closest friends but they’ve all been on trips with other people. What am I not doing to make more things happen?

It’s really quite exhausting as I’m sure you can tell just by reading that last paragraph. Maybe I just expect too much, I don’t know. These past couple of years I’ve really grown and redefined what I’ve thought about a lot of things, including friendship. I realize that it’s much more about quality than quantity. Do I wish I had a huge group of friends to pull from on those weekend nights when I don’t have anything going on? Of course. So all of these feelings I’m having make me kind of just want to say screw it. I know I’m worth spending time with and I know I really am a good friend, flaws and all. I don’t think I should have to try this hard all the time. Little one-off things are one thing, other people are flawed too and some people just aren’t crazy OCD planners like I am and I get that. But I also think there needs to be some give and take. I can’t keep trying and texting and trying to get stuff to come together when the people on the other end don’t try at all. It’s just not fair to me. If I’m not even a thought that occurs in their head, then that’s ok. We’re not meant to be best friends or close friends with everyone and people come and go in our lives.

The only thing I can control is myself and if I’m draining everything out of myself, feeling like I’m jumping up and down going “I’m here! Like me! Invite me! Pick me!” like a little girl, then I think it’s time to move on. Even if it means I don’t have the same quantity of friends. I don’t want to discount the amazing friends I do have in my life either, that do make the effort no matter what they have going on in their life. I’m so extremely grateful even to have a few of those kinds of friends. It’s a tough thing…adulthood and growing up and at the same time, I feel that insecure little girl creep up on me in situations like these. The scared shy girl in middle and high school that just wanted to be liked and to be accepted. The difference now though is I know I’m the only one that truly needs to like me or accept me.

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7 thoughts on “Friendship Revisited

  1. Jackie, as often happens when I read your blog, I find myself wanting to offer some “big sister” advice or words of wisdom. But in this case, all I can say is that, at age 53, I identify with so much of what you wrote here. I still struggle with this stuff too. But I think you’re on the right track with redefining what friendship means to you, and focusing on quality over quantity. And keeping an eye on your expectations (that’s a big one with me — I “expect” that they should think of me more often, etc.).

    And I try to remind myself that what we see on social media isn’t a true representation of life — most people only post the “fun” or “exciting” parts of their lives, so what we aren’t seeing there is that lots of people spend a lot of time at home, just like we do. They just don’t talk about that on Facebook.

  2. Hi Jackie, I am am 19 year old male with Central Core Disease as well and this doesn’t really have anything to do with your post, but I just wanted to let you know that your blogs help me a lot and I feel like your the only person who understands the stress of the little decisions that we have to make everyday because we have MD. I made this account today because I need some advice. I go to college and there is this girl that Is making me insane. I’ve never felt this way about anyone, EVER. We’ve been talking a lot and she doesn’t know I have MD. We have a class together in the DOWNSTAIRS portion of the college, of course and I always dip early so I can hop on the elevator so she doesn;t see me using it or wait for everyone else to leave. I just don’t know how to show her that I’m handicapped without her just feeling bad for me.
    I know she’s going to see me limp,probably already has but just thinks it’s a temporary thing but eventually I’m going to have to tell her something, what is the best way to tell someone of the opposite gender something like that? I always just tell people that I just have leg problems, Even my closest friends I don’t know exactly why I have to take the elevator.

    You really are an inspiration to me, maybe I’ll start blogging too haha! but if you could respond and give me some advice that woulld be really cool and would make my day. Im normally a shy a person and have never told anyone anything like this and I’m having one of those md crisis where it’s making me go even more insane.

    1. First of all, thanks so much for reading and for the kind words. It means so much to hear that my blog helps people! I am honestly the worst person to ask that question to though, lol. I’ve been single for a very long time now mostly because I hate dating and don’t know how to tell guys about my MD or just don’t want to deal with telling them. I really don’t know if there is a “best way”. It’s a hard thing to have to tell anyone, but especially someone you like. I’ve tried all kinds of different ways, being funny, trying not to make it sound like a big deal, the list goes on and on. It really just comes down to the other person. No matter how you tell them, if they’re truly deserving of spending time with you, they’ll see past the disability. If they don’t then they weren’t the right fit to begin with. I know that advice doesn’t take away the stress or frustration involved with telling someone you like but those are my best words of wisdom!

  3. Hi Jackie! The topic of friendship is something that I’ve been struggling with lately so it was really nice reading your perspective. I too admit that I am not a perfect friend and definitely make mistakes, which I need to keep working on, but it is difficult being the one making the effort all the time. I’ve realized that even when I know it’s time to give up, I will find any excuse to justify why I shouldn’t yet. But I really liked what you wrote that “If I’m not even a thought that occurs in their head, then that’s ok. We’re not meant to be best friends or close friends with everyone and people come and go in our lives”. That is very true and definitely something that I need to keep in mind! Before, I would have thought that the topic of friendship would be easier as we get older, but I’ve realized it not always is. But like you said, it’s important to be grateful for the friends that are a constant in our lives and that ultimately we are the ones that truly need to accept ourselves. Thanks for your insight ☺
    Sincerely,
    Samie De Mel

    1. Hi Samie. It’s nice to know someone else can relate (though I wish we both didn’t have any friendship struggles at the same time!). I do the exact same thing with justifying. I tell myself I would rather have a friend who might not be the greatest than one less friend. It’s funny and sort of cruel that certain things you would think would get easier with age like friendships/relationships would get easier but I guess we’re all works in progress throughout our lives and people will always serve different purposes in our lives no matter how old we are. Thanks for the great feedback!

  4. Hi Jackie,
    My name is Sandra and I just turned 24. I go to LLU MOT program. I just read your blog about friendship and I also feel the same way that you do. It is really not about quantity and its all about the quality, but I came to realize that it is so hard to find those true friends in life that won’t stab you in the back or that they are not there to use you. I always am the best friend for my friends and do everything and go out of my way, but it comes to a point that I am always the bad person in friendships because I speak up about my feelings about the things that bothers me. You can’t control what and how people act and how loyal they are to others, but you can be loyal to others and don’t expect anything from them. As I got older, I realized that when you become better than your friends and are more successful they start to exclude you from their plans.
    Be good, true, and happy whoever deserves your friendship will be there for you and whoever that it isnt then its their loss.

    – Sandra

    1. Hi Sandra. Thanks for the comment! First off, I admire you for being able to speak up and tell your friends what bothers you. I still struggle with that a lot. I have some friends that can get really defensive and I never want to cause hurt feelings but I also know that I need to be able to be honest about my feelings, especially with someone close like a friend. So I’m a big work in progress on that one. Friendship is one of those things you would hope gets better as you get older and as we all are supposed to mature but it really doesn’t! I think you’re exactly right though, the ones who deserve our friendship will be there and the ones who won’t, then good riddance! 🙂

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