Why You Can Count Your True Friends on One Hand

22/08/2012 17:18 BST | Updated 22/10/2012 10:12 BST

I just had the best summer holiday. Not because it was particularly luxurious or exotic. We were in a crumbling beach house, there was a constant bathroom queue and the kitchen was less than modcon. It was special because we were in the best of company. Simple pleasures shared by like minded souls - cards under the stars, picnics and side splitting jokes.

It is a rare thing to go away with friends and have your expectations exceeded. My experience is that you never really know people till you spend 24 hours with them. My first girly trip away to Rhodes ended up with a huge bitch fight. We were all up for partying yet one of us was constantly tired and spent the whole time sneering at our drunken antics. She stopped talking to us half way through and ended up have a luggage trolley fight with one of us on arrival at Gatwick. I never heard from her again.

Then there was the week in Mykonos where I ended up trapsing after my gbffs - gay best friends forever - all week as the token 'Kylie' icon. At least I had nothing to worry about on the nudist beaches. Though I won't forget hearing the sound of jangling keys near my head which turned out to be a man with a very pierced Prince Albert.

Or the dreadful weekends with couples you hardly know that snipe at each other all the time and then try to muffle their full blown row at 3am. You try and make polite chatter the next day but after looking at their watch a gzillionth time you get the message that its time to scarper.

Friendship is a curious thing. It is clear measure of where you are in life. The spiritual world talks about the laws of attraction - you bring people in to your life to help heal parts of you and you can only be friends with people of the same frequency. Birds of the same feather flock together. Most people have a couple of true friends that stick around but most move on. Even longterm friendships can evolve into being more of a dependence or a habit than an active choice.

I did not grasp any of this till very recently.

I had a sprinkling of friends at school so at uni and after I loved being popular. I was defined by the number of friends I had. My birthdays were only successful if lots of people showed up (under 25 was a flop). I did not care whether I felt loved or respected. I just wanted people to choose me. So I became friendaholic. I was the connector bringing people together. I would organise dinners, weekends away and always always be the one to call up.

Yet when I would see friends I would often feel empty or down after. Maybe the odd remark or a general vibe but it did not do me any good. I was too afraid of my own shadow to question any of this.

This was all until my life went tits up and I saw who my real friends were. When disaster hit most human beings scuttle back under their rock. The ones who need you suddenly feel needed so run a mile. Or the ones just like the lighter side of life. Or the ones who have an allergy to problems.

It was time to shed, to cull. Enough was enough. I was calling in the wrong people for all the wrong reasons. They were a reflection of the parts of me that had not been resolved. I got help and worked on those fragments of my Self that were in pain.

I now look at the people around me, the people that were just with me on hols. They are positive, loving, caring and true. They are radiators of life, not drainers. They don't say things to please nor do they bring everyone down with cynicism. They are like family and as my blood family live in other countries this means the world to me. Someone wise said show me your friends and I will see what kind of person you are. I am very blessed to have them in my life.

Thank you les Chatons.