Healing….I Hope

So last night I made an interesting decision.  I came across some old video diaries of mine and it sent me into a time of reflection.  I realized that the same things I was trying to work through 5 years ago by making the videos are the same things I’m currently working through in therapy.  I realized that no matter how many techniques I learn and how many exercises I complete to confront my trauma of the past I still find myself stuck on one main issue – ending my friendship with my best friend of 7 years who was truly more like my sister.  In the fall of 2016 I reached out to her after 3 years without any form of communication and she took her sweet time to respond.  But when she did in late January of 2017 we were able to really talk through some things and we even agreed to try out friendship again.  She invited me to her baby shower and when I went all I felt was love from her and her family.  But then as we had predicted we kind of put catching up on hiatus as she embarked upon the journey of being a first-time mom.

Following the baby shower our communication was pretty good.  It wasn’t nearly as constant as it once was but it was reasonable and then kind of randomly in May we stopped talking.  Last May I was in regularly scheduled therapy and when the second hiatus of communication lasted until August I kind of felt like it was a sign that my old friend and I would be cordial but never go back to where we once were.  Well, as soon as I made that decision in therapy she messaged me.  I was so at peace with my decision that I really didn’t know what to do.  I was battling with so much already and I just didn’t know if I had it in me to have her back in my life if she still had toxic tendencies.  I reached out to other friends that knew how my friendship had been toxic in the past and they know how I struggle with mental health.  Just as I suspected my friends were against me rekindling any form of friendship with her (y’all our friendship was REALLY toxic) and they told me that the lull in communication demonstrated how I was once again prioritizing her more than she thought of me.

Back in August I didn’t really trust myself to make any decisions on my own so I took heed to all of the advice I was given.  And I just simply never responded to the message.  Last night after watching those old videos I missed my friend so much and I decided that no matter what anyone thought I want her back in my life.  I feel like I’m in a better place now in regards to my mental health and it’s almost summer so I’ll have a break from school and maybe we can hang out like we used to.  It would mean the world to me to have my best friend back in my life and I’m happy to say that I think that really might be happening.  I had so much anger in me when our friendship ended and I thought I could never forgive her.  I then spiraled into a state of depression and until lately I really didn’t see any hope of ever completely healing from the whole situation.  Now I’m hopeful that healing is possible.

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Picking Up The Pieces

How do you fix a mess you’ve created?  I needed time to myself (or I thought I did) and so I pushed everyone away.  I thought that it was for the best.  I thought that if I was growing apart from one person then it must be time to let go of all my friends.  Why do I suck at friendship?  Well even if I am growing apart from one friend the others had no clue why I socially fell off the face of the earth and they were concerned.  I didn’t think anyone would notice.  And I figured their lives would just go on without skipping a beat.  But they noticed and apparently they noticed shortly after I went into seclusion.  I thought completely blocking numbers and deleting social apps was the answer but I realize now that it was a bad decision.  Not only was it an unhealthy decision but it also made it so that people couldn’t reach me if they needed help with something or in an emergent situation.

I lashed out.  I was freaked out by the thought of getting hurt again.  And being in such an isolated place I really thought no one noticed and that hurt and so I started growing accustomed to life without my friends.  I figured in the long run they’d be better without a dramatic friend that is currently on an emotional roller coaster.  I figured I was sparing them from worrying about my well-being and any hurt they might’ve experienced when I failed them.  But it looks like I still managed to cause hurt and worry.  I don’t know if I should try to fix things or let the friendships end in this messy state.

I completely forgot that although I feel like my friendships are ending maybe other people don’t (even though that’s hard to believe).  My therapist is the one who called to my attention how unhealthy my self-isolating behavior is and she wanted me to reflect on my decision.  I honestly wasn’t going to reconsider my actions but after I answered a random number that kept calling me I was forced to reflect on the mess I’ve made.  The call was coming from one of my friends who figured out her number was blocked. I didn’t have time to think of a lie, I didn’t have time to fake a good mood, I was just speechless.  And maybe my friend didn’t really notice.  I did try to get off the phone as quickly as possible and when I called her back I worked hard at redirecting the conversation so I didn’t have to keep lying about how I’m doing when asked.

