I have had loads of “friends” over the years however there are only a few that have stuck by me through my illness over the last 6 years. You all know who you are, and yes I count my family in this too.
I think when you are younger you crave a lot of friends, it makes you look popular, it puts you up there in the social circles as being someone to be with. However, I think when you get older you realise that it is not the quantity that is important, it is the quality!
I have never been one of those that has loads of friends, even at school I think I was a bit of a loaner, yes I had a small circle of friends, however I was never the one that people looked at and went “oh look at so and so, she’s so popular”. I tended to be the one that people picked on, the one that got called names and the one that was pushed to the fringes. This used to bother me right up into my 20’s, and if I am truly honest into my 30’s too, I would get upset at the memories and think I was a failure with making friends.
As I have got older my thoughts have changed on this – I was not the one that was the failure, I was the one who unwittingly realised at an early age that the quality of your friends was more important than the quantity, although I really did not know it at the time. It was those that name called, picked on me, and made my life unhappy at times, that were the failures. I know now that these people were nothing more than bullies, they gained their popularity and their “friends” by making others feel that if they were not in their circle then they would end up being bullied too.
Over the years I can say I have only had a handful of properly true friends. Some have remained so for a short time and have moved on to other things when life has changed – marriage, babies, work, illness, etc. Others moved on and then came back years later. One or two have remained true friends for a very long time, for many a year – through everything that has gone on in their life and everything that has gone on in mine. All these friends are the precious little jewels that you would walk over burning coals to keep safe and happy, and they would happily do the same for you. However the ones that stick around for many years are the real building blocks because you truly accept them for what they are, and they feel relaxed to be themselves with you and likewise in return. These are the ones you can sit with and not say a word to because you are both so comfortable in each other’s presence that words are not necessary. Of these there are a very small few in a lifetime, maybe even just one or two. There is a poem, which I think explains friendships wonderfully, called Reason, Season, or Lifetime, it makes you realise that all friends are not destined to be life long friends – enjoy