Last weekend, I had a friends-night-out at an Indian restaurant. Two of my favorite things: food and friendship!
In one other way it was a special evening as we remembered when and how we met including the huge obstacles our friendship had survived. It is truly a miracle that we remained friends… So I cherished their presence that night, drinking in their friendship, their loyalty and acceptance, even though that same evening I shared a decision I had made that I knew was hard for them to understand.
And you know: one friend in particular has seen the ugly side of my bipolar and has been on the receiving end of my struggles once I left my parents’ home, since we shared an attic apartment for one and a half years.
There are a handful of people in my life that stayed true to me, despite the hard times, when I was stubborn, headstrong, inflexible, wanting things my way because I was convinced it was much better.
Looking back, I understand how my bipolar showed itself through it all. At the time, none of us knew anything, other than that I suffered from horrible, deep and long depressions. Those precious people accepted me the way I was: intense, driven, headstrong, immovable at times, sticking to my opinion, even when proved wrong (yeah – talk about stubborn…) and the total opposite when depression hit: not being able to get up, incommunicable, unsociable, withdrawn, isolated.
In fact, a couple of times my friends took care of me when I was immobilized because of my illness. Like: cleaning my home, doing the week-long gathered dishes (I kid you not!), bring grocery shopping and, so important, doing so in love and understanding. Another friend took me in for three weeks and I became part of her family, so I didn’t have to take care of myself but could focus on getting myself back on my feet.
It blows me away that there are people who care enough about me that they visited me from the Netherlands when I lived in the States and took me on holiday. My bipolar was flaring up, but it bothered me more than it bothered them. I can’t wrap my head around it, peeps, I just plain and simply can’t.
I know this also reveals an awful lot about me and how I feel about myself… But listen up, you can’t earn friendship or make it happen. It’s not something that let’s itself be forced. A friendship needs nurturing, love, acceptance, endurance, patience and a whole host of other things.
I am grateful for those handful of people who walked into my life and decided to stay and hang out with me for all those years (in between 18 – 26).
Also, I love to make new friendships, something that just happens while living my life.
The only prerequisite? Be open, loving and accepting of people, be yourself as you let others be and soon enough you’ll find the one’s it really clicks with!
Thank you, all my dear and precious friends, thank you! You’ll never really know how much you mean to me – there is just no way to express it… no matter how hard I try!
So, to all my friends, however long I know you: