Sure, You’ll Lose Some People; but Real Friends? Nah, You’ll Never Lose Those

Someone I’ve known for a bit over fourteen years just became the director of the not for profit organization, where she has worked since we both left the military. She invited me to a party that will celebrate the accomplishment. I called her with my congratulations, told her how thrilled I was for her… and apologized because I won’t be able to make it; the trip would be too hard on my back.

A few days after the conversation took place, she emailed me. Her one thousand and sixteen word message started with, “I intend no offense, but…” Most of the text explained that she was “disappointed in both of us. We both should’ve fought harder for our friendship,” she said, and closed the email with, “I don’t want to hurt you, but friends tell each other the truth. If you let your being ill rule everything you do you’ll find yourself without friends.”

I’m sharing this because a very young Wicked Darling—wave at her, she’s probably reading this post—was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease not that long ago. Her symptoms are severe. Her dietary requirements make my eating restrictions seem like a joke. She is yet to figure out a way to eat out with her friends, which doesn’t cause her enough anxiety to murder her appetite. She can’t drink alcohol, and most of her friends socialize around a drink or three… so things tend to get tense when going to the bar or club comes into the equation.

“I don’t know what to do,” she said, tears wetting her words. “I will lose all my friends.”

“No, you won’t,” I told her. “Sure, you’ll lose some people; but real friends? Nah, you’ll never lose those.”

I can speak of this with some authority. I’ve lost many people in my nearly four decades of sexiness (and extreme modesty *cough*). Not because I’ve done something wrong; not because they were selfish bastards; but because certain relationships die when we can no longer nourish them in the way we used to.

And it’s quite all right to mourn these losses… for a short time. Then we must move on.

The world is full of acquaintanceships brought together by common interests. Friendships are rarer and much more complex; they are nurtured by a mutual understanding of life and living, shared by individuals who attend The Party of Each Other’s Lives for more than food or booze.

Would you care to share your thoughts on this matter, my Wicked Luvs?

Embrace the Moment, by Gina Morley“Embrace the Moment”, by Gina Morley

This is part of Gina’s description of her painting and creative process (and my reason for choosing it for this post): “Magaly likes ‘dark and sexy’… and dancing 😀 I used dictionary pages, containing words such as ‘dark’, ‘dancing’, ‘light’, ‘sincere’ you get the idea 😀 I used red and yellow (plus the blue of my hand[prints]) because Magaly is an intensely primal being, so primary colours… I believe she would also admit to being a very ‘fiery’ faerie 😀 so red and yellow also represent the flames of her passionate nature… then a layer of black glaze… cos she likes the darkside 😀 Looks a bit pink here, but it is red acrylic let down with glazing medium… and the grey area is iridescent paint that shimmers when you walk by… just like Magaly 😀 I was going to call it ‘Dancing in the Dark’, but felt ‘Embrace the Moment’ suited it better for now”. Visit Daydream Believer to read the complete post.

53 thoughts on “Sure, You’ll Lose Some People; but Real Friends? Nah, You’ll Never Lose Those

  1. Wow, that sucks. It is true, some relationships are not meant to last a lifetime, but I sure think friends need to make some effort to understand, really. Recently I had to explain to a friend (of ten years) why I don’t like being touched and was met with, “Well, but sexual abuse is not an excuse for everything!” Needless to say that friendship is on probation, and it will probably take some time for me to trust that person with anything personal again … – but on a lighter note, real friends are those who have seen us at our most wrong and out most ridiculous and who still like us. And you won’t get rid of those by dietary restrictions … Good luck to everyone involved!

    • The idea of you having to explain yourself about the terribly effects of sexual abuse to a “friend” makes me a little sick… And it leaves me wanting to smack that person on the back of the head.

  2. After reading this, all I can think of is “Wow, what a spoiled little princess.” Hopefully her new job might help her grow up one day.

    *Hugs* to you my classy, witchy friend.

