From Your Friend Who 'Does' Friendship Differently
I am not a “good friend.”
I probably won’t call you much because I don’t hear well on the phone and my mind does not process verbal communication well unless I can see you. I can text, but I get overwhelmed easily if I get multiple texts or distractions. I don’t keep up with email very well either — again because I get overwhelmed with information so quickly.
I probably won’t visit you either. At night when most of you are available I get confused easily and I don’t see well in the dark. On weekends when most people are off work, I don’t like to go out because I get overwhelmed by crowds. You are welcome to come visit me, but you must know that I get tired quickly and may have to go take a nap or sit in another room. Fact is, being around people drains me just like running around the block several times might drain you. It is exhausting.
You see, I have bipolar disorder and chronic cluster headaches (a very rare and debilitating neurological disorder). I take lots of medication that fatigues me and does all kinds of other things to me which I can’t control. If I stop taking my medication, I get real sick, real fast. And besides all that, my world might be very different to yours. I see, hear and feel things differently. I often have such horrible pain I can’t even talk (yes, that is possible during a cluster headache). Sadly, this all means I am not a very good friend — in the traditional sense.
While you may not hear from me often or see me much at all, I am still thinking about you. I do care about you. When I feel well, I may send you a text or an email. I may write you a little note or send you a card. On very rare occasions when everything aligns the right way, you just might see me. We might meet for lunch. Like you probably, I love to eat. But more than anything, I cherish the memories of spending time with you.
So please don’t think I don’t care about you or value our friendship. I care about you very much and I am thrilled that we are friends. Please know if you ever need prayers or just warm thoughts, you have them from me. I just “do” friendships differently. It’s not about you, it’s about me.
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