EDIT- Please ignore the things I said below about friend’s partner not being abusive. A few months ago I interacted with him for the first time in ages, he came with me and friend to go for coffee. He is definetly abusive. I was right to suspect but had been lulled by such a long time of not interacting with him. 😦 I am supporting my friend as best I can, but I am also in a very bad place and have very little to give. The situation is shitty all round. Please think of us.
CW- drug mention, slight mention of disordered eating (though not through eating disorder it still might trigger).
Yesterday I went to see an old friend from uni. I was really nervous about it but it turned out to be the best day ever. It’s weird when you spend so much time feeling weird nothingness and periods of down-ness (only way to say it really), suddenly a happy thing happening makes you go SUPER happy and filled with energy and love.
I love my friend so much. We went to an amazing Italian sandwich bar and they bought me a panini and coffee and a brownie, and when I thanked them profusely they said ‘it’s because you’re one of my best friends dude, if we were just sort of friends then we’d split the bill’. XD And my worries of us not being best friends any more just disappeared.
And I met my friends new dog (well its their partner’s dog too, also the dog is not that new as in she’s actually an elderly rescue dog) and she was the cutest lil puppers ever! I had so many anxieties going into this and one was what if the dog is jumpy and yappy (small dog worries) or just smells bad…but no, no smell, plus best behaved dog other than a tiny bit of pulling on the lead. No barking, no jumping up. Loves being petted by new people. (me 🙂 ) Yes I petted that dog for a good long time and talked to her and called her silly pet names. Hey I have to get it out of my system as my last gerbils has recently died and I have no furry person to talk to at home. I love animals.
I think they got the dog for my friend’s partner who has a lot of mental health problems. (as does my friend, and me.) Partner has, in the past, been my friend, but then we drifted apart when we stopped being at the same uni, plus I was concerned with how he was treating my friend. He lives in the flat my friend owns, and he is a foreign national with no family in this country and his family in his own country is pretty fucked up from what I know. So basically he depends on my friend for a lot, which made me worry at the time because I was scared he would become abusive, or my friend would not want to ever break up with him due to the bad situation it would leave him in. My friend would seem down, say they had become his carer more than his partner, say that he forbad them to knit because his hearing sensitivies made the sound of the clicking needles unbearable (my friend loves to knit and there’s so many workarounds that don’t involve A Ban), and things like that. I was…worried about their situation, to say the least.
But looking at things now, I can see that they are both managing. Partner is apparently self-medicating with weed and mushrooms, but my friend told me they make him calm and able to sleep. They did not seem concerned at all, and my friend has always been a big believer in doing what you have to do to get by. Whether its weed or drinking or eating cake. It’s a calming thought, weirdly. I work in a health sector and the messages about healthy living, sugar tax and exercising and stuff, are starting to give me a low level of anxiety about my body. I know I don’t exercise enough and don’t get enough fruit and veg, but those things are all stressful in their own ways and there are too many constraints right now. (No time or energy for exercise, and with fruit and veg there’s only a few kinds I can have before I run into ones that need to be washed, cored, chopped and/or cooked, and all of those things are a big barrier for me right now. It would involve too much hand-washing and cleaning, and to be honest it’s stressful just thinking about it. These days I eat tinned fruit, frozen peas, tinned tomatoes, and fruit like bananas and satsumas that have a solid skin, as well as sometimes fresh apples, grapes and tomatoes. Those are all ok, anything else is too much.) Sometimes I’m fed up with the messages seeping in, when going through days without sinking into self loathing sometimes feels too hard even without these extra worries.
My friend said that sometimes partner will do things like taking mushrooms and then petting the dog for hours on end. I think if my boyfriend did things like that I wouldn’t like it, I wouldn’t like him to take things that made him different from himself. I asked my friend though and they seem happy with the situation. Like things seem calmer, quieter and more settled in their place, and they each have their own space to call their own which they definetly need. I feel like my worries are, for now, set to rest. My friend is not some indestructable powerhouse but they are very strong in some ways. And their relationship may seem one sided in some ways but I never got the sense that my friend is unhappy or needing more support from their partner. It’s worth remembering that not all relationships can be an exactly equal give and take, and in practise that is probaby quite unusual as everyone has different degrees of need. The trick is making it work in a way that suits the people in the relationship, and if you can do that then no one else matters.
Another thing I appreciate about my friend was their acceptance of my germ problems. I’d say something like ‘I can’t touch food with my hands’ and they’d just nod and say ‘that’s fine.’ No interrogation or trying to logic around it like some people do. I think I have changed too since we last hung out any serious amount. My germ problems have got to a worse level, unfortunately, and my overally mood is lower, but I am also calmer, less stressed and less snappy. I used to be quite impatient with my friend sometimes. I tried to bring up my snappy behaviour during some time we spent together (a uni residential in another country) but my friend didn’t even remember it. As is so often the way. ^^ I apologised anyway though.
We walked, they showed me the sights, and then we went back to the flat and played a few video games, just some nice calm ones. And then they saw me off with a huge hug and a promise to see each other again soon. I miss them so much now. It’s weird because I was dreading the trip because social situations with anyone except my boyfriend are so hard for me. Now it seems like I have two people who can be on the ‘not hard’ list and that is honestly so wonderful. I nearly fell asleep at work today I was so tired but I felt so full of love still. I don’t know how to describe the feeling of spending a good day with a friend, or something else that happened to me back at new years where I met a girl and we nerded out about Death Note for about an hour. Sometimes I don’t know the difference between romantic love and friendship love, to me they are both equally powerful, and with a similar need to touch and hold somebody close. I don’t know. Maybe it’s that it reminds me that I exist outside of my boring job, that it doesn’t define me, that I’m still that excited and joyful person I used to get to be more often. I feel happy just writing this. These powerful positive emotions are strange because they come alongside the usual negativity I feel all the time, so they interact in a feeling of dizzy happiness along with a fear that I will ruin it. But for now I’m trying to just enjoy the feeling, and write it down so I can remember it forever.