I fell asleep during our text conversation and I meant to message you back the next morning. I was excited to catch up with you and hear all about the awesome traveling you’ve been doing. When I woke up the next morning, it was a bad morning. my anxiety was through the roof and I hadn’t slept well. So I tried to throw myself into work and promised I would get back to you when I was in a better headspace. I didn’t want to bring my negativity to the conversation.
Oh, my dear friend. I’ve been meaning to email you. It’s been so long since we talked. We keep doing drive-by “hellos” in Hangouts, promising that we’ll catch up. I want to. I want to call you and hear your voice. But by the time I’m in a good place, you’re asleep. And the cycle begins again. Every time I want to break it, anxiety fills me, reminding me I’m a bad friend and I shouldn’t bother you.
I see your posts on Facebook. I reach out with a private message. In that moment, I’m in a good space and can give you the attention you deserve. Sometimes, that can change in a few minutes, shifting my focus on the conversation.
We finally make plans to hang out. It’s on the calendar. I am stoked! The day comes and I wake up excited but then, work overwhelms me. My focus shifts, making me struggle to get things done in time. I have to cancel because I am drained. I stay up until 2 am finishing up the work I couldn’t do at 2 pm because my anxiety derailed my productivity.
I care. I do care. But you see, I’m not myself. I make promises, and my intentions are pure. I truly want to catch up, to see you, to write you long emails. I’ve got stationary and I want to write letters like we used to.
You’re a new friend, and I want to spend time with you but then the guilt fills in. I should be spending this time with friends I’ve neglected who’ve been patient.
I walk around in a fog most of the time, and it’s been even more difficult since the election. I can’t focus on anything but the news and work. So I throw myself into work. I take on too much and fill my hours until I am too tired to think and can have some peace.
I’m nervous. I’m overwhelmed. I’m anxious. I’m worried that any conversation we have where I’m not giving you my all isn’t enough. I’m not enough. I’m paralyzed. Emails are abandoned after I type in your address and the hello.
Text messages stare at me, unanswered. Too much time passes. It feels disingenuous, even though I genuinely miss you and want to talk to you.
You’re on the other side of the country. You’re on the other side of the world. You’re down the street.
You’re in my heart but my heart is under attack. My brain is trying to find the balance. Thoughts try to escape but scatter into dust as the fog gets heavier.
I’m sorry I can’t do better right now.
I will try.
I hope you’ll still be there when I do.
7 thoughts on “I am a bad friend.”
I TOTALLY get this and understand completely. Thank you for writing this, i’ve been meaning to post something similar lately. There’s so many of us that struggle with this in these days of multi-channel communications. It’s all just so overwhelming, especially with us folk who have anxiety and so much going on in our lives and our own heads. Take your time, anyone who is a true friend will always be there. Love you B-Rock!
Berrak, this hits pretty much everything right on the head. I run through this same thing, and I’m constantly having “showerthoughts” in the morning of “I should drop so-and-so a line” or that I really do need to get back to someone’s text, email, or even voicemail. As the day carries on, I run out of steam, energy, and even the will to interact. I hate that it is that way, but such is life. I’ll add one spot to yours, though: when I do find that quiet spot when timing would match for talking, I realize the only thing I’d have to contribute on a conversation would be negative; so, I back out on calling because I don’t want them to think that’s all my life is, a series of negativity.
I’m such a bad friend too! Luckily my bestie is equally as bad as me so we never take it personally!
Hanna - Platforms and Pacifiers
Oh, I just want to hug you so bad right now. While I don’t deal with anxiety, I too feel like a bad friend. In my case, it’s my busy life as a mom. I hope that your friends understand!
Don’t worry I’m a bad friend too. After college, it’s really hard to stay in touch with college friends. I’ve been there but it doesn’t mean we don’t care, like you said!
Girllll same here. I’m a terrible friend for these same reasons:( True friends stick around tho!
I feel this. I really struggle to keep in touch, & I hope that those who care about me in return will understand when I’m not great at it – but I’ve already lost more than a few friends who see “trying” as “not trying hard enough.” Sending you love.