Thursday, September 17, 2015
I Suck at Friendship
Serious time. Sorry, but it is. If you are looking for a laugh from me, it’s not today. Mike’s wonderful post the other day started it, and then yesterday it became decided. You see, I envy Mike. Maybe you are like him. Maybe you know people from the earliest of grades. I don’t. My sisters and I grew up in an Air Force family and spent our childhood moving. I’m not complaining, it is just the way it was for us. Fourteen moves in eighteen years for me. I didn’t get to know friends the way Mike did. I felt every word he wrote the other day. I wish you could know Mike. He is a humble, caring, loving man, full of wit and humor. It was not surprising to me to learn he and Barry knew each other so long.
As many of you know, I have been working on a memoir of my years in pain and depression. I had a form of migraines from 1979 until 2013, with them 24/7 beginning in 1987. The depression began in 1994. I just finished the first draft of the book, entitled, “It’s Probably Just Stress”. In that book, there is a chapter called “The Wall”.
When I was cured of pain in 2013, the doctors told, rightfully so, that I might slip into a PTSD sort of thing because of the brain not being able to handle the sudden change from all the years of chronic pain and depression to nothing at all. Well, I did. I called it The Wall. It was awful. I had nightmares and flashbacks of things that had happened to me during the years I had been a cab driver that I had blocked out. I had not even remembered some of them. I went through therapy, months of it. My wife Lana was with me every step of the way. I prayed all the time. I thought I made it, but in truth I really didn’t.
When I started writing the book, the nightmares and flashbacks came roaring back with a vengeance. All those scenes from before played in my head every night again. Arguments from my anger, from my pain, played out each night. Sleep, never a long enduring thing for me, became less.
Yesterday, David, a dear friend and a former member of this blog talked to me. He confronted me about the last chapters of my book and the way they were written. I knew I could do better and that the content was wrong. He blasted me and rightfully so. I had already made a promise when I was done with the first draft to Lana to go back into counseling to try rid myself of The Wall for good. After talking with David, I know I have more demons than I thought.
You see, friends are not just the ones you go out and have dinner with, smoke cigars with, drink wine with. The real friends are the ones who will blast you when you deserve it. I listened, didn’t like one bit and even fought back some. I didn’t say, “You don’t know what you’re talking about”, or “You don’t understand”. He did understand. He didn’t tell me what I wanted to hear. He told me what I NEEDED TO HEAR.
David told me of his own issue and I didn’t even hear it because of my own problems. I was not a good friend. That will change. I go back to therapy next week to rid myself of The Wall for good. I lost one friend because of that thing. I don’t want to lose any more. We take friends, real friends for granted. Please don’t. Go back and read Mike’s post again. Look around at your own friends. Cherish them. Call them today and tell them what they mean to you.