Sixty Five: Being There

“Nothing makes the earth seem so spacious as to have friends at a distance; they make the latitudes and longitudes.”  – Henry David Thoreau

“Everything seems simpler from a distance.” – Gail Tsukiyama

Today I found out that my dear friend checked herself into the hospital recently to help her manage her mental illness. She has been living with schizophrenia for most of her adult life, and she very well might be the strongest woman I know.

I knew that my friend had been struggling, but from a distance it felt like the crises of faith we all have in knowing who we are in this big wide world. When we lived in the same city, I could pick up on so many more cues by being around her. It hammered home the difficulty in keeping track of where friends are when they are at a distance. Sometimes that distance hurts inside. I’m not there. But just because I’m not there doesn’t mean I’m not there for her

I was happy she called with news that she was feeling more stable and upbeat. She could see the signs that she was needing help, and she reached out for that assistance. I wish this wasn’t a cross that she had to bear in her life, but it is… What I can control is the sort of friend I am to her. I can call. Send her an email. Share new music that I know she’d like. I can shrink the miles between us.

Do you ever struggle with supporting friends from afar?

More…

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