Monday, October 13, 2014

A Friend Worth Sharing my Bacon With

What does it mean to be a friend in 2014?  What does it mean to lose a friend?  to gain a friend?  Friendships can be a bitch to maintain these days.  First of all, people have to move where the work is.  Location is a huge factor in maintaining friendship.  Then, of course, none of us have money to actually go out and do things.  Lastly, technology has made us socially ignorant when outside the virtual world.  Now add ADHD.  What needs to be done to actually spend quality time with friends?  Well there's scheduling, remembering...  9 times out of 10, when I see an invite to an event or get a call to do something, I have to decline.  I'm either working, have something to do with the family, or I just don't have the money to come.  I care about my friends, but I hang out with my friends so rarely that I often feel awkward or "out of the loop."

 A perfect example (and really what inspired me to write this entry) was a recent wedding.

Let me give you some background.  In middle school and more so in high school, I had a friend whom I was always with.  We lived down the street from each other, and rarely did anything without the other.  We were generally referred to together, not unlike a couple, or a duo (Batman and Robin, Starsky and Hutch, etc.).  Best friends.  Brothers.

After high school I moved out of the neighborhood (off my meds) and rented an apartment, which he later moved into to get away from home and to help me out with the rent.  We worked together at a couple places and got along great, at first.  The choices I made in life began to lead me down a separate, less responsible path than his, and over time we grew a little tired of one another.  We began to judge each other, and when the lease was up, we both moved back in with our parents (mine were now in a different neighborhood) and pretty much stopped talking. 

We'd still get together from time to time, yet I began to grow short on friends, and he developed other friendships, and hobbies that didn't interest me, and likewise, I didn't really do anything at all, which of course wasn't interesting to him.  Then I got married.  Regardless of all the festivities at the wedding, reception, and life thereafter, it's always bugged me that I didn't invite him to my wedding.  Understand that the men who stood for me at my wedding have my respect, friendship, and appreciation for life, and there's nothing that would change this.  I fought hard to find a best man (eventually my dad was the only one who I felt knew me best and had been there through the most), and a groomsman (another long time friend who had been through a lot with me), and when I considered him, I was afraid to ask.  I couldn't just come out of the blue after months (maybe even a year or so) of not talking to him and say "hey dude, would you be willing and able to be my best man?" 

I shoulda been kicked in the ass for that.

8 years later, it's his turn.  He's since moved to a different state, we talk more, and I even sold him his homeowner's insurance and helped him with coverage questions from time to time.  Now I'm getting a wedding invite.  Of course I went.  I felt that I had given up one of the best friends I had ever had, and I needed to correct that mistake.  However, the guilt I felt at the actual wedding was overwhelming.  People actually asked me why I wasn't the best man.  That's how strong our friendship was.  I hadn't seen some of these people for over 10 years, and they still thought of us as an inseparable duo.  Keep in mind, the Best Man did a fine job, probably better than I could have done in supporting our friend.  Looking back at my own wedding, I feel like I burdened the men who stood for me, and this speaks to the fact that they were good men for having done so with minimal warning/notice.  I feel like I neglected this friend and cheated myself in the process.

A few months later, his little sister got married.  This is the closest to a sister I've ever had, so of course I went to this wedding as well.  He was there, and we had a chance to talk, but I feel like it seemed like I was blaming him.  Which is not the case, this was all my fault.  So now I feel like a bigger ass.  I felt like the worst friend in the world, and I still feel like a not-so-great friend, not just in this particular instance, but in general.  But I did manage to say, clearly, that I will always consider him to be a close friend, and will always do what I can to support and help whenever needed. 

So now we talk a little more, and I feel a little better.  I still kinda feel like I came across like "hey you make me feel like shit, but I'll always consider you to be a friend."  This is not the case at all.  This man (who will likely read this at some point) is one of the best friends I've ever had, and I feel like shit because of MY OWN actions, as so many with ADHD often do when it comes to how we handle our friendships.  What I have found is that it's never too late to confess your regrets, to right your wrongs, and to ask forgiveness.  Since I did such a horrible job of it in person, maybe writing this will get the correct message out there, and provide comfort for others who sometimes feel like they don't know how to have (or be) friends, or feel like they can't communicate properly what's on their mind or in their heart.


  1. I can relate completely. I found that the most efficient way to handle this from my perspective, is by providing a disclaimer for any future relationships. I require that it be understood before we can move forward because it can be devastating when friendships are lost due to any misunderstandings, that may arise and are beyond my control. With that said, I make sure not to carelessly act in any way that would offend and I have also made sure to follow up conversations on Facebook or through email. This may make me appear to be a little too strict or uptight but my actions, after this disclosure, are far from any of those qualities. I can't afford to lose anymore sleep and this puts me at ease so I can be the best I can be in any relationship.

  2. I don't stay in touch with any friends just for the sake of doing so. I pretty much just focus on what is in front of me. Maybe that makes me an asshole. I just don't want to work my ass off to stay informed about what a person does. I would be pissed if someone i no longer knew called me up and invited me to his wedding. And being the "Best Man" That is like a side order of ass at a shit wedding. Andrew you are a better man than Tom Nardone. I love you buddy. keep your pimp hand strong.

    1. so what you're saying is, I had a shit wedding... :P Geez dude, I though we were friends? lol!

  3. Don't get me wrong, Tom... I wouldn't say I no longer knew him. Ultimately I thought the same way you do, and in talking about it, he agrees, we just went our different ways, and there was really no harm done. But it was almost a bridge burned. We have a good friendship that was almost thrown away for parties and drugs. So there are regrets :)

  4. I know someone who, even to the point of seeming like an asshole, is not afraid to set guidelines and boundaries in friendships and it has worked well for him too. Not sure that's for me though. My needs, opinions, and personality fluctuate too much!