In the lowest moments, I was asked what I wanted to do with myself, because I truly was lost and depressed and supposed to be making my way in the world having recently completed a master's degree, recently bought a house... recently watched my dad die... Stopped. My partner asked me, from his wits end, what I wanted to do, or what I was striving for, something like that. I said, unexpected, "I'm a good friend". What?
It was all that felt absolutely true about me, as a highest potential or most honest answer to the questions. To be(come) a good friend... to myself. That's what the call was about. Still is. Watching your dad die when you're 30 tells you to stop fucking around with lies. Stop turning against yourself, child. This life is for living it. Be YOU. That's the call.
Part of it since then has been studying anxiety. Why? When I take away the clinical definition and go with the actual feeling, it's just an indicator that I'm not being my friend right then. Subtle shit, these obscure ways I turn against myself in moments that can snowball. But anxiety IS a friend. It tells me to notice what I'm doing. All anxiety is saying is "Pay attention, best friend! Notice."
I can inquire within a lot better now than back then at the beginning of the stop, blurting out that I'm a good friend, unable to back myself up to my partner who was beside himself, having not lost his own dad yet, having not lost his stories about life yet. He was a gift, frustrated as hell in the kitchen 17 years ago. Depression, a gift stopping me from pretending bullshit stories very well anymore. Takes the energy and sucks it down somewhere mysterious, like a savings account you can't access until you're trustworthy. Anxiety, that fluttering, crazy, metallic tasting gift. It's an honest friend that says "Oh, you don't need to do that to yourself anymore. Notice what you're doing. This is what it tastes like to turn against yourself."
I'm a good friend. That's my best answer.