Sunday, 22 January 2012

Best friends

How do you define a "best friend"? I have just been listening to Sir Terry Wogan on BBC Radio 2 play Best Friend by Queen, which has prompted me to write this post and I have been meaning to talk about this for a while.

My sister is only six and is forever telling me about her "best friends" at school - she seems to have a different best friend every day of the week. 800 million of us use Facebook to interact with friends/people we know. The average user has 130 friends - I have to confess I have far more than that, as do many other people I know. Are these real friends or just connections? And what does it say about someone who has thousands of Facebook friends or just a few? I think you can know a lot of people, but not necessarily call them all true friends.

I don't have a single best friend - but a few really good friends who I know I can call on for help at any time. I have become acquainted with many people having done lots of different things in the last few years. There used to just be school friends and home friends. But I went to three different schools, did a cookery course, did a PA course, am now at university and I have a very special, close group of friends who I met on the journey of recovery from mental illness (known as P-FINE peeps - more on that another time) - that's six categories. And that doesn't include "family friends" and home friends. It's very confusing because many school friends and home friends and other friends have now met and are at university together and I can't go anywhere now without someone knowing someone else, be it through home, school, college, university etc. For example, I went to school near Oxford and my brother went to school in Middlesex and he is now studying/socialising at Edinburgh university with girls who were two years below me at my school. God, its confusing. Hopefully you get what I mean. Basically - its a damn small world that just keeps getting smaller.

In a previous blog, I wrote about Kate Thornton and Megan Rafferty's documentary on anorexia. Well - it turns out I know Megan and her mum used to teach me. It doesn't get smaller than that.

I've always had to work hard at my friendships and sometimes find it hard to socialise - that's not because people find me difficult to "like" but I often get lost in my own world and I do enjoy my own company. My psychiatrist said I had traits of Aspergers syndrome. I think she might be right - thats only traits, not the full form of autism.

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