"Old" friends, mental health, and identity
I've been a terrible friend in the past year. I have deliberately not responded to dozens of messages, and deliberately not even opened dozens more. I just got to a point of being so burnt out and overwhelmed that I had no emotional or mental energy to share anymore.
I had a message sitting in my inbox for the last two days and decided to open it tonight. It was from someone I was fairly close to about five years ago. He was letting me know that he and his fiancée were finally reunited in the same country and getting married. The wedding was going to be a few hours from when I opened the message (on the other side of the world) and I was invited to join their celebration via video link.
I started having an anxiety attack thinking about it, thinking about who I am, about who I'm not, about how I have failed and am failing and continue to fail. And anything to do with weddings is a trigger these days, anyway.
I can lie to him and say that it was late and I fell asleep - reasonable enough - but I can't tell him the real reason.
And this is why I keep failing as a friend. Even in these greatest moments of someone's life.
I learned as a child that, "If you don't have anything nice to say, then don't say anything at all," and I don't think I've had anything positive to say in years at this point so I've just stopped talking. I can only excuse myself so many times before it just seems that there is none of *me* left, buried under all the apologies. So I stop even making the apologies to release a bit of the weight and I pretend it doesn't matter that I'm missing all the births, deaths, and marriages, because, what do I have to offer anyway?
I'm a shell of myself and I don't think an old friend would even recognize me anymore. Who am I if I'm not even a good friend?