My job involves working with the public, and this has opened my eyes to just how many truly “broken” people there are in the world, people who, for whatever reason, never fully matured and seem incapable of handling life as an adult.
Unfortunately, I would describe many of current friends as “semi-broken.” I’ve kept them in my life because they have qualities I hold in high regard, generally kindness and reliability. I adore them in many ways, yet they are hobbled in love and/or work by issues ranging from the mild to the severe, from hoarding to overeating to debilitating depression to alcoholism to codependency.
In my thirties, I had a lot more “high-functioning” friends in the mix, people who seemingly had healthy relationships and burgeoning careers and no major psychological roadblocks. Those people have mostly disappeared from my life, and I have to ask myself why. Is it that I’ve lost them all to marriage and parenthood? It appears that way, but I can’t help but wonder if there’s something “unhealthy” about me that has chased them away. I don’t have any addictions, though, and I work hard to maintain health in all the major areas: physical, financial, psychological, interpersonal.
I have more appreciation and empathy now for the friends who have remained by my side than I ever did in my thirties, but I do feel as if they can’t help me move forward in life because of their own “stuck” patterns. They simply can’t provide job or social connections or advice on romance and careers. They don’t have the funds to travel, and the men can’t commit to relationships.
I also occasionally feel that they don’t appreciate me in return, as their heads sometimes seem stuck in an adolescent fantasyland in which true maturity doesn’t hold a lot of appeal. In other words, it takes a mature person to appreciate that maturity in another. I have been guilty of this myself.
I suppose, feeling unmoored once again and trying to feel my way forward, that I’m suddenly frustrated with the inability of my remaining friends to help.