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“You can’t be mad. Everyone’s a bad friend right now.”

A family member said this to me recently, and it really resonated.

Let’s backtrack a bit: raise your hand if you’ve ever been a bad friend.

We all have.

Raise your hand if you intended to be a bad friend.

I don’t think it’s any of our intentions.

I’ve been a bad friend.

I’ve been a bad friend when my anxiety’s bad, and I think if I leave my kids, something will happen, and I won’t be there to comfort them. It makes me unreliable.

So I cancel plans.

I retreat.

I’ve been a bad friend when I’m distracted by things happening with my kids and my life. I’m distanced.

I’m too busy thinking and obsessing.

I retreat.

I’ve been a bad friend when my depression’s terrible. I can’t motivate myself to do the things I used to like to do.

I stop calling. I think you hate me because I hate me.

I retreat.

I’ve been a bad friend when I get overwhelmed with life. When there’s so much to do, and I can’t see past the list in my head.

I don’t text.

I retreat.

If you see a pattern here, we’re all “bad friends” when we’re going through something hard. We are the best friends we can be at that moment, but it may not feel enough or what our friends are used to.

And right now, everyone is going through the hard.

Everyone’s been insulated in their own bubble of problems: of potential covid exposure, of social injustices, of depression, of anxiety, of addiction, of stress, of overwhelm with so much going on, etc.

We’re all human, and it’s hard enough existing without a global pandemic. With one, well, it’s no wonder everyone’s a bad friend right now.

So let’s give our friends so much grace.

They are like you, doing their best given the hard.

Originally published on the author’s Facebook page

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Dani Sherman-Lazar

Dani Sherman-Lazar is an eating disorder advocate, Vice President of a transportation company, and a mother to three daughters. Follow her on her blog Living a Full Life After ED and like it on Facebook. Her book Living Full: Winning My Battle with Eating Disorders is available on Amazon.

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