The Value of Friendship, Continued…..

I was in the midst of writing another blog, but something came up that I felt was necessary to share with you. If you keep up with my blogs, then you probably read the blog where I spoke on very disturbing news from an old friend, who I’ve known for over fifteen years. I received an unexpected phone call from him , I thought I’d never hear from him again. The last time we spoke, I made it clear that I did not want to talk to this person again, due to the unhealthy pattern that was developing, me becoming angry and frustrated.

Well, in the time since that blog was posted, there hasn’t been any progress or change in the situation. I tried to be as supportive as I could and be an ear when he needed one, I also tried to encourage him to talk to his doctor, since  he told  me that the doctor asked him if he actually talks to anybody about his feelings…..The doctor informed him that stress and anger will have a toxic effect on his already worsening condition, so talking to somebody, getting his issues off of his chest is imperative to his health. He chose to share this information with me…..I didn’t ask him. He told  me that the medication he was taking was giving him side effects that he couldn’t handle. He said he didn’t want to be stuck “taking pills” forever…..I listened and understood where he was coming from, however, I didn’t know why he was telling me so many details about this…..I cared, but he wasn’t taking care of his health regardless of the medication. He was continuing to drink alcohol on a daily basis, which was the original reason why I stayed away from him, it put a strain on our friendship for years. I couldn’t stand by and watch him slowly poison himself, so I asked him to please stop calling me because I had run out of things to say about this situation, I had run out of patience , pretending as though I wasn’t fed up, tired and slightly disgusted.

I came to the conclusion that my words were not as important to him as they were to me. I meant every word I said and every offer I gave to support was sincere. The years I gave my attention, my concern, and my dedication to his issue had left me nearly speechless.

I would hope my friends would be be there for me if I was going through a severe health issue but I thought that a “real” friend was supposed to try to help prevent you from going down a dangerous path. A path that may lead you to an early death…..The previous hospital scare got to me, I thought about how I would’ve handled the news, had he not came out okay and passed away that night…..I was still dealing with the dysfunctional aftermath of my mother’s passing…..If I am a “real” friend, then shouldn’t loyalty be the be TOP priority??? That’s what I feel, that’s how I’ve always operated. Loyalty  is what makes a friend an actual friend. Without that component, your friend may as well be called an “acquaintance” who you happen to spend time with. I’m learning and coming to the sad reality that the value of friendship, the definition to me is different than how most define it. I feel it’s sacred to be able to maintain a friendship for years and years, and be able to help each other PROGRESS in life. I do not feel it is okay to be a quiet spectator in watching a person slowly destroy them self. How can I be loyal to you, if I  help  to enable you to hurt yourself. I can’t just sit on the phone and chat away to help you pass the time away as you push yourself into passing away…..That rhymed by accident, lol, but I meant every word of it, and that sums up what I told him. There’s more I’d like to say  on this topic, but I will save it for another blog.


~Dawn Lovely

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The Value of Friendship….How much do you care?

I was thrown off by some very unsettling news recently, so I had to put my writing on hold. I received a very upsetting phone call the other night, It was my ex, we have been in contact for years,  and have remained friends from afar. Every so often he will  phone me, or vise versa,  just to say hi, we call it, “Just, calling to see if your alive.”

Before I start, I would like you to know that I told him that I would be writing about him, and sharing this experience. I’ve known him for over 15 years, he’s been a friend/friend of the family, and has been a long time supporter of my writing, so he didn’t mind. He was the first person to purchase my self-published book that I wrote years ago, and has always encouraged me to express myself through my writing.

I remember in high school, I always looked up to him, I considered him to be very funny, intelligent, charismatic….. His wit, and high energy drew people to him. I failed to notice the fact that most of the times that I saw him or was around him, he was drinking alcohol. At that time in my life everyone around me smoke and drank to some degree, so it wasn’t unusual, however I found out very quickly that there was more reasons for his drinking than meets the eye……He was alienated in his household because he was “different” from the rest. He didn’t believe in the religion he was raised in,  and he chose to question everything, this was one of the things that made him the “black sheep” of the family. He was also  labelled a “nerd” for his avid reading,  interest in books, and constant quest to seek knowledge.

One night he took off his glasses, looked me in the eye, and told me that he felt out-of-place in this world. That nobody understands him, that he feels like an “alien,” and that he only feels “safe” or “comfortable” when he’s drinking. He confessed that he was drinking to cover up his pain. Now it all made sense to me……

As the years went by his drinking problem became worse, and I would constantly confront him about it. I tried to be as understanding as possible, and suggested things he could do to help him “cut down” on the liquor. There were a few people around him, who would try to talk to him about it, but he would dismiss them, as he did me. We grew further and further apart. I noticed the changes in his personality, the moodiness, the change in temperament, but I would still visit from time to time. I tried to help him in any way I could. I would even be an “ear” for him if he wanted to talk. I never referred to him as an “alcoholic” but everybody else did. My eyes finally opened up to the reality that he had a substance abuse problem, that is causing irreversible damage, and that could eventually end his life………

I made one last attempt at helping him, we discussed options, possible doctor/specialist visits, me accompanying him for support, even meetings, whatever would help him pass the first steps of recovery. He said he tried already and refused my help and I realized there’s nothing more I can do….I told him that I fear for his health being damaged to a point of no return by his late thirty’s. My influence didn’t seem to mean much, we were getting into arguments and I found myself saying very harsh things to him out of frustration and anger. I felt unappreciated and insignificant, so I made a conscious decision to separate myself from him in life. Not to call or speak to him ever again. I stuck by that decision, until I answered a call from an unusual phone number, it was him….He proceeded to tell me that he wants me to know that he went through a traumatizing incident recently, he was rushed to the hospital emergency unit due to a severe anxiety attack,  his heart was beating DOUBLE times it’s normal rate. After being checked out, the doctor informed him that he has two blood clots, one on his lung, that almost went undetected had he not been rushed to the emergency room. He spared me the details, and I didn’t want to pry, but he summed it up as “being close to death,” he’s taking medication, and he’s “okay.” Of course when I said I was worried, he told me “Not to worry.”

In conclusion, I was disappointed that it took this incident to wake him up. I could tell he was reluctant to tell me the details.  I had said this was my biggest concern and maybe he thought I’d say, “I told you so.” I did not say that. As a matter of fact, I asked him what he needs from me at this point. There is no sense in being “friends” with a person if you are going to throw their hardships in their face. I do not know if we will maintain contact at this point, but I’m 100% sure he learned his lesson, and for that I am Thankful. I hope he monitors his health and I wish him the best.


~Dawn Lovely

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