My Canadian ex-pat friend who is a teacher in London is back for the summer. After a few scheduling conflicts and me feeling like shite, we finally managed to get together for lunch the other day. We had, however, spoken on the phone.
I had given him the rundown of my meltdown as I never emailed him about my break up with ex-partner, my subsequent moving out, hospitalization–all of it. To be truthful, I was still rather upset about this incident that happened when he was back here last Christmas. And in that post I wrote, he did apologize even though it wasn’t his fault. When he returned to London, he sent a mass email to a bunch of us back home in Canada and copied on the list was one of the individuals responsible for the catastrophe that happened–despite him telling me he never wanted to see her again. She has a long history of really messing with people. I have learned to stay far away from her.
I was also disappointed that my friend did not stand up for me–I just received an apology the next day. Perhaps that sounds a bit immature but I know if something was happening to someone I cared about I would step in and do something.
Anyway, when we met, he told me that things had been “getting a little out of control lately.” He had hinted on the phone that his alcohol consumption had been rising. Hmmm. How interesting and timely we have this conversation now? And also another point of interest–this friend of mine is not a big drinker. Odd.
He also said that he had been doing some “stupid things.” At first I thought perhaps some risky sex? My friend is gay so I thought perhaps he had been picking up some guys in clubs and fooling around a bit much? Nope. Then what?
Oh dear…suicidal thoughts and gestures. He also told me these were either the same or similar to when he first came out. I did not know about this from his past. Now, nothing too serious and I did not tell him the knowledge that I have of methods. Not a good idea to plant seeds in potentially fertile ground. Nonetheless, I counseled him to please be careful. I don’t believe or feel that he needs professional help but still.
We talked about a lot of other things to do with his life–and mine. A lot of complicated things…our emotions, our lack of self esteem, our sexuality, where he was in his life now, how things had progressed for him and where his future might lead. I said to him that the last time we spoke, his personal life was a bit up in the air as far as he was concerned but now, it seems like he has reached a pivotal point. Prior to this, his career has been the most important thing and he has travelled first to the US and now to the UK in order to obtain it. He told me that he felt he was always running away from “something.”
I said to him that may be the case but only he could decide that for sure. In a practical sense, he couldn’t obtain work here so he needed to seek it out elsewhere. And as a result of the travel, any kind of relationship would have been very hard to maintain. But now that he may be staying in London, that might be able to change? However, one thing I was sure of (and I did tell him this) was that he was in the middle of a lot of introspection right now and even though it was painful, it was good. I told him that he would come out the other side with a lot more insight and that would also be good.
When we parted (and we’ll surely see each other again before he leaves) I told him that if he ever wanted to talk about this further, at any time please just contact me. God, if there is anyone who understands this it is me.
My friend is probably the biggest Madonna fan out there. In fact, he won’t allow me to dislike her. That’s okay, I do like her so it’s alright. I guess I’ll throw up a song for him.