I guess this just shows that I shouldn’t have tried to avoid talking about my struggles because that’s exactly what I’ll have to do if I want to save any of my friendships with those who were worried about me.  I feel like I’m always the friend creating drama or apologizing after lashing out at someone or reaching out for help.  I didn’t want to be a burden and I didn’t want to be needy.  But I also don’t want to hurt people.  I don’t know what to do.  I’m tired of lying about how I feel.  And I am getting help, I just need time for things to get better and then (like I planned) I’ll reemerge socially.

I guess what I failed to realize is that although the world did keep spinning (like I knew it would without me present), people did notice that I wasn’t really present.

Do Soulmates Replace Best Friends?

I never questioned where I stood in my best friend’s life until today.  A simple post helped to make me aware that I am not the most important person in her life – and honestly that stung.  I realize that sounds like a egotistic way of thinking but I remember a time when my best friend was the first person I wanted to tell anything and vice versa.  Now I feel like an afterthought, some would say a third wheel, like the annoying friend you include because you feel obligated.  I guess the weird sense of hurt I feel is due to my constant need to be needed.  I’ve felt that none of my friends need me like they used to and today just kind of confirmed it for me.

Right now I have no interest in a romantic relationship.  And I’m not jealous of my friends that are in them.  But today made me wonder if I’m going to gradually lose all my friends to their relationships.  Is that just the way life goes?  I’ve always heard people say that their spouse is their best friend but I never really thought much about it until now.  So if your spouse is your best friend then where does that leave all those you called best friend before them?  Is it time to accept that what I define as a best friend is no longer acceptable?

Maybe this shows a lack of maturity on my part.  Perhaps best friends are just meant to be place holders until you find your soulmate and I’m simply being replaced.  No one stops to tell me the details of their day anymore.  I’m no longer the assumed plus one, as I was in college.  I’m not the one she shares new dreams and aspirations with.  And gone are the days we spent all day hanging out and had deep conversations that continued long after midnight.  It could simply be that I moved to a new place and haven’t really made new friends yet but I’m really starting to feel like all of my friendships have faded.  And I can’t stand the  thought that this lingering loneliness will continue until I find my soulmate…

Reflection Caused By Death

Why does it take death to make us appreciative of what we have? Why don’t we take the time to reflect on our lives normally? Yesterday I found out that a girl my age died. Unfortunately I can’t describe her as a friend because I never had the pleasure of meeting her but she touched the lives of so many that I do know. Even though I didn’t know her personally, hearing of her sudden death made me very emotional. I struggled because I was faced with the idea that social media makes us feel like we remain connected with old friends but in reality we’ve lost our once close connection.

People that were my closest friends years ago were clearly filled with grief and I struggled to decide if it was okay for me to offer them consolation. I realized that it is very selfish for me to focus on how awkward I may feel and decided to send a casual message of comfort to some one who was once my best friend. He clearly appreciated the gesture and for a moment it was like the years of disconnect didn’t matter. I have come to think that somehow I am the only one who struggles with lost friendships. It seems like all of the friends I’ve lost, either from a falling out or just simply due to distance and time, just kept going on with their lives without our friendship. I on the other hand truly miss them and I have the good memories in constant replay in my mind. I don’t like that it’s almost impossible to keep up with friends no matter how hard you try. I hate that you naturally grow apart from some friends. And most of all I hate that social media gives us a false feeling of connection to friends who have truthfully become strangers.

Maybe it’s the rainy weather or the beginning of fall but I really feel like I’ve lost the best friends I could ask for and they cannot be replaced. Now no one pushes me to tell them how I’m really feeling. No one cares enough to just check in. I feel like no one needs me any more. I used to have friends that couldn’t go a day without talking to me and now few conversations occur with my friends unless I start them.