Discussion → On Friendship at Huffington Post

  • Image.bedroom.009.expose.thumb
    Ann Bogle
    Sep 10, 06:26am

    "How to Deal With Needy Friends" by Rachel Pomerance for U.S. News

    My first comment: "This seems based on communal assumption that to speak, communicate, text, write, call on the phone, visit, see each other, share experiences, or accompany each other, where the expectation is not sex or romance, is wrong and that to file insurance claims for therapy is right. Government insurance administered in Minnesota pays $360 an hour for an intake appointment, $250 for subsequent appointments, to a licensed therapist without a graduate degree. That our government forks out that kind of money for the distasteful task of meeting with someone for 50 minutes gives you a sense of how we feel about speech and listening. We pretend that nothing good comes of listening. We pretend that friends who communicate rob our nuclear families of togetherness. We pretend it's as appealing as changing full adult diapers to know of a friend's experiences in life. Would it surprise you to know that people in therapy are friends to people who avoid it?"

    sophieschoice (177 fans) responds: "Would it surprise you, Ann Bogle, that your comment doesn't make sense for those of us who are mentally healthy and have great relationships with our friends and family? And even if relationships fall apart due to growing in different directions, we go on and due to our change and growth, we attract other friends. Lots of us go through this process. It doesn't mean we love our past friends less, it just means we have made new friends that we need more at this time. Who knows what the future brings?

    "I just know as long as I am alive, I will learn, grow, continue changing, thus my friends.

    "So, I have to refute your comment."

    I respond (pending approval then approved): "You are mentally healthy, as you write, and this issues from your Christianity. Then why not sign your posts (you are popular) with your Christian name? Certainly, the title of William Styron's novel, Sophie's Choice, is not your name. William Styron wrote the finest book ever written about the discovery of depression. It is the most beautiful depression memoir, the finest work of art in memoir form around the subject, as well as the most gentle (gentle to the reader) yet harrowing account of the loss of his mind as a family man but in particular as an author. Styron descended into madness when his body refused alcohol and the depression came inside him. I had not known until I read Darkness Visible that a mind could become psychotic during depression. I had thought the usual things, that it is saddening, that it may feel as though one is carrying a backpack with ten hardcover books in it, while others carry no backpack, that to rest the backpack with its heavy load is not possible, a figurative backpack yet factual burden. I had not understood that in rare cases, as in Styron's own, organic depression can lead to madness and back to light. Styron died following recovery. Thanks for giving your thoughts! Your ever newer friends may not come to need diapers while you know them. I am 51, and a few of my friends do. They remain at all times cordial and do not distress others with their thinking."

  • You must be logged in to reply.