I thought my friend Kim didn’t want to talk to me anymore, so I stopped calling. She thought I didn’t want to talk to her so she stopped calling. We were both wrong; and I never would have found out if I hadn’t taken a chance and reached out to her.
Kim had been one of my best friends for years. We hung out just about every weekend and talked on the phone daily. We took our kids to the movies and amusement park together. We had each others back. I was there for her. She was there for me when I found out I had fibromyalgia, she was there when I went through my divorce and started drinking too much. I had an extremely high tolerance for alcohol and we learned to mix our own drinks. We eventually stopped drinking so much and would just had casual drinks.
So What Happened?
We had a misunderstanding. It wasn’t our first, but this time it was different. Kim was mad at me for something I didn’t understand, and she felt like I changed. Truth was I did change, I was sinking deeper into a depression that two years later is finally starting to get a little better. I needed her; but I didn’t tell her that, I wrongly expected her to just know. The misunderstanding happened at the precise time I was falling into a major rut. It was the perfect storm to end a great friendship.
I lost all interest in doing the things that I normally enjoyed, the things we did together. I no longer had the energy or desire to go shopping, go to the movies, go out to dinner, or even talk on the phone. I was allowing myself to pull away from her because…. well, she was mad and I thought she cut me off.
Kim and I hashed out the cause of the misunderstanding and said we would wipe the slate clean. But she stopped calling, and I stopped calling her. I ran into her once while I was out. I told her it was good seeing her and we gave each other an awkward hug. We still didn’t call. I didn’t think she would answer my calls. If she did answer I thought she would say something like, I’m done with you so why are you even calling me.
A few years went by and despite thinking off calling her on several occasions, I didn’t. I was stubborn because I was afraid of being rejected. This fear was preventing me from getting my friend back. Major depression is one ingredient to a recipe for an isolated life. One of the things you need most is support from people who truly care about you even if they don’t fully understand what you are going through. My depression made me apathetic. I was indifferent to my lack of social life, nothing was fun anymore and I was just too exhausted to care. I watched lots of TV, when I could pay attention. I only talked to a few family members and a few friends from college who unfortunately lived in other states.
So What Changed?
Why did I decide to reach out and try to reconnect after two years? I really don’t really know. I had watched an episode of the TV show “Iyanla, Fix me Life” the night before. The show was about six woman who once were friends and worked together. Things with them went wrong and they stopped communicating. They were all angry and bitter. Iyanla had them meet up to talk to each other and express what they believed lead to the demise of their relationships. They explained why they were hurt, bitter, and what they didn’t like about the others. After breaking down their walls Iyanla had one more task for them. She had them talk individually to a group of older, wiser women Iyanla called elders. One of the elders told one of the women not to burn bridges because you never know when you need to go back over. I immediately thought of my Kim, dismissed the thought and finished watching the show.
The next day I woke up earlier than usual and wondered why. I hadn’t been to church in a while so I talked to God a bit. My thoughts turned to how I missed my relationship with Kim. I decided to call. Would she answer? It was a Sunday afternoon and I knew she would be busy running arounds. Should I wait until later that night when she would be in for the night? I decided not to wait and to call right then; I might change my mind later. Surprisingly, as the phone rang I wasn’t nervous. She answered! Kim told me that she was glad I called her, and we talked for nearly an hour. We caught up on each others lives, discussed our kids, and we laughed. We told each other that we thought the other didn’t want to talk anymore. Like I said, we were both wrong.
I hung up the phone with a smile on my face. I was glad I took a chance. This was unlike me. When a friendship or relationship ends for whatever reason I am not the type to go back and try to get the person back. I’ve lost friends because we’ve just grown apart, a best friend that I just have no idea why she stopped calling me. (She changed, started treating me different so I didn’t mind at all) One friend cut off a whole group of us off because God told her too (yeah right). I have no desire to reconnect with them. Kim was different, there was no good reason for our friendship to end.
So What Now?
I feel reconnected, I’m glad we had such a great conversation. I don’t know if our friendship will ever be the same. I’m still in a rut and have little energy. I do know that we will stay in touch. I do know that I can share things with her again and laugh. I do know she cares about me (she even offered to take me to doctors appointments if I needed someone to take me). I do know that I care about her. I do know that we will stay in touch. We may not talk often or hang out every weekend, but I do know that I have my friend back. And I am glad!