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Diary of a Bad Friend

I’m a bad friend.

It’s true.

Try as hard as I can to be better, I still constantly feel like I’m letting a good friend down. The truth is, one of my friends needs someone to lean on pretty heavily, and I don’t know how to be that person anymore. I used to be good at it, I think, but it’s been a long time since I was strong enough to be the support anyone needs and those skills have atrophied.

I think, compounding that, is the fact that I’m somewhat jealous of this friend. No, the life they’re living isn’t perfect, or even really what I want by any means, but some things seem to come so naturally to this person that it makes me angry that they don’t take advantage of those gifts. How many times do you sit and listen to them complain about how easy certain things are for them before you snap and stab them in the throat with a unsharpened pencil? How many times do you offer the advice on the things you are actually good at only to be ignored each time before you write them off as a lost cause?

For me, that answer seems like it’s infinite. I don’t know that there will ever come a time when I just bitchslap a friend for being so blind to how good the world can be for them if they just put away the things that they use to hold themselves back.

AND DON’T THINK I’M NOT AWARE OF THE HYPOCRISY OF MY STATEMENT!

Life blows, and it isn’t getting any easier. If anything the world seems to be getting darker and more difficult every frackin’ day. It bleeds me dry to think that there is someone I care about that I have no ability to help. It makes me sick to think that nothing I do really matters in the long run.

Damn, that’s pretty self-centered, isn’t it.

See, I’m not a good friend.

There is only about a 30% chance that the friend in question will read this, but I think I’m going to go ahead and put this here anyway. Why? Because, honestly, when it comes to things outside this blog, I’m basically an emotionally cripple, and maybe, some of you need to hear it to.

 

Look. I know that things are pretty messed up right now. Life is not going the way any of us ever expected it to. We’re all constantly facing the demons that we’ve created for ourselves, and a lot of the time, it feels like we’re losing. I don’t know if there is a magic answer to all the crap going on in the world, and I know that you hate hearing crap like this, but I believe that there are solutions to every problem. I genuinely believe that rewards equal effort.

I know that I’m about as stable as a mudslide in northern California, and that everything I say to you could probably be said with as much honesty and meaning to myself. I know that I’m telling you things that you don’t want to hear. I know that when I same them, they slide off like water on a duck’s back. I know, because I’m the same way, with many of the same issues.

It’s time, though. It’s time to stop running from whatever it is that hides inside your mind and rips at your self-confidence. It’s time to stop hiding who you are from yourself. It’s time to stop believing that you don’t deserve better. You do, but it isn’t going to just fall into your lap, no matter how much you may believe that’s the only way you’re going to get it.

You are a fighter, and it is time to fight. 

There are two ways to look at the world. Either the world is your bitch, or you are the world’s bitch. It’s time to stop clinging to the world’s inside out pocket.

It isn’t going to be easy. Nothing is ever easy.

But, damn it, I’m standing right here with you, swinging the metaphoric crowbar and emptying your spit bucket, or whatever it is the guy in the corner does besides holding the mouth guard.

Remember, even Sylvester Stalone was able to take down Ivan Drago. That shit wasn’t staged, either. That was a real fight and dude was a genetically modified cyborg from Russia.

I think you can kick your mutant-cyborg’s ass, too.

 

 

-MB

Published by M.A. Brotherton

M.A. Brotherton is a writer, blogger, artist, and fat-kid from the suburbs of Kansas City, Missouri. He’s tasted a little bit of everything the Midwest has to offer, ranging from meth-tweaking rednecks in massive underground cave complexes to those legendary amber waves of grain. When he’s not writing, he spends most of his time screwing around on the internet.

10 thoughts on “Diary of a Bad Friend”

  1. Stereo.* says:

    You are not a bad friend. Sometimes we all need tough love. Maybe not the stabbing in the throat with a sharp pencil variety of love but certainly someone to sit us down and say “look, you are great and I love you but you are being a fuckwit in the following ways.” I think relationships where this type of straight talking is common are the ones that endure the test of time and trivialities.

    1. M.A. Brotherton says:

      I think it’s easy, also to concentrate on the giving and not think about how many times I’ve needed to be throat stabbed, also. A good friendship, I think, is a give and take. Call it the “Big Circle of Mutually Beneficial Throat Stabbing.”

  2. Lady *S* of Glitter says:

    Sometimes, people can be emotional vampires. There are some who realize this entirely. These people are also assholes. Then there are some who fall so out of touch with reality that, being as IN REALITY, they are normal, the emotional vampire stage is temporary. Amd I echo Stereo, you are NOT a bad friend.

    1. M.A. Brotherton says:

      I’ve definitely had some psyche eating monster friends. Actually, in retrospect I tend to date these people, allowing myself to be fed on until I explode into a sociopathic rage. Man… thinking about that, it’s probably an addiction as powerful as cigarettes and chicken nuggets.

  3. aduronia says:

    i really like this post, because it’s self aware and honest without being overly drowned in self pity. i think these are questions and problems we all struggle with at some point – i haven’t been able to be the friend I wish to be to so many people I care about lately, but i can only hope they understand why and love me anyway.

    1. M.A. Brotherton says:

      Thank you. I tend to fall too heavily into the emo side of my psyche and put that here on the blog. I consider it to be extremely therapeutic, but, it’s probably very emotionally draining to read too terribly often. I’m glad that I hit the mark on this one. I’d like to think it might help someone else deal with the same issue some day.

  4. inqandu says:

    I think I probably know you the least of any of your merry band of followers, but I still have my two cents:

    People are weird, so don’t get down on yourself for not always wanting to or knowing how to deal with the weirdness, even when it may come from you. You had the self-awareness, humility, and courage to acknowledge what you view as your shortcomings. Moreover, you did it in a public setting. To me, this makes you a great human being, which is every bit
    as important (and a good deal more difficult to achieve) as being a good friend.

    Also, I really love Ivan Drago. My friends and I named a drink after him. It’s Hawaiian Punch with a whole shit-ton of vodka. Cheers!

    – Nolan

    1. M.A. Brotherton says:

      Whereas I appreciate the sentiment, and trust me, I’m reveling in the compliment, I’m not sure that being a great person is better than being a great friend. I think they go hand in hand.

      History tends to remember the people that do something epic and grand, but I think the real heroes of the world are the ones that do the little things that make the world bearable for the people that are forced to live in it.

      Also – I think I’ll give the Ivan Drago a shot. We have an unnamed drink that we enjoy sometimes that is Green Hawaiian punch and Rum. Vodka is usually cheaper than Rum…

  5. Brandee says:

    Sometimes, even continuing to carry the spit bucket after they’ve missed and spit on your shirt for the eighth or eight hundredth time show that you aren’t a bad friend. Eventually, they will be ready to hear your advice. For now, it’s not personal…they are just too scared to hear the truth.

    1. M.A. Brotherton says:

      Sometimes it’s fear, and sometimes its something more dangerous. I’m just not sure how to react sometimes.

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