the right ones

Before my ther­a­pist starts talk­ing, he has this habit of repeat­ed­ly purs­ing his lips when try­ing to find the right words. It always makes me won­der if I have any habits too, and whether some­one could do a rea­son­able impres­sion of me by mim­ic­k­ing some man­ner­ism I’m unaware of. The only thing I can think of is this par­tic­u­lar way of clear­ing my throat out loud that Bronwen used to tease me about, some­thing I’ve since real­ized that I picked up from my dad.

The ses­sions are get­ting abstract and philo­soph­i­cal, a sign that they’re focus­ing less on details and issues and more on root caus­es. He’s been chal­leng­ing my think­ing, but he always does it in a gen­tle and encour­ag­ing way by let­ting me explore ideas myself, giv­ing me a lit­tle nudge in the right direc­tion if I need it. Most impor­tant­ly, he always makes it clear that I’m the one in con­trol, that I make my own deci­sions, and that he won’t judge me whether he thinks they’re healthy or not.

The thing I’ve learned most recent­ly is that some peo­ple are sim­ply nev­er meant to fill a cer­tain role in your life. Getting upset at them for not being more is like get­ting upset at your cat for not being able to play LittleBigPlanet with you. It’s a hard real­i­ty to come to terms with; not only am I faced with the sud­den real­iza­tion that some peo­ple aren’t who I want or need them to be, it means they’ll like­ly nev­er be that as well.

But that’s the way the world is, and I’m learn­ing to let go, and to not hold every­one to the same stan­dards I hold myself to. The best I can do is con­nect with the right peo­ple, the ones who can be what I need because that’s who they are, not because they’ve tried to change for my sake.


    • I could total­ly see that. Think you can do an impres­sion of me then? I need to see that next time.

  1. The oth­er bit I found I had to deal with was the fact its not always easy to find the friends we need. I’m still try­ing to assem­ble a group of friends that can ful­fill all the facets of my per­sona, but no sur­prise hav­ing some­one capa­ble of han­dling my bipo­lar is like try­ing to find a nee­dle in a haystack.

    What I did learn was also impor­tant was that I had to con­scious­ly realise the lim­its of my need­i­ness when it came to a par­tic­u­lar friend. I’d test how far I can get away with, then when I know how much they can take, I’d chal­lenge myself to behave myself up to those lim­its and not more. It makes it eas­i­er to know what exact­ly I’d be look­ing for in my next friend. Rinse and repeat.

    Methodical and clin­i­cal, but yeah it kin­da worked for me. does­n’t make me any less dys­func­tion­al but it still makes me func­tion­al social wise.

    • If you’ve found some­thing that works for you when it comes to friends, I don’t think it’s dys­func­tion­al at all. Everyone has dif­fer­ent needs, and at the same time, cer­tain peo­ple can only pro­vide so much.

      But yeah, find­ing the right peo­ple isn’t easy.

  2. I do hold my friends to my stan­dards (which are pret­ty much yours).

    I have per­haps five friends that are that kind of qual­i­ty, and I am not sure if any of them can stand me on a per­ma­nent basis. Yet because we are apart and then togeth­er often, with spaces in between, a lit­tle give and take has cre­at­ed good bonds over time. The ones you can trust are the ones you can trust, always. But you have to remem­ber they have their lives as well, and if you come up short, it’s only because their own life must come first.

    • I think it’s a con­tra­dic­tion to say that the friends you can trust are the friends you can always trust, but at the same time that they have their own lives and can’t always be there for us. It makes sense that there should always be give and take, but it’s a hazy line to be drawn.

  3. Mmmm those last two para­graphs are gold­en…

    I emailed it to myself and give it a read every time I catch myself think­ing neg­a­tive­ly about a cer­tain sit­u­a­tion.. brings me out of it every time.. espe­cial­ly at work.. amaz­ing reminder man.. thank you so very much

  4. What I meant by that was: Friends may have times when all their but­tons are pushed, and can’t con­tribute, because they’re human — and some­times, those two sets of but­tons — yours and theirs — are just going to get pushed at once, and some­one will lose out. I’m talk­ing about adults with jobs and fam­i­lies and com­mit­ments to things they don’t like but must do, here, not young peo­ple, who have few­er respon­si­bil­i­ties, and there­fore haven’t got much excuse.

    It does­n’t mean they haven’t kept their end of the bar­gain and don’t care for you; it just means stuff hap­pens.

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