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Tough Times and Friendship

I seem to be always apologising on this blog, generally for my lack of time to post – the last 5 years has been some of the most hectic in my life. From meeting my (now) wife, battles with Cancer to getting married and moving house… All back to back.

Life has been pretty tough again for the start of this year (I’m not ready to go into that one just yet) and I’ll be honest I haven’t felt the inclination to post much, I have the attention span of a goldfish and the temperament of an emotional rottweiler (not sure if I’m going to bite or hide in a corner!). I’ve taken sustained stress for the last couple of years and it’s all finally come to a head with my anxiety attacks spiraling and my brain feeling a bit mushy – I’m told it’s stress.

I’m lucky I have the support of a fantastic wife and family who I couldn’t have got through the last couple of years without. I would expect nothing less, but even they manage to surprise me some days.

Friends are a different story, it’s amazing what times like this can do to your friendships….

Some friends are steadfastly strong, wonderful people who do wonderful things without even realising it, even reading this they may not realise it’s them I’m talking about – but they really are superb. It’s a shame that these type of friends are so few and far between. I’ll never know how to really thank them.

Other people step up to the mark, you may have worked with them for a long time, or just be acquaintances. Without realising it there’s some kind of friendship there – and when troubled times arrive they really step up to the mark, surprise you and go on to remain close friends.

The above two groups of people are the people that matter to me, and I care about them deeply.

The third group is a far more worrying one, and one that has probably hurt me the most (again they probably don’t even realise they’re doing it and will probably read this and sit there saying “that’s not me – it can’t be!”) – it’s the group that either don’t understand, or don’t care.

I don’t say that lightly, they may not care because they have other priorities in their life, they may not understand the situation you are in or may even not know what to say (that’s one I saw a lot of during Cancer). No matter how much you prepare yourself for the fact that people can be like this it can really, really hurt when you’re already at rock bottom. What makes it even worse is you can be so low you don’t realise what they’re doing to you. If it’s that they don’t understand they should educate themselves (or allow you to educate them), if it’s that they don’t know what to say I often find opening the mouth and starting talking helps, if it’s that they have other priorities in life they should let you know.

I have no further advice for this last group of these people unfortunately, talking is the best and really only option and if you really can’t do that – let’s be honest do you even have a friendship or are they just acquaintances or colleagues now?

This entry was posted on Tuesday, February 17th, 2009 at 3:17 pm and is filed under Personal Diary. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

Comments (4)


  1. Kate says:

    Difficult one this – all people have their own priorities (you and me included) and sometimes its difficult to see further than those priorities – the thing about true friendship is that it is unselfish. As one of your greatest friends I will do everything in my power to drop everything if and when you need me – the old phrase ‘I’ll be there for you – ‘cos you’re there for me too.’ Its a two way thing. Sadly, during my life I have had to ‘walk away’ from many ‘friendships’ where people took me for granted and used my good nature to further their own ends without giving anything back when it became necessary.
    I don’t miss those people at all or their ability to hurt me. Some times you just have to step back and see things from a distance to work them out.

    Kates last blog post..A Microwave Nightmare

  2. My heart went out to you my friend, reading your blog.

    As someone who suffered from anxiety disorders and even depression for over 13 years, you may find this site of some help to you anxiety therapy

    It was my saviour, literally. No pills, no potions, and no visits to anyone – best of luck – Anxiety Therapy – certainly worked for me.

    All the best.

  3. Keiron says:

    I’m doing a lot of stepping back at the minute to see things more clearly!

    I purchased Joe’s book myself actually sometime ago and “Panic Away” is very good it just wasn’t a complete solution for me

  4. Devid.H says:

    Great article, thanks for share

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