Friends

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We had friends, my husband and I.  We moved to New Orleans from Texas–we always loved the city and after I had completed my master’s degree, we decided to leave everything behind in that West Texas town and move to the Big Easy.  We had an ongoing love affair with all things New Orleans from the moment we set foot in this place.  Things were jovial and we were ready for whatever life had to throw at us.  It was exhilarating and scary at the same time.  We were able to make a few friends when we first moved here and that provided great comfort and a social life for both of us.

We visited and partied with our friends constantly.  After all, New Orleans always has a party going on, even in the most dire of times.  Is it Wednesday?  Let’s celebrate!  A hurricane is coming?  I’ll grab some supplies and we can hunker down together.  We were taking this city by storm and having a fabulous time doing so.

Then, things were becoming stressful.  My husband was working the over-night shift at one of the hospitals here, so I would only see him in passing.  We still hung out with our friends, but I was quickly becoming stressed by not seeing my husband and was having a difficult time keeping a job.  I have been fired from more jobs than seems possible in the time we have lived here.  I used to chalk it up to my big Texan attitude, but have since realized it is something more.  Yet, we still maintained our friendships.  They didn’t judge–at least to our faces.

Little did I know, my mind was spiraling out of control.  I had just gotten a new job and was attacking it full force.  I was so proud of my new position and was dedicating all my time to learning more about the industry I was working in and trying to be the most creative, best employee they had ever hired.  I was also not sleeping.  I would work and do research and then stay up late watching ridiculous documentaries that would warp my mind.  Did you know that people with bipolar have a hard time sleeping?  (I think that sleep is also evasive for those who experience anxiety in general.)

That’s when I had my break.  I hadn’t been sleeping or eating and I was working out constantly in an effort to calm myself.  I was becoming a waif of a person and while I still thought I was fat, I looked like a skeleton.  I thought I was doing an excellent job for my new employer, but I had started to slip.  I wasn’t making sense and everything was running together.  I didn’t know if it was day or night, other than the sunlight or moonlight.  I wonder what I was really like looking in from the outside…

Our friends were trying to stick by me.  At this point, they fired me from my job for inconsistent behavior and that was within their right because I was still within the 90 day introductory period.  I didn’t realize I had been fired.  That was a Thursday.  I really lost my shit on Saturday.

I melted down and thought I might be dying.  That’s when my husband took me to the emergency room.  I was hospitalized.  Our friends stood beside us.  I got out of the hospital with a handful of medications to take.  Our friends stood by me, but I think they had started to question their involvement with us.  More drama happened.  I was sent back to Texas for about 5 months to recover.

When I came back, our friends were gone.  They had stayed in contact with my husband while I was on my sabbatical, but when I tried to contact them, they told me they didn’t have time to be bothered with me.  Even a couple of friends back in Texas walked away.  It was too uncomfortable for them, I suppose.

Long story short, I believe that the cream rises to the top.  If a friend can’t handle you at your worst, they have no business seeing you at your best.  So, it’s just my husband and myself living our life in the Big Easy.  It’s not so easy, but we have each other and I for one am a lot more hesitant when it comes to opening up to someone in real life.  I have to be.  I’ve worked too hard trying to regain my sanity to have fair-weather friends and my husband deserves a gold medal for sticking by my side as well.

We will make new friends.  It is just hard to make friends as an adult.  Hopefully, true friends are still out there to be had.  If not, I have the small few that have stuck around and have come to terms with the fact that those individuals that we called friends prior were never really our friends.  It hurts, but I have managed to move past those situations.

Have you ever lost a friend over a life changing event?  Have your friends stayed by your side through thick and thin?  Tell me in the comments!

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16 thoughts on “Friends

  1. I suffer from panic attacks and I can confirm that lots of people just can’t take it, which means, they are not your friends. You were particularly unlucky, I think, cause you were living in a new town etc… But don’t give up, good people still exist, and I’m sure that through your blog you will find a lot of support, which will make you feel better even though it’s “just online”.
    Just one thing: I hope you got a therapist and not only medications. For the first three years I was given medications but nobody talked to me about psychoanalysis, and not much changed… But psychoanalysis, which I started last year, is changing my life.
    Best wishes 🙂
    italianhurricane.wordpress.com

    • I am already taken aback by the amount of support I have received since starting this blog! To answer your question, I have done the psychoanalysis route and have yet to find a therapist that is as supportive as I need them to be. I’m going to start looking again, it’s just going to take time. Kind of like dating, I suppose…Thank you for the encouragement!

  2. People are scared of “unseen” illnesses because most of us don’t understand it. But yet so many people are affected. Good for you for writing about it, it’s a subject we need to discuss more openly.

    • We do need to discuss this more in the open. I think that so often people with mental illnesses are looked at as defective, when in actuality many can lead fairly normal lives with a little assistance from family, friends, and a good doctor.

  3. My husband of 30 years is bipolar & I can confirm that it is difficult to maintain friendships. At times it has been difficult to maintain relationships with our family. It’s so difficult, isn’t it? Well, now you have a forum and an opportunity to make new friendships. I’ll be following & sharing. Be positive!

  4. My comment was complementing your writing style, but I neglected to address your content. I, too, am fairly isolated from my community, in part by my choice. I find that socializing overstimulates and overwhelms me. Right now I am happy with my life with my husband and my son. Blogging, though, and at for a time local Meetup writers groups, brought me out of isolation. There is a true community of very supportive bipolar bloggers. Check out the BipolarBloggerNetwork.com for a start. There are other individuals not associated with the network, but they aggregate several blogs from around the world (English speaking).

  5. My heart breaks for you, empathy can be like that I guess. You have your husband, yes, but he can not be all that you need, that is too great a burden to ask of any one person to be sustainable for any length of time. They will come and you be slow to warm but eventually they will be there for you both, not just you but him as well.

    • Thank you. It’s a matter of putting myself out there to meet new people – it’s hard. I’ve become such a hermit in these past years that it is a fight for me to do anything. This blog is kind of my way of stepping out of the shadows again.

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