We circled round and round, but still she insisted that she really didn't need or want any friends. We explored how disappointment with past relationships is contributing to social avoidance. I assisted her in identifying ways having more support might be of some benefit. I listened and validated while cautiously challenging some of her thoughts.
What I really wanted to do was say was "Nope. You're wrong. Sorry kid, but I'm older than you, and I know better."
I wanted to be more direct and tell her that friends are important. They are really, really important. And whether she has two or 200 of them, developing friendships would likely be far more therapeutic than sitting in a tiny room across from me every Friday.
Friends will bring out the best parts of you. The fun, silly, sassy parts that remind you of being a kid.
They will compliment you when you're looking good, and pick you up when you're feeling bad.
They will be there to celebrate life's biggest transitions.
And give you a hug when you need it more than air.
And whether they've been in your life for two years or 20, just knowing they're a phone call away can make you feel so safe.
On Saturday, Vin and I bounced from borough to borough from 2 pm to 2 am visiting with different groups of friends.
We left a pile of dishes in the sink and clothes strewn all over the floor. We postponed several errands and stopped thinking about work demands.
When I think about it, my 18-year-old client had a point. Friends really are a distraction.
And that's exactly why we all need them.