Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue


Sex and the City of Annapolis: That’s What Friends Are For

posted by Beyond Blue

sex and city.jpg

I hate to disappoint you, but this post isn’t about sex. You already know all the details on my sex life, (and if you need a review, you can click here to read my post “Sex Night: Beyond Blue Balls.”) Of course, ever since I told Eric that Charlotte, the happy stay-at-home mom in “Sex and the City” has sex with her husband two to THREE times a week, he’s been insisting we add one more night to “the schedule.” I have been reminding him what a friend of ours said when he read that post–that in his house sex happened twice a year: January and July. Good thing July is almost here!

This post is about friendship. Which is what I think the movie “Sex and the City” and the series is all about. With some hilarious sex stories in between.

Last night I went with five of my girlfriends to see it, and I walked out of the movie theatre remembering why friendship is so important: a true friend keeps you honest with yourself, and honest with others.

I almost didn’t go to see the movie because I had deadlines, like always, and was behind on my work, like always, and I was afraid that leaving the kids with Eric might do bad things to his personality–as stress can do. But I made myself go. Because friendships–making them and sustaining them–is crucial to my recovery program.

Friends keep me real, and hold me accountable.

Like earlier this summer when my friend Grace gave me instructions on how to let go of something that was obviously hurting me.

Like three years ago, when my friend Joani stormed through our front door on a hot September afternoon and told me to pack my bags for the hospital, because if I didn’t she was sure I’d be dead by Halloween.

Like three weeks ago, when Michelle called just as I started to cry in a fit of anxiety that had me so scared I was going backwards, toward the Black Hole.

And three days ago, when my friend Priscilla told me to chill out on trying to be the perfect mom to David and Katherine–to take a breather and try to enjoy them every now and then.

As I watched the movie and admired the courage of all four women–Charlotte, Samantha, Carrie, and Miranda–of being totally real with each other, and at times saying and doing the unpopular thing that was best for each other, I was reminded of the sacredness of friendship.

Friendship is a value Jesus believed in, you know–although he taught its value in a language and context a little, well, different than the “Sex and the City” foursome. In the Gospel of John, we read:

This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have hear from my father.

So yeah, God calls us to be friends to one another.

Which means when the groom of a friend (Carrie) bails on the wedding day, all the friends cancel their plans for the week (get a babysitter for the kids, find a way out of work commitments) to be with the friend during the prepaid vacation package in Mexico that was supposed to be her honeymoon in order to nurse her back to life.

Which means telling a friend (Miranda) that she’s making a mistake by leaving a good and loving husband because he slipped one night and had sex with someone (because he hadn’t been laid by his wife in over six months), that maybe the best thing for all of them would be to go to counseling and try a little forgiveness.

Which means confronting a friend (Samantha) on her emotional eating, pointing out her growing gut and urging her to get to the source of her pain, and if it’s because of a bad relationship, to end the relationship instead of gain another 30 pounds.

Which means being there for a friend (Charlotte) who is pregnant after years of fertility treatments, who is terrified something bad will happen, because she is finally pregnant–to encourage her to run like she always does, and not to end her life in order to protect this baby-to-be.

Those are just a few of the sacred shots of friendship that I caught in the movie.
They reminded me why I absolutely HAVE to make time for friends, even though that is always the first thing to go when I get busy–the coffee dates, the lunches, and the long-distant phone calls–that I need to commit to friendships just as I did my marriage.

I remembered, after watching the movie, that friends serve as the security net in the circus of our lives. When plans shatter and the stuff holding us together seems to have evaporated, that’s what friends are for.

To keep us real, and to help us heal.

To read more Beyond Blue, go to www.beliefnet.com/beyondblue, and to get to Group Beyond Blue, a support group at Beliefnet Community, click here.



  • blanche

    Your post really hits home, Therese.
    I just got out of the hosp again (yea, Aurora Psych Unit 3), this time for suicidal thoughts, so my treatment is for mental health rather than substance.
    I’m learning that I was putting the cart before the horse and not getting to the bottom of why I think the way I do.
    Notably, my “friends” haven’t tried to call or email me once. Since they drink a lot, maybe it’s not a bad thing, but still disappointing.
    The other friends I have at work are the ones who checked on me, and gave me unconditional support.
    So much for the other friends….. God Bless

  • karen

    It’s tough when you don’t have friends and have to go through suicidal thoughts, severe anxiety and depression as I do.

  • Peg

    Blanche and Karen, thanks for sharing your thoughts. I’m sure anyone who reads your words as I just have, will reach out to you in spirit and will pray for you in his or her own way. I will pray that God will send you the right people to give you the support you need, whether it be family, friends, nursing staff, anyone you come in contact with. Peg

  • Mary Anne

    WOW! I was amazed at how many of us posted in response to Therese’s ways to make friends post. They are GREAT replies and if you all have not read them, go back and check them out. We have all got a little bit closer and made new friends by what we all shared there! Blessed Be

  • Anonymous

    I haven’t watched S&TC religiously, but I have watched enough episodes (and laughed and cried with them) to know that I have been missing out on strong, open “girlfriends” friendships – and how desperately I really do need them. I love my SisterFriend of 4 years, but it’s impossible to be totally open and real with her. She is ultra guarded, often reading into things that just aren’t there. I love her very much, but I needed more – I needed a small group of strong Christian friends who are diverse enough in their world and personal views to keep my vision 20/20, yet unwaveringly commited to the important things in life – God and Family.
    And now, God has brought two wonderful women into my life. They aren’t too proud to hear some honest, perhapse even blunt, comment and they are willing to lovingly give me their own blunt opinions.
    I love not walking on eggshells. I love knowing that I have a force of friends around me. And it means so much to me to have a network of women growing in my life who aren’t just using me as “their friend” but are sincere enough in that commitment to really act like it and speak their minds – and expect me to do the same.
    “Sex in the City” we are not LOL But I thank God for these beautiful souls He has brought into my life to bring me tangible, audible vision and balance.
    Thank you, Therese, for a wonderful blog. I pray that EVERY woman would have friends like yours, like mine, and yes, even ike the S&TC girls :)

