Living with a painful chronic illness is hard for me, as you can imagine, but I have never let a friend down even during a painful flare or when I´m at my worst, or during times of other stresses in my life, including work. To me, this is one very basic and important thing in life, just to be there for my friends when I´m needed, dropping everything I am doing if necessary( and/or possible) at any given time, even if it involves something physical but still within my limits (I have helped a friend move house, for example).
When I am asked to help out, or to lend moral support in times of emotional upset, I am always there, even if I can only help a little bit – but the point is, I am there for my friends. Hell, I´m even there for other people whom I don´t know or only know superficially – for example, last night and today I have been helping a neighbour trying to find her lost dog, so I went to the Guardia Civil for her and printed off posters and put a post about her missing dog on Facebook – she didn´t ask for all this, but she doesn´t need to. I simply do those things because they are in my power to help out.
Sadly, I have recently found out, the same doesn´t apply the other way round when it comes to my friends. Recently, I have actually had more kind acts bestowed on me by total strangers than by my friends.
I totally respect and do understand that people have their own crap in their lives, plus their work commitments – but well, so do I. And it´s not that I ask for help or advice often (is once or twice a year too much to ask?), so when I do, I don´t think it´s unreasonable that one or other of my friends could possibly be there for me to ease me through a really bad day, or when I have a problem that I can´t solve alone and I need some pointers.
The last couple of times I have needed help (one time was really bad and I was on the verge of being suicidal), it was like I had to make an appointment with either of my two “best friends” first before they would even talk to me. Both of them refuse using the phone unless I ask them, “can I call you?”, so the only way to talk to either of them is by email. This is very “convenient” because emails can be ignored or not checked regularly, and I don´t get a reply until the next day. When a problem arises in life, especially something acute and emotional, having to make an appointment with your friend or getting an email reply not until the next day, are the last things you need because you really wish to see someone at least on the same day.
So…. I am trying really hard to change my own attitude and not bother and care too much about letting my friends down when they are in dire need to talk to someone or whatever else they would like from me, just like I have been let down in recent times – but I might as well have my DNA changed, because being there for people is in my blood somehow, and I couldn´t be any different even if I tried. But I´ll keep trying anyway.
I wish I was less human, or actually, maybe I should wish to be more human. Because being human seems to all be about being self-centered, uncaring and not taking out even a small amount of time to help a friend when he or she is in need…
P.S.: I don´t really care if my “friends” (yes, that´s right, it´s in inverted commas) read this and whatever they think – please feel free to comment if you are reading this – because I have been wanting to get this off my chest for a long time now.