Tonight, I met JF, one of my dearest friends, for “drinks” (I had club soda) at our favorite spot.

It’s been a while since just the two of us went out. I used to see him 4 or 5 days a week when we would get together after work or wander around the lake. I consider him part of my family and he’s a wonderful, wonderful man. A couple of days ago, I im’ed him to ask if he wanted to get together tonight. I had thought I’d be downtown for a meeting, so I’d meet him for a drink and I’d be home by 8. My client had to reschedule so I went to meet him anyway.

I am so glad I did.

I’ve been very withdrawn from my friends since the break-up as I coped with everything and came to terms with my singlehood after so many years together. I also had to deal with the broken foot and hobbling around was just not conducive to healing my injury. Because money has been excruciatingly tight since the ex went back to school full-time and quit his job, I also had not been socializing much over the past year or so.

We had a blast at the spot: I am still practicing talking to strangers (making small bar talk in case I ever decide to venture into the dating scene), so I engaged the man next to us in conversation. Everything was lovely, I even had a fab salad.

After we left, JF drove me back to my car. As we drove the four blocks, I told him how much I loved him and how much I’d missed him. He told me that my friends all love me very much and they have been pondering staging an intervention about my career and some of the choices I have made.

Well, that’s fair.

I’ve been downwardly mobile and unable to socialize to the same amount or degree over the years. They worry about my vow of poverty and the hits I’ve taken, they believe unnecessary.

I told him what I tell myself — I know I made some scary choices. I know it looks bizarre. I told him how much I have at risk and that I believed it was worthwhile, not just for the money, but for the new career. If it succeeds, I would have true financial freedom and be able to take on any projects, clients, or careers I wanted to without having to worry about making money. Ever.

We ended up driving up and down the one way streets for another 45 minutes just talking. I think it helped him to let me know they all loved me and were very concerned. I think he understands a bit better that there was a lot going on behind the scenes with the ex for longer than any of them suspected that impacted a lot of the choices I was making. I think he also understands that I have a plan and a deadline and more control than it appears when they sit around and talk about me.

The other thing I took away from our talk is that they really miss me. Not having me there has impacted their lives more than I thought. He said it’s just different without me and we need to all be together to have it be right. (He said it better than that.)

Of course they want me to straighten my life out for my own good and for my happiness. But they also want me to straighten my life out for them. I had never thought about that before, but I know it’s true. I am the only woman in our inner circle. We are a family and without my participation in our little family, things have not been good — or as good.

I had been so wrapped up in my world as it fell apart at home and then struggling to deal with my broken heart that I just avoided having to see anyone while I coped, without ever thinking of how much it sucked to not have me around.

Things are definitely improving overall in my spirit and my life. I know I have been withdrawn and obviously sad, but things have been improving and every day is better.

What I realized after I spoke with JF is that my method of withdrawing, analyzing and healing, and then returning once I am recovering makes me kind of a bad friend. It’s still what I had to do and they do understand it, but we are a family and I think I lost sight of that while wrapped up in my issues.