  • deb

    Therese,
    I am not sure how I originally found your site (about a month ago), but I immediately recognized how much I have in common w/ you and subscribed to the daily newsletter. I just wanted to tell you how much I appreciate your honesty, humor, and writing skills! in sharing your life with others. The people who post comments about your columns are equally as great and you have created a wonderful community. Nice to know none of us are alone in the struggle w/ depression and everything that it brings to one’s life. Would be curious to know how many Catholics or lapsed-Catholics make up your site; it seems to be a common thread w/ my friends.
    Anyway, thank you for tackling difficult subjects that others are not willing to touch.

  • Debbie S

    therese,
    As usual your blog hits the nail on the head. I have been saved by my good friends and injured by lifelong “friends”. I had to weed thru who I wanted in my life and who was a liability. This has taken some time, but I owed it to myself not to have anyone in my life who wasn’t 100% supportive of me and my family.
    After reading todays message, I immediately called my best friend who moved an hour away last year, and who I only see once a month or so now, after raising our sons together for 9 years. She is lonely w/o me and I am w/o her, but we talk on the phone frequently, and I know she is still a great great friend, and an unconditional supporter. My cousins I grew up with have also been there for me thru my trials of depression, and my teenage son’s depression and mood disorders. My boy has just been released from Juvenile Hall to house arrest and I am with him pretty much non stop. So, even tho it is more challenging now to get out to see my friends, I still keep in touch by phone and am grateful everyday that they have my back, and I have theirs. We use to meet out for coffee, lunch, etc. but under the current circumstance, they have offered to bring me lunch here, etc. Such a blessing…:)
    God bless you and keep reaching out! You are part of my morning reading and I appreciate your thoughts and wisdom.
    Deb S (teensmom)

  • Anonymous

    I am blessed to be able to honestly say that my two younger sisters are among my best fried; one older sister isn’t but it’s becauseSHE made the choice long ago to replace family wit church friends not because we don’t love her equally as well. Her choice, her loss, My other closest friend is a cousin my same age. The weird thing about this is that when we were preadolescent and teenagers, we didn’t get along at all. She was everything I wanted to be but wasn’t…a cheerleader and baton twirler, popular, a good dancer and worthy of wearing a two piece bathing suit. In shrt, I idolized her while she really just wanr=ted to be treated normally; my adulation pretty much gauranteed a lack of closeness then. Instead, in response to my adoration, she liked to picj on me (I was an EXCELLENT victi, thanks to my years of “training as the family’s “scapegoat. Yet today as adults she’s more like a sister than a cousin; we even– once in a while when my skin is feling thick– share a giggle or two about some of the ridiculous things one of us did; me trying to bring her closer, she attempting to climb down from the pedestal I’d put her on. Since my stroke, she’s been one of my most loyal supportors, making freuent visits(we’re separated by about eighty miles) bringing a newly released movie for us to enjoy togetherspending a full day with me and often bringing a meal she has prepared because he knows it’s a favorite of mine. We email almost daily, speak on the phone at least ONCE a week, and she sends me encouraging cards or sayings on refrigerator magnets by snail mail in between those communications. Had someone told EITHER of us that we’d become good friends as adults, neither of us would have believed it and yt here we are, me no longer worshipping, so she no longer needing to keep me at bay. She, like me, has a somewhat skewed sense of humor, sp we spend a lot of time just laughing togther. If life was only a few short hours, she’s one individual I would find time for. Her twenty-two year old son and my twenty-three old (twin) nephews always seek out our company at family get togethers, probably becuse we aren’t above playing x-rated Balderdash with them and can laugh at or even add to their irreverance in terms of making up definitions. My life would be so much less wihout these three individuals in it. Knowing that someone(s) exust(s) wh will call me up short wnem I need it more than attones for the many hurtful pranks she pulled on me during our youth. At the other end of the spectrum, having people who recognize and value who I tuly am is worth a king’s ransom

  • maggie

    This post hit home with me as well. I saw the movie with my 22 y/o daughter and we had a great time. But as we were waiting for the movie to begin, I looked around and saw several groups of women friends~one was even a group of 5 or 10 I think.
    I don’t have that in my life. I am very isolated by way of illnessand not working, empty nesting and a not so social neighborhood. We all get along and help one another on my block. But I have tried countless times over the years we have lived here~book clubs, theater nights, girls night for dinner and drinks. It never holds. Everyone seems to be in their own world.
    I lost my Mom 11 years ago who was my true best friend. And the few friends I have are either far away or too enmeshed in their own worlds to care. And my husband….well let’s just say after almost 29 years of marraige we fall into the biannual schedule that your friend does, Therese. It’s all so lonely, so isolatory, so sad.
    Sitting here in my room, I long for that type of friendship, bonds that stick and people that care enough to just do something for you when you can’t.
    God bless you for the graces of your friendship. I pray I might feel that bond again someday.

  • Peter McGrath

    Liked your blog. But uncertain why you put the word “annapolis” in your hed.

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