Monday, January 23, 2012

The Value of Friends

Last week I had lengthy conversations with two different friends. My friend Monica I met when I was 19 and she was older, married with 4 children. We worked together. She has ALWAYS been there for me....through cancer, heart surgery etc. It's been mutual as I have always tried to be there for her, as when her husband died. Speaking to her is like getting a deposit in my emotional bank account. She builds me up and encourages me. We talk about her problems but she doesn't dwell on them. She's a good friend who lifts me up.
Last week I also had a conversation with a friend I'll call J. She had just gotten back from a vacation (which she was treated to by her mother who she is always complaining about.) She called and launched into a tirade of how she had played tennis and fallen and her injuries were inconvenient. (These were minor injuries.) She went on and on. I was silent for a long time and then she said "And how are you?" I paused a few minutes before telling her that it has been five years since I have had a vacation. I told her that she really needed to stop dwelling on the minor stuff and focusing on the big stuff. This friend has been calling and when we hang up I am emotionally drained after listening to her. She is dragging me down, not lifting me up.
I have made up my mind that at this time in my life I can't allow people to do that to me. I am fighting a rare and fatal illness that some people manage to battle for twenty years. Others don't do well. I can't help but wonder how the mind contributes to this. We only have so much emotional energy. When it is used up in a negative manner, it's gone. There's none left for the positive thoughts or the strength on a bad day to get through it knowing another good day is on the horizon. Life is all about choices. In the past I was willing to make choices that were not good for me in order to be the friend some people needed. I am not responsible for the needs of my friends, nor are they responsible for mine. I do however require that they are considerate of me enough not to use me to dump on. I don't deserve it and I won't accept it.



Please don't let ANYBODY drag you DOWN. I have a tendency to let people do it to me, too and it is really a burden to bear. I have found that POSITIVE thinking really makes a difference in my life. Mind over matter works. You hit the nail on the head when you said, "I am not responsible for the needs of my friends... I do however require that they are considerate of me enough NOT to use me to dump on. I don't deserve it and I won't accept it." GOOD for you. Now stick to your guns on this one and move forward. You will feel so much better. I cut myself off from a TOXIC friend and it was the best thing I ever did. Embrace and enjoy the company of the friend who LIFTS you up. Take care.

Judith HeartSong said...

Uplifting and positive people support you and care about you..... and you are one amazing woman!!! Hang in there:):):)

Virginia said...

Kudos that you take care of yourself first! Its always astonishing when people who have more, have no grace around someone who has less.

You have always had a kind word for me, no matter what you have been dealing with. You are a tremendously good person.