To almost every single one of my friends but some more than others:
Responding promptly to emails, phone calls, and texts is sometimes a struggle for me even on normal days. It’s not that I don’t care about my relationship with you or the state of your life. I care deeply. But I struggle with responding in the moment without hours (or days) to compose my thoughts and then my words. I’m not sure if this is a byproduct of being a writer or if I chose to write because expressing myself in real time often feels like an exercise in bumbling over my words and bumping into my thoughts.
I don’t mean to avoid you, but not meaning to do it doesn’t mean that isn’t precisely what I end up doing at times. In the past month or so, the emotions, thoughts, tasks, and concerns crowding my head space have made the problem of being a sometimes crappy friend even more pronounced. I’ve avoided opening the door of communication because I fear I am without interesting thoughts or meaningful insights or anything worthwhile to offer. I’ve forgotten to respond to phone calls, texts, or emails because what must be done every day in order to move my life forward pushes everything else into the recesses of my mind where I rarely have time to wander anymore. When I do stumble across a reminder of the long-unanswered communication, I feel so embarrassed by my lack of response that I compound the original silence with a big dose of shame and the silence continues with the added weight of feeling guilty for forgetting.
I mean to be a better friend than I am. I mean to show you just how important you are to me even when I’m tired, busy, worried, sad, or embarrassed by my lack of friendship skills. My intentions and energy reserves aren’t quite in sync with each other yet, but I’m finding my way out of the fog I’ve been in. Please know that I know I’ve been a crappy friend. And please know I’m sorry. I’m interested in you. I love you. I enjoy spending time with you. I am working on my communication, and I hope to show improvement in being honest and responding promptly even if it’s just to say I’m not feeling up to anything more than hibernation right now.
You’re a good friend. I am grateful for you. Thanks for forgiving me. I already know you will because I know you. You are compassionate and kind and a better friend to me than I am to you. Thank you for being my friend.