An open letter to my family and friends

Hi,

We haven’t spoken in a while. If we had, I could just ask you how your week has been, but it’s been so many weeks that that question is void.

But how are you doing? What’s your job now? Do you have a partner? What’s their name? You don’t,? Are you looking or are you happy just being you right now? How’s your family doing? What about the dogs? Do you have kids? What’s their name(s)? Where do you live now? What kind of home do you have? What have you been up to since we left school?

I’m sorry that I need to ask these kinds of questions. I’m sorry the year has changed once, twice or more since our last contact. I’m sorry we said we’d stay in contact but we haven’t.  I’m sorry we’ve drifted apart. We’re different people now to when we last spoke.

To people out there that think to themselves, “Why should I bother contacting them? They never contact me first!” Take a second and think why they don’t call you or text you. There could be numerous reasons but don’t jump to a conclusion before reaching out. They could be thinking the exact same thoughts as you, and you’ve both left it a long time. They could have a really demanding job, which means they just want to chill when they get home. They could be under stress and are really busy, meaning any time they get to themselves needs to be spent recuperating. They could be waiting for you to call as they called last time and you said you’d call them next. They could be feeling sick and tired of always being the one to call others and others never calling them. They could be forgetful and simply not realise how long it’s been. They could find it difficult to talk to others. They could be like me and feel all of the above (bar the always calling others one… that ain’t me).

Please don’t take my distance personally. It doesn’t mean I love you any less, and it doesn’t mean I don’t think about you. It means I struggle with things that come naturally to others. I’m even more of an introvert now and changes in my lifestyle mean I find it difficult to socialise and be there for other people. I don’t drink at all, so just going out for a drink can be a massive deal. Crowds make me uncomfortable and loud noises give me a headache. I resent getting notifications on my phone as I feel it controls an absurd amount of my attention and time. I hate that we’re all so accessible yet distant. A message on WhatsApp or a comment on social media fills me with dread, as I feel obliged to respond there and then, so I rebel and ignore it. Phone calls terrify me. I’m admitting to you that I ignore messages I receive, but I do it for my mental well being. I don’t want to be reachable at all times. I like my own company. My job is mentally draining and I talk to people all day – when I get home I just want to be my true self. I have my own little bubble of what makes me happy, and that should make you happy too.

If you want to talk to me, do it. Send me an email. Tweet at me. Send me a message on Whats App. Send me a letter. But please don’t be offended if I don’t reply straight away – remember that social interactions can be draining for an introvert and I’ll get back to you when I’m ready. I do care about you, I’m just quiet about it all.

Love, Carly


Toodle-pip. ♥

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