I need your help.
Circumstances of late have caused and allowed me to reflect on my life.
Of course, the dark days of depression will always be a constant.
Last year, I was asked to present on my journey at a local “Let’s Walk and Talk” event in memorial of some men who died by suicide.
As I spoke I wanted to mention the length of time darkness ruled my life. Doing the math in my head, the number struck and I said it out loud – 16 years. I was even a bit overwhelmed by that number. The audience gave a collective “oh my” reaction.
After years of support and understanding from my immediate family; two years of weekly therapy; and help from two friends, I was able to get on a path to good health. I wanted to get well too. We all worked hard with that common goal. It took years.
I now consider myself healthy and happy. But…..
I became quite active volunteering with several mental health groups. I helped in the kitchen preparing meals with one group. I was invited to serve on the Boards of Directors of two others.
I have presented on my journey at universities, corporate, and other local events. I have been part of the mental health training for the local police service the last 5 years.
I was even offered and accepted a position with the Canadian Mental Health Association where I stayed for two years. Hey, I got paid!
I hadn’t worked since my breakdown, eight years prior. I wondered if I could function in an office environment, and whether I could make good decisions and exercise solid judgment. It took a few months, but I learned I could function again!
A couple of years ago, I met a wonderful woman, who was quite active, she is a runner and biker. So I thought it then important to get more physically fit, to match my mental fitness (and to try to keep up with her!). I joined the local YMCA. I am no athlete but I did enjoy going. The physical activity added to my good mental health too. I felt a sense of comfort in that I was taking steps to get healthier, especially as I get older.
This past winter, I was fortunate to have spent time with another woman – yes, I am ‘re-learning’ how to talk with women. That’s a topic for another blog perhaps! I have referred to her as “ the special one” in a few prior blogs. She is such an incredible woman. I would often look at her and wonder why is she with me? I was able to gain such additional self-confidence and self worth. But she is gone now. We knew it would end as she was in Canada for set period of time. She has since returned to London. But we grabbed onto those special moments together.
So when I set out this blog in my mind over the last week, I realized how active and involved I have been. It took great effort and patience though to get out of my room. I spent years isolated.
I have met lots of people, locally, provincially, and beyond. Such interesting people.
When I meet them at a conference or meeting, we have a great conversation.
Some friends are strictly online. That has been good, but troubling at times in converting that to time together in the real world. The online friends are important to me – I do not mean to diminish that.
But…..I have not made any real friends. I have no one call me…or text me. I do not go out for lunch or dinner. I have no one to discuss regular topics.
Please note though I have a wonderful life, I am happy, healthy, I have resources and means to live and travel
I read a lot. I watch Netflix. I just finished watching Line of Duty, rather good, intense, though it brought back some rough memories. I stay physically active. I laugh and enjoy my solo life.
But real friendship has alluded me.
I am in no way complaining here but merely looking for some ideas from all of you!
Perhaps I am the problem. I seem to be the common element.
So what do I do? What suggestions do you have for me?
I am ok by myself….mostly.
Hmmm, I have had the same issue with friendships and the best advice I can offer is not to rush things, I feel that may frighten some people. I am very lucky that I have two very close friends but it has taken three years to get to the place we are now where I feel like I can truly be myself and it will not freak them out. I wish all the best for you and enjoyed reading your blog. (^_^)
I can empathize with this problem. I have no actual friends or buddies. If it wasn’t for my amazing wife and newborn daughter, I would spend all my free time alone. I love my family dearly, but it would be nice to have some friends just to hang out and chill with. They are what keep my depression and loneliness at bay. I am scared to even imagine how sad and worse off I would be if they were not in my life. I am truly blessed to have them.
I wish I had some solution for you(and myself). I’ve tried medication and counseling, but they didn’t help. It meant a lot to read your story. Thank you for sharing it.
Wow I’m not the only one. Don’t know how to make good friends often chose the worst relationship to develop. It’s not healthy but its comfortable. I keep trying and I’m more aware of what I do. I’m slowly moving from unhealthy to healthy