From the outside looking in I am outgoing, talkative, and a people person. I love doing stuff for my friends and rooting/advocating for the underdog. I feel brave and confident as I speak my mind about the stigma that lies behind mental health and I throw the word “ADHD” out there to see what kind of reaction I will get . I give the appearance of an open book bc I don’t mind talking about hard topics. I don’t mind discussing some rather difficult and personal life experiences if I feel it will give someone else hope and confidence that they can and should get help. But on the inside I feel turmoil. I am scared that if I actually show up and be who I am, I will be rejected. I feel if I tell even the closest of friends that I am actually falling apart inside and spent most of my day sitting in bed crying, they will ask why. How on earth do I answer that question? Why? I have no idea. All I know is that inside I am tearing myself apart for who I am, who I’m not, who the world expects me to be. I have depression, anxiety, and ADHD. Those are ALL part of who I am. As much as I’d like to feel that they are separate, it comes with the package.
I would say I am a good and loyal friend. Once I am your friend I would do anything for you. Although, over the years (I’d say since elementary school, I’d were being honest) I’ve been burnt. I have actually showed up and but been rejected. As much as I’d love to say I am completely over some of those hurts, I believe that in someways those experiences will always be haunting me in the back of my mind, telling me I better be careful or it’s gonna happen all over again.
Then walks in one of the bestest friends I have ever had! She is kind and loving and cares for me. She was my college roomie back in the day. Being who I was, I worked out with her at the gym for an hour and by he end of the convo had invited her to room with me the following year if she didn’t have a place to stay by thenWhen she moved out to vegas for school, I was beyond excited. I did everything I could to get them here (including making very intricate Rice Krispie treats and delivering them to UNLV’s pediatric dental program, to bribe them!!!) I watched kids, looked at houses ….. At first it was all good. It I noticed that she began pulling away. Our personalities are pretty contrasting. I wasn’t sure what to do. In the end we ended up talking. As we were expressing our feelings, I realized I had not allowed her in. That I was STILL scared to let anyone in to my open, closed paged book. She had kept trying to do stuff with me and I was unintentionally saying I was too busy. I would put her off. I feel terrible now. I thought to myself MANY times, wasn’t I a good enough friend for her to love me back? Hadn’t I been there for her when her family was falling apart and her sweet, beautiful mother passed unexpectedly? What had I done wrong? Through some serious tears, in the middle of Costco’s clothing section, we talked. We expressed our feelings out of love and concern. I honestly thought it was her. She was being too sensitive. She wasn’t appreciating what a good friend I had been. But as we talked it dawned on me that I wasn’t use to being wanted by a friend. I wasn’t use to someone loving me as much as I loved them, and as a result was shutting her out for fear that I wouldn’t be accepted. I felt a shift in my perspective. I knew how to be a friend but I didn’t know how to allow someone to be my friend. It wasn’t about the kind of friend I was, but the kind of friend someone else could be to me. How can we let someone love us when we feel so unlovable. When you feel like your world is crashing, how do you explain that to someone. How do you open your heart and trust hat they will love you no matter what? The answer. Open your mouth, make the phone call or car ride, and just do it. Vulnerability is important for a friendship, so you can go both ways. My dear friend asked if I would let her love me and be the same kind of friend I had been to her. My open book had to have pages that weren’t stuck together and hat could actually turn. As hard as it can be to open yourself of and be vulnerable, it is essential to experience the real love and bonds that friendship can have. Often times we feel unlovable. But allowing someone to turn the pages of our story can help you be on your way to heal.[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]