Monday, May 30, 2011

Here we go again

I love my friends very much, but often I don't get them. First my oldest friend becomes almost paralyzed by depression, unable to even find a lawyer -- much less contact her -- to protect her own interests. Now my friend from Key West is behaving in much the same way. Unexpectedly losing his job as a professor in the local community college has left him barely able to function.

I researched lawyers for both of them and even contacted one, drafting a letter, on behalf of my oldest friend. They are the ones who initially believed they could sue and win, not me. But I do all the leg work and then ... nothing. My friend in the Keys is struggling even to make his way through the severance packet from the college and apply for unemployment benefits.

If you read this humble blog regularly, you know I'm no stranger to depression myself. I believe that my messy home and finances are the physical manifestation of it. I'm easily distracted by escape into books and magazines and movies and the Internet, or I get hyper-involved in the problems of the world, and let the highly personal things go.

But, where my friends and I differ, is that when I can figure out how to improve something quickly and cleanly, I get on it. Like my consultation earlier this month with my shrink and my gyne re: my weight. Wean myself slowly off the Lexapro? I'm on it. Reduce my intake of carbs? Yes, indeed. Move more? A little more problematic because of my job, but I have worked out yesterday and today.

The same when I was unemployed back in 2003-2004. I called headhunters and checked job search engines and contacted my former employers Barb and Ed every week like clockwork. I considered it my job to get a new job, or at least freelance assignments. I didn't do it 8 hours a day, of course. Again, I'm too undisciplined and too easily distracted by TV and other toys around the house. Plus I got very involved with John Kerry's Presidential campaign, and that took up a lot of time. So I was never, ever frozen in place the way these two are.

It's frustrating. I love them and I want to help! Especially my friend in the Keys, because this is a condition I've never seen him in. (But, like my best friend recently wrote me: "As much as you want to you fix everything, you can't ... and that's OK.") In addition to that, I selfishly feel confused and isolated. I wish these people I consider myself close to were more like me.

Image: Salvatore Vuono /


  1. Sometimes there are life lessons in having to figure things out, trip and fall and get back up again - all on your own. I'm like you - I'll do 1100 things to help and it's hard for me to accept that people have to just get through it in their own way, in their own time.

    You have to just let go sometimes and I say that knowing first hand how very hard it is to do that with those you care about.

    Hold your friend in the Light, offe prayers for his well-being and let go. Be there if he asks. Otherwise, let go.


  2. This is something I work on in therapy. Frequently.