November 25, 2019 Blog No Comments

Do you have friends who are like family? Framily is what we call them. They have played an important role in seeing me though many junctures of my life. Having just taken a little out-of-town trip with a group of friends and while there, rendezvoused with a childhood girlfriend I haven’t seen in 22 years, the importance of these folks is on my mind.

We have a supper club, affectionately dubed the F*#ker Club, which includes a few  friends I’ve known for over 25 years. While we’ve had many adventures together, this was our first road trip for dinner – we will definitely do it again. Then seeing my girlfriend I’ve known since I was 11, made me even more aware of the significance of these dear people.

With the holidays coming, I hear about people opting to celebrate Friendsgiving, with and without family. What a wonderful thing to do – especially when family is far away. While I love celebrating with my family, I also love the option of sharing with my friends.  It decreases the drama that can derail even the best of families and adds a dimension of joy that increases the quality of your life.

Here are some of the benefits of cherishing your dear friends who are like family.

They Know You and Still Love You

Your framily know you and choose you. While we all  learn to navigate difficult family dynamics because we have to, your friends hang in because they want to. Friendships that stand the test of time are precious for this reason.

Long term friendships often have a level of comfort and relaxed humor that keeps them fun. Honoring each other over decades keeps adding to your cache of shared stories and commitment to one another.

They are There For You In The Worst of Times

Friends who have seen me through the trials of family death, divorce, remarriage, work joys and difficulties, children’s ups and downs are special. They know … they have walked with me. There is no price you can put on that depth of sharing. I give thanks for them.

At one time, a group of my friends called ourselves the “fractured family” for our ability to see each other through difficult times. We had hilarious holidays together, gave our children great memories and kept each other from being alone and sad in difficult times.

They Can Make Up For What’s Missing

If you are like me, you have had times when you needed extra love, support and help. I am tremendously grateful for the many friends who have stepped up in those times of need to lend a hand and fill the gap for what was missing.

I have male friends who have been and continue to be like a father and role model for my son. I have friends who stepped in like parents when we were out of town and our son needed emergency surgery. I have a girlfriend who has taken my son under wing to teach him how to be in the car business.  I have had the comfort of friends during extreme loss and sorrow. I am so very grateful for all their love.

They Add Richness To Life

What’s life without dear friends? I have had the benefit of living in one place for many, many decades. While friendship patterns can change as your circumstances change, I have a large group of long-term friends. They have seen me through many reiterations of my life.

I thank them for introducing me to my husband. I have had the honor of celebrating their relationships, marriages and our rites of passage with work and children. I share ongoing joy and adventures with them. My life is a rich tapestry thanks to their contributions.

How do you credit your friends for what they bring to your life, for being like family?  Can you see how they love you as you are and have seen you through trials in your life? Do you notice how they make up for what is missing– the right person at the right time being there for you? And don’t you love the richness and character they add to your life? At this time of Thanksgiving, be sure to speak up  and give them an extra word and hug of thanks.

How does this speak to you? We choose our friends and our circumstances. If you want something more or different, start dreaming about it. If you want help making changes, reach out. My Transformation Life Coaching and Therapy can help you bring in what you desire. See and use my Free Consultation link to reach me. I would love to hear from you.

Written by Connie Milligan, LCSW
If there is anything I’ve expressed that speaks to you, I’d love to hear from you. You can reach me at my email, connie [at] conniemilligan [dot] com