When you are an infant you do not need friends. All you really need is a bottle, or nipple of sorts, someone to change your diaper, cuddle and someone to put you to bed. Which is what I need nearing fifty too if I am honest except the nipple, got two already thanks. When you are young kids, parents have you playing with siblings or cousins, which can be an amazing experience or pure torture. Now adays, parents seem to arrange playdates for their children, literally scheduling time when they can play. When I was a kid, in the 70’s, I had to go outside to play. There was no all day television channels for me to watch. No laptop, PS3, Wii, or Ipod to entertain my imaginative mind. I had to venture outside into the wilderness of my street in hopes that some other kid dared to say he or she was bored, so their parents kicked them outside too. When you are in your teen years, you are put into “groups”. Think of The Breakfast Club, and if you have not seen this movie, get out from under that rock and watch it NOW. I’ll wait……… There are the cool kids, the mean girls, the jocks, the nerds, the stoners, the drama club kids, YOU get the picture. You can find yourself differnent groups of friends daily. In college or university years, you end up being friends with your roommates or study a lot on a Friday night. ( no judgment here and your liver will thank you). When you become a parent yourself, you may find yourself in Mommy and Me groups or meet other women at the park. These friendships will last as long as your children like each other. Once little Sarah bites little Melanie, all shit hits the friendship fan. Some people even become friends with their neighbours but they move and the new owners are from a cult or are Trump supporters. The older you get, the harder it is to find friends. You perhaps moved, changed jobs, divorced, were widowed, children moved out or had an illness. Some how you found yourself without a lot of girlfriends to hang with. Some women join Facebook groups in hope to connect with others in the same area as they are or that have the same interests as they do. There is events online daily in meet up groups to. Just like online dating sites, you can find your new bestie online .
I have found making friends fairly easy for most of my life so I am on the lucky side of the equation. I always mangaged to have someone to play with when I was young. I always managed to have someone to hang with when I was a teenager. I was never home on a weekend night as I always found something to do. When I had children, I still had my friends from my early twenties to hang out with and vent to. Things changed when we moved and my husband got cancer. I knew no one in my new city and my family did not live close. I made some friends through my children but when I became a widow, all those friendships stopped. Actually, alot of my friendships phased out. I can not pinpoint exactly what the reason was but I was suddenly alone a lot. I am sure it is hard when you want to vent about your husband but worried the widow might think you are selfish. Some even felt uncomfortable that I was suddenly a single woman around their husbands. It still amazes me how people react to a widow, especially a younger one. I still get that stigma of being a widow/single woman around married couples. I find it bizarre. I do however keep to myself more than I have ever in the past due to anxiety and circumstance. When you have anxiety, especially social anxiety mixed with agoraphobia, it makes having actual friendships difficult. Most humans love to be out and enjoy life. I have a hard time sometimes leaving my house. At first people are understanding but after the tenth time I have cancelled plans with them, it gets old. I know it is not their fault as they can’t fully comphrehend my illness. I am fortunate right now to have four women who I can call my friends. I trust them entirely and love them like sisters. If I need them, they are there, no judgement. They may not completely understand my anxiety and all things “ME”, but they try to, which is more then I ask for. They allow me to vent and complain even about the little things in my world. I listen to them and give advice when I can too. I can be me and not feel insecure while doing so. They make me feel comfortable in my skin. We are all differnent ages, ranging 32 to 49. All but myself, have only boys. One is single never married, one is common law, two are married and I claim widow status. All come from differnent childhoods. Some how it all works for us as a group of women trying to find balance on this ride of life that does not come with seat belts. I would be lost in this chapter of my life if it were not for these five unique women. I don’t feel alone. They are my tribe that I found with my vibe.