I am not always good at balance, on a rather grand scale. I have long stretches of time where I’ll be favouring one side before sliding to a different position, to stay there for another long while.
I am not particularly good at maintaining relationships through these shifts.
It’s strange, because there’s the phrase “fair-weather friend”, the person who only sticks around when things are good, and leaves as soon as things look like they might get tough.
I feel as though I have the opposite problem.
I know how to be there for people, if they ask it of me. I know how to be supportive, and I can usually manage to be patient, because sometimes it takes a long time before things get easier.
I know that. (Though, I suppose what I know of this is simply mirroring what helped *me* when I was in a different position.)
What I don’t really know how to do, is share the joy that comes after.
When the relationship changes, and it’s not longer the same situation of one person needing support, and the other being needed.
I don’t know how to move with that shift.
This is something that happens…with a fair amount of frequency in my life, which makes sense, because nobody can be on top all of the time.
And it’s not like I’m only ever on one end of the equation.
My life is full of beautiful people, who have kept me going when I had nothing left for myself. These incredible people who were there for me when I was learning to trust people, when I was learning how to ask for help, how to ask for companionship.
I am afraid that I am losing them now. Now that I am in a different place, and I’m reacting to things in a different way, I’m not experiencing the world in the way that I did when I built those relationships. I don’t know how to bring these people with me.
It’s not like it’s an easy situation on any side.
It’s hard to call on friends made when I’m on fire, the people I’ve met when I’ve got my shit together and I’m on the fast-track to making my life happen, and say “I’m not together anymore. Can you help?”
Because they only knew me when I was doing well. It’s hard to say to people “I’m not doing well anymore”, when they haven’t *seen* that.
But then there’s this…guilt? because I can call on the people who have been there for me before, but, I don’t do a very god job of including them in the positive side of my life, and I don’t want to be the person who only ever calls when things are bad.
There’s also the fear that comes with asking for help, anyway. Because sometimes it does just take…a *long* time to “get better”, for whatever measure of “better” that even includes.
Sometimes it’s staring at the phone thinking “Do I really get to call them again? Are they truly not tired of me not having my shit together?”
But…it’s also that, everyone is dealing with their own shit. So, on top of everything else, it’s “Am I really going to ask them to spend their time on this? I know they need their energy for their own lives. Am I really going to ask them to spend their energy on my life as well?”
The only thing that I can do then is go down the list of people who have helped in the past; the ones who say, over and over again “CALL ME.”
So, I’ve finally (sort of) learned to call when I need help.
Now I need to learn how to call *those folks* when I don’t.
It’s learning to deal with different power dynamics and changing patterns of interaction within a single relationship, and I’m just really not good at that yet.
More than that though, it’s giving myself permission to reach out, even when I might not *need* it.