I'm going to London tomorrow, trying to make plans to meet up with a London-based friend while I'm there, and as usual with Londoners she expects me to know London and understand roughly where every location she mentions is.

Obviously I have no clue and I have to look everything up on a map and the TFL planner. It's lucky we're having the conversation by messaging rather than in real time so I can keep doing this. But why do they think that their city is so much the centre of the universe that people who've never lived there will automatically know their way round it?

Social plans going wrong 

Operation Meet Up With London Friend looks like it's probably going to be a failure. I think the first plan was to meet up in Camden, roughly halfway between where she lives and where I'm staying. I haven't been there for ages and it sounds like fun. But she kept suggesting different things and I've realised that every change of plan involves me travelling further and her staying closer to home. :(

Social plans going wrong 

Yesterday she texted to say she wasn't feeling well and didn't want to do the Tate Modern trip we'd planned instead of Camden, she just wanted to do coffee or lunch.

Then yesterday evening she asked if I wanted to go to her Pilates class with her today. I said yes (luckily I had brought some clothes that will do) but I realised this morning that it's a complicated and long journey to the class and there will be no time to actually have lunch and catch up afterwards before I need to head back to the hotel for my own thing.

I want to see her but I don't want to travel 1hr 15 mins just to go to a Pilates class where we won't get to talk and then possibly have a super rushed sandwich before heading back.

Urgghhh, why is meeting up with people so hard and why is everything in London so far away from everything else?

Social plans going wrong 

It looks like the class and the place she's suggesting for food afterwards are within walking distance of her home. So part of me can't help thinking that she just doesn't want to see me that much if she's not prepared to travel anywhere and she wants to squeeze me in around classes.

That is hurtful and makes me wish she could just say honestly that she doesn't want to meet so I could make better plans for myself.

Social plans going wrong 

I messaged her a couple of hours ago asking if we can sack off the class to have a more relaxed lunch instead. Or meet for coffee earlier so we can catch up before the class. But I've now remembered she said she was busy this morning, which is probably why she didn't suggest meeting earlier in the first place. And probably why she hasn't replied to my messages. Sigh.

Social plans going wrong 

I've made a decision that I am not going to meet her for this class and I am going to the British Museum on my own instead.

I feel bad about agreeing to all this yesterday without checking the journey times properly and then flaking a few hours before, but I guess I made the non-Londoner mistake of assuming London-London couldn't possibly be more than an hour.

Social plans going wrong 

I still feel kind of annoyed and hurt that she wasn't prepared to travel anywhere to meet me or make any space in her day for me. But I guess the consequences of that decision is that she doesn't get to see me.

Social plans going wrong 

The same person came to Cardiff before Christmas and we were going to meet up, but the plans kept changing and her arrival time kept getting put back and I wasn't prepared to cancel a night out with other friends to meet her when she actually did arrive, so we never met up. And now I'm thinking..
is it coincidence that it's gone wrong twice or is she just a nightmare to arrange stuff with?

Social plans going wrong 

She's got back to me. She's not prepared to cancel her Pilates class but she'd like to meet for lunch afterwards. Which is nice but doesn't solve my original problem of needing to get back to my hotel by a certain time and this part of London being too far away. So I've cancelled and I wish I'd never even tried to meet her.

I think she has an absolutely packed schedule today and meeting me was never realistic unless I did all the travelling and was very flexible about times. But she got FOMO about not seeing me.

Anyway, time to enjoy the British Museum!

mental health 

Remember the friend I totally failed to meet up with in London last week? She's reposted a thing on Facebook about friendships when you have mental health problems:

"Some people are quick to label you a shitty friend with no clue how broken you are and instead of understanding they just call the friendship quits...There are many people that arrange a coffee with friends and suddenly the 4 walls they inhabit seem the only safe haven...so they cancel."

My friend added a note starting "This is me..."

I have a lot of Feelings about this.

mental health, bereavement 

The reposted thing ends with "Please don't give up on your friends."

But the truth is: I have given up on her. Not because I want to punish her for having mental health problems, but because I know that I can't make meeting up happen if some part of her is running away from seeing people.

And the more we go on without getting to see each other or talk properly, the less connected I feel to her and the less effort I want to put into the friendship.

I am pretty sure she doesn't even know that my husband died over two years ago. It's not something I ever wanted to put on Facebook. I was looking forward to finally telling her about it when I saw her in November, but the meet-up never happened. Same thing last week.

It makes me uncomfortable to say this, because I want to be supportive of people with problems, but I am not prepared to make the ridiculous amount of effort required to see her. That's the truth.

mental health, bereavement 

@griffinkate do you have each other’s phone numbers? A phone call might help staying in touch in a relatively easy way, if the real life meetup fails.

mental health, bereavement 

@whakkee We do have each other's phone numbers. (I'm always trying to get her to text or WhatsApp me instead of using Facebook Messenger.) It's just...it feels like a lost cause now. She's wasted so much of my time on literally nothing and my last trip to London would have been so much better if I hadn't even tried to meet up with her. I've totally lost patience. Which does not reflect well on me, I know, but it's how I feel.


mental health, bereavement 

@griffinkate I think (not that it matters what I think, but hey) it’s a totally legitimate feeling. Your time is precious, and a friendship can’t be about just one of the two persons. It can be for a bit, but not all the time. It needs some balance at some point. Don’t be too hard on yourself ❤️

mental health, bereavement 

@whakkee Thank you for saying this. My bereavement complicates things because it kind of divides my life into "before" and "after" and my friends into "know" and "don't know". Last year I started the process of unfriending all the people I'd casually friended on Facebook but didn't know well enough/didn't see often enough to tell about my bereavement. I made a post saying "FYI, if I unfriend you, it's not your fault" and she of all people popped up with a comment that made it clear she thought she was definitely still part of my life.

So I've been feeling uncomfortable about her not knowing, and I thought meeting up would finally break down that barrier and get us back on a closer footing, but then we didn't meet up...and then we didn't meet up AGAIN. It's just a mental load I can't carry.

Thanks again for your supportive words.

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