Saturday, 5 February 2011

Schizophrenia and Friendship

Hi again

When I found the Elyn Saks memoir details on the Web the other evening, I read a couple of the interviews she gave at the time of publication (about three years ago). I do intend to read the book itself too, at some point. One thing that she said when being interviewed struck a chord with me, 'Choose your friends carefully'.

I realised that made sense. I am particularly vulnerable to the way I feel in different people's company, probably because I try too hard to people-please. As I read, I made a mental note of friends who are good for me and friends who are not. Of course I have no intention of ditching the difficult ones (just as I hope none of mine would suddenly ditch me for being difficult) but it is good to be aware of positive and negative influences in life.

Anyway, today I met up with an old friend - our friendship now dates back more than twenty years - and I had such a nice time with her. She was so sweet to the children, so interested in me and so open and chatty. Talking with her made me feel really happy. I was taken aback by this. Then I realised that of course it makes sense - I have known her a long time and we became friends because we had a lot in common. Whereas a lot of the people that I socialise with now are worlds away from me in outlook and attitude - the only thing we have in common a lot of the time is that we have kids the same age. It is not surprising that sometimes when I talk they look at me as though I am an alien...

So I have decided that rather than try so hard to be friends with everyone I meet, I am going to relax. I have made some good friends in the past, and a lot of those friendships endure, even though we may not meet very often. But from that I can take reassurance that I need (why do I always need reassurance?) that I am an interesting and worthwhile person. And I have so little time at present, what time I do have should be directed towards my family, my home and my writing, not trying to make passing acquaintances enjoy my company and worrying if it doesn't seem to go well.

Anyway. Enough for now. I hope, readers, that you are enjoying your weekend and making the most of the important places, events and people in your lives. You deserve it.


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