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All those Instagram followers, but how many friends?

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1000 followers and 700 Facebook friends, but who can you call?

I’m not good at making friends, I think it’s to do with My Black Dog. I tend to shut people out or I take a long time to open up and let people in. Something I’m sure of is my family. There’s four girls in my family so we kill each other but I know when shit hits the fan we’ve got each other’s back. But who else can you say that about? That girl who sits beside you in maths? Or the drunken friend that came up to you on a night out saying “if you need anything I’m here!”

People are so good. They always say if you need anything I’m a phone call away or anything like that. But when you do need someone, they say they’re here, but where’s here? It’s so important to surround yourself with people who will be there when you need them. Who you’re not embarrassed to call at 1 in the morning crying, who you can turn to when you need a shoulder to cry on and who you can rely on.

I went through the stats and I’ve almost got 1000 followers on Instagram, nearly 700 twitter followers and nearly 700 Facebook friends. But the number of people I would trust to have my back going into a battle is quite small. Especially compared with my own little statistics.

Everyone’s situations are different. Friends come and go, that drunk girl in the bathroom showering you with compliments is gonna wake up hungover and go about her life but your family are stuck with you.

Something I’ve noticed is that with mental health illnesses we tend to shut everyone out. We say “I’m fine” when we are holding back tears and hope they don’t notice. It’s a lot easier to ignore your feelings and push them back and shut them off. It’s a lot more difficult to say “yeah I feel pretty shit, I’m not okay”. I have noticed though that after the first time you say it, it becomes so much easier.

I’m the worst for it, saying “yeah I’m good” but it generally follows up with “actually yeah no fuck it, not doing too swell this morning.” You may feel like you’ve to merit this awful feeling in your stomach with a reason “not feeling the best I’ve a headache.” Or “I’m not feeling great I had a fight with my parents” when really you’re just not feeling it today.

I’ve got a small circle around me of those who I trust with my life. I’m trying to expand that circle. There’s no harm in it. Letting people in actually isn’t as scary as it seems. Believe it or not, people aren’t all that scary once you get to know them.

Start with a smile, then honesty, some pleasantries and common interests and you’ve got yourself a friend. And guess what? The ground won’t swallow you whole, the worst thing that might happen in response to your negative feeling might be a hug, and they’re not so bad.

Be honest, always.

Ash x

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