I know I have written previously about my friends, but I don’t know that there is really enough I can say about them. My closest friends have been by my side through everything I’ve been through and all I have put them through. There was no reason they had to do that; they could just as easily have cut their losses and gone the easier path. But they decided not to do so, because, well, they’re my friends.
Loyalty to my friends has always been one of my most important core beliefs. It is partially why I felt as bad as I did during my suicide attempts; I knew that I was both betraying my friends and letting them down as I did so, but because of the messed-up nature of my thoughts, I couldn’t see another way out, and I thought that, even with this betrayal, my friends would be better off without me. They, apparently, felt very differently.
After my first suicide attempt, I was pretty zoned out, on a combination of medication and frequent ECT treatments. But once I was out of the hospital, all of the people who, at that time, I considered to be close friends came to visit me, from across the country. They decided that I was important enough to them that it was worth a trip, dropping everything else, to come and visit me to find out how I was doing. I don’t remember those visits very clearly, but I do know that they happened, and I will always be grateful to those people who decided I was worth enough to them to make that kind of effort.
Some of my friends I met through Boy Scouts; others I met at college. All of them I felt extremely close to, and there is very little I would not do for them. I have shared things with them, and they with me, that few other people know; and while many of the things that have been secret in my past have come out either on this blog or in treatment, I will never reveal the things they have told me. The trust they placed in me sharing those things is something I hold sacred.
I wish I could write more about them; they are an amazing group of both men and women. They are all intelligent, caring, thoughtful people, even though there are times that some of them won’t admit it. They have chosen to trust me, and I love them for it. They have all had their hardships in life, and I have tried to be as good a friend to them as they have been to me. But I don’t want to reveal their identities her on my blog, so they will simply have to know how much I care for them and how much I feel I owe them. Though we are separated by space, I look back on our times together fondly, and I keep in touch with them as much as I am able.
Since coming to Menninger, I have found an entirely new group of friends. Again, I have mentioned before that in close confines and with people with such similar problems, all sharing personal information on a daily basis, bonds of friendship form quickly. Even though it normally take me much longer to become close friends, in only 8 weeks at Menninger, I grew close to a relatively large number of people (well, for me). We formed such close bonds that I (a normally very emotionally closed-off person) cried openly when several of them left before I did. Not pretty to watch, but evidence of the attachment I felt to them.
Much like my friends from before Menninger, there is very little I would not do for these new friends. They have shared such deep, personal, hidden things with me that it would be vile of me to betray the trust they have placed in me. I feel very protective of them, because I have seen and heard the things that have happened in their lives, and I have experienced similar mental issues. I have, and will continue to, try to support them as best as I can, because they deserve all I can give them.
Also, much like my other friends, I cannot say who they are here – both because they deserve their privacy, as they are not participants in my blogging experience, and because their confidentiality, as patients from Menninger, must be respected. But even though some of them have departed for parts far away, and I may well never see them again, I still consider them friends. Even though some of them are over a decade younger than I am, we have shared experiences that brought us together, and they are remarkably mature people (the youngest is arguably more mature than I am). I hurt when they do, and I am happy when they feel joy.
My friends, you are one of the most important parts of my life. If I were to lose everything else, and could only keep one part of my life, I would choose you. I know that some of us are separated by age and by location, but I will always try to keep in touch with you. If I can do anything for you, and I am capable of doing it or providing it, I will. Call when you need of me, ask what you will of me. It’s the least I can do to repay the loyalty, friendship, and trust you have placed in me.
P.S. – I still notice a paucity of both followers and commenters, even though I see the blog being visited frequently. This makes me a sad panda. If you do not want me to be a sad panda, then please follow the blog or comment on it.
P.P.S. – Yes, the title for this entry is stolen from Les Miserables, as it is my favorite song from that musical. Virtually every time I hear it, I tear up, because it is just that sad. It’s probably how I’d feel if I lost my friends. After Menninger, it reminds me of one particular friend, who could both play the piano music for it and sing along beautifully. That friend is currently in a very dark place, and it eats me up that I can’t help her. I think she reads this blog, so I just want her to know that I care very much. If I could switch places with her I would. Please don’t lose hope.