Before Christmas there was an incident between me and someone I love on how I hadn’t been a friend for them for some time. It was hugely painful, confirmed some of my worst fears about myself, made me worry for them but was also very adulty as we didn’t stop talking to each other and are – hopefully – OK. But my goodness it really stings that I hurt her, that I wasn’t there for her.
It confirmed something that had been a murky part of my mind for much of last year, I’ve been a pretty shit friend for a while. In part I blame Facebook. It was exacerbated last year with the debauchery and love and work thing and I was hopeless and looking after my friends.
I rely almost solely on FB to keep in touch with everyone. This is fine for those of us who are chronic over-sharers and update the world on whether we are sad, happy and everything in between. But many of us don’t feel comfortable doing that and that’s where I failed.
Friends had really rough times with their health, mental health, relationships, finance and work. And many of them only made a cursory mention to it and went quiet. And I didn’t do anything. I didn’t ring, I didn’t text, I didn’t email.
Oh I had every intention to, but you know, falling in love, a new full time job, a big commute, four kids… But that’s not good enough. These people are friends who have helped me so much over the years with my own heavy loads.
I made a pact with myself that this year I would back away from FB, not totally mind you, GOD FORBID! I’ve taken it off my phone as a start.
I’m also very conscious of checking in with people, even if it’s just a text.
Fast-forward to this week. I texted a friend and got a “sorry, who’s this” text back. This person said I’d ghosted them last year (in good times) and that friendship was a two-way street. While I told her I realised what I had done and was consciously trying to change it she had “no faith” my words would translate into action.
It’s made me wobbly ever since. If you feel I have let you down as a friend I am so so sorry. No excuses, I’m doing my best and am trying really hard this year to ensure I care for my peeps as much as they have me.