How many friends do you really have? I don’t mean Facebook Friends, Twitter Followers, Google+ Circles or the like. I mean real friends. The type of friends that you feel so comfortable with, you can share the 100% No Holds Barred, Good, The Bad and The Ugly Truth about yourself with. I ask this because I’ve only recently realized that Recovery is impossible without Friends.
Now don’t give me that look. Hey! I saw that! No facepalms allowed!
Seriously though. I only recently realized the importance and what it means to have real friends.
The last honest friend I had, has to be over 23 years ago. We did everything together. We played games. We took my 80cc Honda Elite scooter up into the Angeles Mountains. We even dared to Rollerblade the Westside Pavillion’s spiral of death!
But the one thing I never shared with him was the real me. I never shared with him how nervous and trapped I felt while we were roommates. And I never shared how depressed and lonely I felt.
Strange, but looking back on it now, I would have to say that I wasn’t a very good friend. Not only that, I’d have to say that even today I’m only now learning what it means to be a good friend.
See, here’s the thing. I don’t think we know what a good friend is until we’re willing to trust someone enough to share our deepest, darkest, ickiest, gooiest thoughts and emotions.
I also don’t think one can truly have recovery without such a friend.
But like everything too good, there’s a catch.
See, not only do we need to be willing to share everything about ourselves; we also need to be willing to listen and accept our friends with their warts, scars and all.
Our friends need to feel just as comfortable sharing their psychological and/or physical battles with us as we are with them.
Think about it. How many times do we introduce someone as our friend but in reality they really don’t know much about us. Sure, they might know we like triple shot, soy whip, caramel swirl mochacinos. But do they know that it takes every bit of our strength and will just to take a shower sometimes?
Do they know that the reason we don’t ever want to do anything isn’t really because we’re busy, but it’s because we’re fighting back the tears of depression?
Do they know that the reason we’re never spontaneous is because spontaneity scares the crap out of us?
If you’re like me then the answer to all of these is no. I never used to share that side of me.
Heck! I still find it EXTREMELY DIFFICULT!
Luckily, I recently made some friends. We’ve gone on hikes, had coffee and even movie nights. But more importantly we share.
We share the good and the bad. And believe it or not, we even share our green, drippy, snot booger creating emotional challenges as well.
And I firmly believe that our openness and willingness to share the good and the bad is why we’ve all come so far along the road of recovery. Because when I look back at what significant changes I have made in my recovery besides meds, therapy and going to groups, the only real significant change has been the making of real friends.
And because of that fact, I firmly believe that without friends, recovery is impossible.