  3. Absolutely agree. These past weeks when I was terrified of every non-diagnosis, unsure if I was going to have to be thinking about food every minute of the day instead of just eating whatever, whenever, and also not interested in sharing with everyone the detailed steps of testing I was going through – I shared a post on Facebook with a select few of my closest friends, asking them to “rage with me,” assuming my closest friends would recognize the underlying anxiety, fear, anger at something I can’t control, etc. Mostly they did. And then I found out that one “friend” was surprised and upset that I had been invited for a night out and said that “all Esther wants to do these days is rage.” Thankfully I found out she said this after she had already left for the evening so I couldn’t *actually* punch her in the gut. So now when I know that until the next check-in with my doctors I can eat whatever I want, I am so uninclined to tell her. I’m kind of toying with the idea of pretending to still have those restrictions next time we hang out, just to annoy her…

  4. There is a saying from my Classic generation, ” if you can can count your friends on one hand before you die, you are a very fortunate person”
    ” Friendship” this meaning dilutes every decade. Like any relationship it is what you but into it!
    Yes it is a non- selfish activity. Give and take, and when that simple equation is unbalanced, stretched or tested, the willingness to extend what ever the human effort is what will determine
    The extent of the depth of friendship or any relationship.
    Stats prove my theory …marriage for example
    Add technology , in MY opinion, that is where ones intuition, is required.
    Your situation is unfortunate, but common, these days. I feel badly as everything has a monetary cost attached. Ouch! but it pains me , but true.

    My virtual friend list is small and I intend to continue having that way! I find joy , challenge and inspiration in those I am fortunate to have found, Some are sentimental . My life has more episodes of disappointment than wanted. In reality, I am reclus and content being so. Drama
    is a disease I run from, my life has used up ALL tolerance for un- necessary dramatic turmoil .

    Seasons change, and so do we! hopefully. Your life has changed even during the time I have observed. Be gentle with the past, joyful in the present! The future is a challenging human experience!
    Wish your past friend all the best, remember the good and hug your present!
    More Coffee! xoDebi

  5. Wholeheartedly agree. The hardest thing for me to grasp was the concept that people do what they do for THEIR reasons, rarely to intentionally hurt me. And if it WAS intentional, then I’m glad they are gone because I deserve to have real friends that treat me the way I treat them. It sucks when someone dumps me as a friend for a crap reason, but I’ve come to realize that it’s their crap reason and they are welcome to it. I’ve had a string of bad luck when it came to religious leaders in my life, people who portray themselves as above pettiness and ego needs, and my falling-outs with them have revealed them to be horrible people. It’s taken me a long time to realize that it’s MY feelings about MYSELF that really count! So let me close by saying the thing that I admire and envy so much about Magaly is her sense of self and self-love which never seems to morph into egomania. 🙂

  6. Yeah. Because those of us who live with chronic health issues SO love missing out on stuff. The “special attention” we get (still waiting on mine; must’ve gotten lost in the mail) is soooo much more gratifying than, you know, actually getting out and participating in life when we want to, as opposed to having to work everything around our health, abilities, and the lack thereof.

  7. Ah, friendship!

    Many have come and go over the years, and I completely agree, people grow apart for a reason. I’ve lost touch with many people because we no longer have things in common.

    I spend time with my family, my daughter, and my partner. These, to me, are true friendships. I have just one person outside my family who I would truly call a friend, and of course, there are my virtual friends in the blog world, who make me smile and laugh on a daily basis.

    I once had a friend with Crohn’s Disease and know how awful it is. My heart goes out to your dear friend and of course, to you. Sending virtual (((hugs))). ♥

  8. It is true that people come and go in our lives…there are usually reasons why…either to teach us something, support us in some way during our trials, or perhaps we are to do these things for them…anyway, it’s okay to lose people to time just as it is okay to lose them to death…it’s sad and can leave a hole, but we live on and mourn…

  9. If ‘friends’ can’t be accomodating or willing to try something out of their norm, then they are truly not friends… I have lost what I thought were friends, after my husband was killed.. Try that one one for size… yep, you wouldn’t believe how some fled…I remember one time a gal knew I overheard talk of her having a dinner party.. She pulled me aside and said ” I would of invited you, but you would of thrown the numbers off at the table’… meaning, there would of been an odd count.. and for me, I was too shocked to react w/a smartass comment.. No loss, she was considered a bitch by others as well as demanding of anyone and everyone.. Today she is divorced… I’ve also known people who don’t understand that a sleeping baby does better sleeping in their own bed..
    To the ones who aren’t or can’t seem to understand someone’s diet restrictions, or their physical limitations, then it shows either their lack of/self centered ness.. or what is obvious is that they don’t think nor care. I must be rare because I seem to think of others before myself… gee, am I stupid? or a fool?.. I guess to the self centered, I’m a stupid fool. (LOL)

  10. I can truly relate on that one. I JUST lost my best friend since 3rd grade because we (Alan & I) social status anymore. I’m not for sure what caused it because she won’t talk to me. But my feelings on what it or they are are just as childish as your friends was.

