Something I learned a long time ago from my parents is when you are choosing your friends, make sure they are “nice, good kids, etc etc”.
It is funny when you grow up and go through some more difficult times, you start to see the importance of having solid friendships. For me one of my biggest problems is I have difficulty trusting people; I have a terrible fear of trusting people, let alone actually loving someone.
This HUGE lack of trust has affected a ton of the friendships I’ve had, so it’s no surprise when my life started going downhill the last thing I did was tell people what I was going through.
When I was at my lowest point I was hoping that at every turn someone I trusted would simply ask me how I was doing.
But they didn’t. And I began to worry that when someone eventually did ask me how I was, I was going to ‘crack’ and let out everything – completely overloading them. Because of this fear, I slowly and surely stopped telling anyone what was going on or how I was feeling.
Sadly, it was not until after my toughest months I realized what it means to not only be a good friend, but to also have solid, good friends.
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We all suffer from this messed up idea of being ‘cool’ or having ‘cool’ friends. The older you get, the more you begin to realize that this idea of ‘cool’ is a bit misguided. A solid friend is not someone who is going to take you out to have ‘Fun’ when you’re going through difficult times and ignore the fact you are struggling, but rather, a solid friend is someone who is going to walk beside you and help you back on your feet when you need it.
A solid friend is someone who, through thick and thin, is there for you and will honestly drop what they are doing and run.
I was in the Hospital one time and it was shocking to see who really cared about everything. A good friend of mine insisted on coming and refused to let me be in the hospital by myself, despite the fact he had a final exam the next morning – that is a true friend.
A great old saying is that you don’t know yourself or your friends until you go through something tough. Your true character will show when the tough times come; you will never know yourself until you are staring into nothing and you will never know who those real solid friends are until there is no one else around and they refuse to leave.
The most important message I want to get across is to be true to yourself AND your friends at all times.
Do not pretend to be someone you’re not. Be the friend that you want your friends to be to you. If you want someone to be a solid friend for you, you sure as hell need to be solid for them first.
The last point I’ll make is this: depression is like hell to go through, but there is only one thing worse than that–going through depression alone. So I encourage you to open up to people, to build solid friendships and, most importantly, to not isolate yourself. If you lose hope and you have no one else is around you to remind you that things will be OK, then that can be a very frightening thing.
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