Friday, November 18, 2011

Happy. Happy. Joy. Joy.

According to a facebook friend: We are all supposed to pretend that life doesn’t suck, even occasionally, and nothing bad ever happens in our lives. Because she is unable or unwilling to deal with anything negative, I’m supposed to act as though my life is constantly, consistently good and I never need the help and support of my friends, because God-dammit, life is perfect.

So don’t post anything negative on facebook, cause she just doesn’t want to know about it.

Wow. I believe that to be a much larger burden than I really want to put on the people I call friends: You all must be happy and positive at all times, because I just don’t wish to deal with any of your sadness or gloom. Huh? Now how does that make me your friend?

Don’t get me wrong. I agree trying to stay positive and upbeat is a good thing. However, the expectation that people should not let their friends know when life is sucky is completely unrealistic and confining. While general whinyness should not be tolerated, when someone I know has had a bad day or a real situation of struggle in their life, I’m gonna hold up my hand and say: “STOP! I don’t want to hear it. Cause I just don’t want to have to cope with ANYTHING negative.” Again, huh?

Would that really make me a good friend?

Generally speaking I embrace the positive aspects of life. Ask anyone who knows me and they’ll tell you, my outlook is generally positive and my expectation is for life to be perfect. Although I am frequently disappointed in the perfection side of things, I still keep going there time after time.

That being said, just like everyone else, I occasionally experience a bad day, week or whatever. Every single one of us has rough patches in our lives. Don’t we?

So some (I reserve the right to add/ask more) of my questions are:

   If I am overwhelmed at times by an ugly turn my life has taken, even if momentarily, should I hesitate to reach out to those who purport to love me?

   Why should I not let my friends know?

   I am a strong person, but am I not on occasion entitled to ask for and receive the love and encouragement of my friends?

   I am unbelievably humbled to find I have friends in my life who would willingly take a bullet for me if it meant sparing me anguish and pain. However, if they don’t know I am troubled, how can they get in the line of fire?

   Besides all that, don’t friends like to help friends?

   Isn’t that what being a friend is all about?

   Where would I be without my friends?

   How would I get through the dark times and back into the sunlight without them?

   I should hide my feelings and hurts inside so nobody knows they exist? I’m sure that would be a big boon to my mental health.

I thought they were my friends.

Friends love.

Friends support.

Friends have the shoulders I cry on when bad things happen and when life gets overwhelming.

Friends divide burdens and multiply joy.

If I insist on only happiness from myself and my friends, I am neither being a good friend, nor letting them be.


Doozyanner said...

M'eh. Is this FB friend really a "friend?" There are lots of people who love you, Janie, and who are there for you. Don't let one person's opinion drag you down! (I'm not really viewing your blog from Georgia--that's just where my VPN is currently connected!)

Jennifer @ Studio JRU said...

Friends are friends through good times and bad. We all have times when we need the love and support and encouragement of those around us. There are many friends who will generously offer that support. Stick with them. :)