Saturday, 12 January 2019

The Things That I Want A New Friend To Know

By Charlotte Underwood

Creating and maintaining new relationships is incredibly hard for me. I am so used to people leaving me or even taking advantage. It seems that it can prove a real task to find someone who is willing to take the time to listen, to understand and to develop something more than having you as the person they only talk to when they are bored or need advice. I do not think I am an amazing friend, I don’t see myself as a special person but I am someone who can see the way people respond to me. This is what I want them to know, if a friendship is to grow:

1. I Am Introverted

I am a born introvert, and while I certainly had better years with more confidence, I have always thrived in my own space. I like the quiet and emptiness of my own home sometimes. I get overwhelmed with social events, they exhaust me so please understand I need to recover. I don’t like phone calls and even messaging a person can stress me out. I know I am bad at replying but it’s not personal. My energy levels go up and down and some days I am more willing to go out than others. If I cancel, it’s likely not your fault, I just need to prevent a relapse. I am not a people person, I never will be, but my friends mean so much to me, even when I don’t show it.

2. I Have A Past

When we meet, you may recognize my name, you may remember my face. Maybe we have mutual friends or I was mentioned in your past. Please know that I do have a past, just like you do. I am not entirely proud of my actions but they happened and all I can do now is learn from them. I’ve not had an easy start to life, I still am trying to find settled seas, so when I act in a way that bothers you, or I offend you, talk to me and let me know. I have a lot of trauma to adjust to and recover from. It has shaped me and I fight back on it every day, but I don’t want to hurt anyone. I don’t want to hurt you. Please don’t judge me for my past and who it made me to be. I mean well and if you let me, I can show that you that I am more than what happened years or a decade ago.

3. I Am Still Human

I can be difficult sometimes because of my depression and anxiety. I may do or say things that you do not understand. I can be compulsive and erratic and need you more than you need me. But as much as I may have to fight the shackles of my mental illness, know that I am still human. I am still me. I am more than my bad choices, I am more than my relapses and I am more than the label that is attached to me. The only label that really matters, is that I am your friend and I intend to be a good one. Just know that real friends can see more than just the person on the outside.

I think the most important thing of all, is that I am loyal, I am empathic and I will give my friends everything they give to me and more; but it’s a two-way street and no relationship is worth harming either person’s mental health.

 

About the Author

Charlotte Underwood is a twenty-three year old from Norfolk, UK. She is a growing mental health advocate and writer who aims to inform and education on mental health. The goal is to be a friend to those in need. She believes no one should feel alone. Charlotte blogs at charlotteunderwoodauthor.com. You can also find her on Twitter and on Facebook.

 

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