I've had many in my life. I've even had a few "best friends". Many of those ultimately hurt my heart in some way, so, I learned to put up a large wall for many years. I thought I could only really rely on my husband, and a few close releatives for anything. It made me sad and it was very difficult at times,especially because we live 3,000 miles from our entire family. But, I felt it was easier than the potential being hurt by a friend again. So, I kept people and potential friends at a distance. I would be "friendly" and I knew lots of people, but it wouldn't go much further than that. Honestly, I wouldn't invest too much in the people I thought were simply passing through my life because that was easier than getting hurt.
However, I've learned that each and every one of those friends that I thought was simply passing through my life has a significant importance. And maybe, I had an importance in theirs.
I learned that relying on friends, is really all I had under these terrible circumstances. No one outside of our community knew what we were enduring on a daily basis. Only we did. Many friends, whom I hadn't seen in several years, came together- we all became closer. We spent more time together, and talked, a lot. Even something as mundane as going to our kids' sports practices or going to the grocery store, became an oppotunity to talk with someone who "understood" the myriad of emotions and circumstances that we were dealing with.
So, what is it that I have learned? Friends ARE important; just as important as your family. We aren't meant to walk this journey alone. We are social creatures. Even those of us who are more introverted (like me) need people in our lives. We need to surround ourselves in the people who have been put into our lives for a reason. Some day you may need them, more than you ever thought you would. Take the time to invest in those friendships, even if it means putting yourself out there - making yourself vulnerable.