As I’ve stated elsewhere, I don’t have a lot of friends. If you were to look on my Facebook friends list, you’d see 83 friends, as of this writing. That sounds like a lot, but when you stack that against an allowed total of 5,000, it’s minuscule.
Of course, the quality of friendship is the most important aspect to counting a person as “friend.” At least to me. I’d rather have 7 close friends than 500 acquaintances.
Being a good friend is something I’ve struggled with. I think, in large part, to my struggles with mental health. My own paranoia, depression, general anxiety, and (I’d like to think) low-grade narcissism often get in the way of my becoming close friends with anyone, save those with whom I’ve been acquainted with for many years.
So it comes as no great shock to me when one friend or another gets irritated with me for not being there for them in their time of need. I am too much in my head to stop and help others. Don’t get me wrong, I would help were I able, of course. I just can’t get out of my own way in order to help. This makes me a bad friend.
I make no apologies for this because I cannot help others if I am not in a position to help myself. In order for me to help anyone, I have to offer that help from a position of strength.
Still, I try to, at the least, listen if a friend is having difficulties. My tendency is to offer advice, but, in most cases, simply listening is the one thing people in distress really want. This is cathartic and helps the person feel like someone cares. And I do care.
Sometimes the only thing I can do is listen. I don’t have the means to do much, if anything, else. I can’t solve the problem for them. All I can do is listen.
I’ll be the first to admit I don’t always succeed at even listening. I’m human. I screw up. All I can do is apologize and hope I don’t screw up in the future.
So if you’ve needed or asked for help from me in the past, and I didn’t provide it, I’m sorry. Life is hard and I’d doing the best I can.