    Your disorder is a hard one to figure out and control and many don’t understand it. We here deal with people outing us out of things and not understanding when we say sorry we can’t do to the boy’s mental disorders. I know people that don’t live or been around such problems don’t understand and think it’s just an excuse but not. Even “just find a babysitter ” saying is hard to exsplain that to is hard to find someone that would or could take them.

    But really people do forget there are others that have to sacrifice the things we want for the things that we need to do. If we don’t fit in their perfect little friend box then they can go without us or learn to adjust to our box that we live in. Nothing is just about one sided or one person. Is like and relationship. You give at times and take on others. That’s why I keep my circle small. Many don’t understand or unwilling to do so for others anymore.

    • You’ve described one of the things I like most about blogging (and maintaining a social community). We get to meet so many people, from so many different walks of life… that we are exposed to all kinds of experiences. In theory, this should make us more open to other people’s issues… But some individuals just never learn. And that’s very sad.

  11. There’s a sting in this, even when it comes to friendships that wither away just because some external factors shift causing things to be harder, or even simply more inconvenient, than they were before. But yes, the real ones, they stay. They stay through crazy child rearing adventures, through medical problems, through distance, through time even. They’re the ones ready to deal with your crazy as much as you are ready to deal with theirs, with a joke and a smile to spare. Those people are awesome. 🙂

  12. *picking my jaw up from the desk top it just hit!!!* This person is supposed to be a caring soul(would assume it is a necessary requirement for such a post). She should be thoroughly ashamed of her self-centred attitude. Surely she should be grateful that you will not be there to steal her lime-light. If she feels snubbed…it is all in her head and heart, and there is nothing we can do to stop her feeling this. Does make me wonder why she wanted you there …. I don’t believe it would be in your best interest physically or emotionally.
    *is happy my at can help* 😀 XXX

  13. True friends of the heart are with you always. Especially through life’s difficulties and adjustments. They understand when friends cannot join them at events due to health limitations or other issues (work, income, comfort level, etc.) Not every one measures up.

  14. Life can surprise you. A friendship that I thought had ended over 40 years ago, has, in the past couple of years, been revived – much to our mutual delight.

  15. Friends do come and go during your lifetime that is natural as people move in different directions, not everyone we call friends though deserve the title. It is when life goes through difficult times including times of illness that we actually find out who our true friends are and sadly they are frequently not the ones we are first to call such. Sometimes it’s the strangers who suddenly come into our lives that show us more kindness and understanding when we need it than those we’ve called friends for a lifetime.

  16. I am sorry that she was so insensitive. It truly is her loss. The sad truth is that we all age. She may be in fine health now, but the day may come when she can’t do the things she once could, either. The lesson will come, just too late for your friendship. Because of the many times we have moved, the ups and downs of our economic status, constraints of free time because of jobs with unusual hours, well, let’s just say I could fill a book with friends that have dropped off the radar. It stings at first and then you start to look back and see other signs. We have a small group of friends that have been with us through thick and thin. I have now added wonderful on-line friends. I just grieve and try to move on. Hugs!

    • I never realized that changes in economic status could have such negative effect certain relationships. I guess it makes perfect sense; the stress produced by our perception of need can be more than overwhelming… It still makes me sad when I think how money can push people so far away from each other… when they need each other the most.

  17. Huh…that was an awfully wordy justification she sent you. It also demonstrates little comprehension of chronic pain. She, for one, certainly isn’t interested in deepening a friendship. Dross falls aside, revealing how much brighter true friendships are.

  18. Well, you already know my feelings on “no offense”. Bleh!

    Over the years, I’ve thought a lot about the subject of this post. Like health issues, money also seems to strain relationships when one individual isn’t able to afford the social activities that their “friends” are enjoying. Basically, a lot of what is referred to as “friendship” is really just companionship in a joint activity. In the case of the “young Wicked Darling”, anyone who only wants her around to keep them company while they enjoy themselves in the manner of their choosing is not actually a friend, and ultimately, she’s better off without them. And as for your military acquaintance, while I can understand her disappointment that you aren’t able to be at her party, she clearly believes that her needs are more important than yours, so once again… not a true friend. I guess the silver lining of life’s sometimes awful challenges is that they tend to reveal the truly worthy human beings around us, as well as the unworthy ones.

  19. Just like gardens need to be weeded in order to thrive, our social connections need weeding as well. It’s sometimes painful at first, but we’ll thrive once we have room to breathe & grow, and only the wonderful supportive people who really are our friends surrounding us.

  20. Lots of wisdom here. People who are our friends in one way or another (because there are so many ways to love each other) love us, and if you love someone, you want the best for them, not yourself–that is the only test of love I have ever found to be accurate. The others, they may care a bit, but if the can’t see that what they are asking is damaging to you, then they are not friends in any way shape or form. Also, they don’t suspect you of lying and making excuses at the drop of a hat, just because they didn’t get the behavior from you they wanted. Friends are there for you, not just when they want something, but when *you* need something, even if it just some understanding. As Sharon so wisely says, it is truly their loss.

    • Right back at you, in the wisdom bit. All kinds of healthy friendships (platonic and romantic) grow best around the understanding that true love cares about the loved one, and protects him or her before protecting itself. If that isn’t the foundation of the relationship, then it will break as soon as it is stretched out of its comfort zone.

  21. I don’t think I would mourn this loss. At a time when you could not be there for her, she ditched you? Oh, honey, you didn’t lose a thing.

    Last I heard friendship was understanding and it went both ways.

    Love the art! Perfect for you , I think.

    Good days and great nights for you.

  22. What did Stephen King say? “Friends come and go through your lives like busboys in a restaurant.” But a handful are keepers that become family. 🙂
    I sympathize with you and your friend with Crohn’s and I agree that minor friendships wax and wane. When I quit smoking years and years ago, I lost all my smoking friends (no more smoke breaks), but suddenly there were new friends who had been avoiding the smoke smell. When I gave up alcohol (bad reactions to it), I lost my drinking and bar friends, but started gaining nerdy gamer friends with whom I feel more at home anyway. Now, with all my food allergies and sensitivities, I have to gracefully bow out of every work outing, party, or get together. If I can’t avoid a restaurant, I’ve become a master of ordering carefully and bird picking, or moving food around on my plate so it looks like I ate some of it. People never notice. As long as you cut things, dip things and occasionally put something up to your mouth, people will assume you ate. ;-p

  23. ‘post comment’, so now I will just say, quickly 😉 time does not, or should not, exist in friendship, whether a minute, a day, a decade, a time vortex where friends can make contact with another friend and both be assured of unquestioned mutual acceptance should exist, friendship also should not exist in any other ‘measured’ time aspects whether a mini text or a long chat over a a cuppa (or bottle of vino)…. It shouldn’t be reliant on social standing (BS) wealth, whether one has a partner (or not), where they live, what background, religion, sex (or preferences), talent, crap gotta hurry, it’s happening again, time out, oh and Gina’s visual delight was the perfect accompaniment to this post…. Gotta go…. Friend x

  24. Prequel, 4th attempt, I was trying to say each time I timed out when I hit ‘post comment’, now quickly go back in that time that doesn’t exist in friendships BUT DOES IN POSTING COMMENTS and read the rest of my comment that DID post 🙂

  25. I agree with everything you have said! In the past two years, well maybe 3, my life has been making great shifts! At this time, I have noticed, people who were “my friends” not around any more. And, other ones stronger. True friends will always be there! No matter what! Big Hugs ;o)

    • It’s all a dance, this thing we call living. We move around the ballroom, say goodbye to some, welcome others… and in our corner, there are always one or three who are always there. Spinning will happen…

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