This is a story that has defined who I am. It’s a story I need to share.
I’ve always been the type of girl who seemed to only be able to maintain one close friend at a time. I’ve never been incredibly close with my sister, so I think I always seek a sister in my closest friend. From probably about the age of fifteen until about eight months ago I knew who that sister-friend was.
About eight months ago though, my husband got a call that ultimately changed our lives. My best friend was leaving his best friend literally months after we stood beside them at the alter saying their vows. What exactly transpired is not meant to be discussed over the internet, but the short of it is that my best friend had done something very wrong.
Looking back on it now, when everything was happening, I think I literally became depressed. I was hurt; someone I had considered unofficial family had been lying to me for months, who knows, maybe years. I was embarrassed; everyone knew we were incredibly close and I was sure they just assumed I had known all along what she had done and condoned it. I was confused; I felt like I owed her a chance to explain herself, I felt like I owed her the respect of helping her, but at the same time I completely was shocked and disgusted by her actions.
At the time I told her that I was sorry that she was hurting but that I couldn’t be there for her at the time. I couldn’t, too many people I knew had been affected by her actions, I felt awful, weak, but I just couldn’t be there for her. I just kept seeing the quote in my head, “A true friend walks in when the rest of the world walks out.” I felt like I was the cliche horrible friend, but being around her, and hearing everything that had happened was making me sick. Not just figuratively, I was stressed, I couldn’t relax, I was unhappy.
The next few months were tough on me. Like I said, I’m a girl who has one good friend at a time. I was lonely, so incredibly lonely. If it weren’t for my supportive husband, I don’t know what might have happened to me. I knew that I had two choices; I could get over it, or I couldn’t. I chose to get over it, and let go of the anger. I’ve had people ask my since then, “How can you possibly be civil with her?”, like it was huge accomplishment. The truth was though, because it hurt me too much to be angry.
About two months ago, I asked on Facebook if anyone wanted to attend an event with me. Of course, she texted me right away and quickly guilted me into asking her to go. I told myself that I should go, that I should give it a try, we used to be best friends, surely we still had something in common and after all, it was only a couple of hours.
The day of the event came, and I was filled with kind of a nervous energy. I almost cancelled, calling my husband because our dog was sick, he told me to go ahead and go, he’d take care of the dog. Looking back from where I am now, I am very glad I went. I’m not sure that life would have presented another such opportunity, an opportunity for closure.
Looking back on everything that’s happened, I can finally see how everything that happened was genuinely a blessing in disguise.
If I am being honest, my friendship with this person was very far from perfect. I was always jealous. She had another friend who she had known longer than me. It always felt that even though I was the “better” friend, she was always the best friend- because after all- they’d known each other longer.
I always felt like she would bring me down, she wasn’t concerned about seeing me happy. When I got engaged in October 2010; my parents weren’t super excited because I was the baby, and at twenty, a little young. I called, or texted, her to tell her about it. Do you know she never even congratulated me? She didn’t fill the roll of best friend- with squeals of excitement- she wasn’t happy for me, she was jealous that I got engaged first.
There were many times where I felt like our friendship was all about her, about what would make her happy, about the places and things she wanted to do. At the time I was fine with it, but in hindsight I realize how destructive it was to me. Any sort of relationship should build you up- both people- not just one.
Over the last few weeks I’ve been really focusing my energy on being happy. I’ve never been good at it. I’ve always been the type to throw myself pity parties and even when I wasn’t I just couldn’t truly embrace happiness. I’m learning more each day that happiness is means creating a state of mind where you build up the good and downgrade the bad. With that realization I’ve come to see just how horrible that friendship I had, was for my happiness. It was holding me back, it wasn’t nurturing me.
About ten days ago I got an email from my old friend. It was awkward. It felt like it had been written by someone else, to someone else. She told me things I already knew, and expressed sentiments that felt shallow and empty. It was then that I realized how much happier I was without the weight or her negativity bringing me down. I didn’t respond, and I don’t plan on it. As selfish as it is, I’ve learned that I need to put my happiness in front of others. It is my job to create a beautiful life for myself, and sometimes that means you need to weed out the negativity.
This post may seem disjointed, but it is something I needed to share. I needed to share how a great loss taught me to find my own happiness. I needed to share that after even the darkest storms, God will give you a rainbow. I truly believe that God gave me this trial to help me realize how strong I am, and to teach me how to be my own happiness.
Almsot every day I still miss having a best friend. I miss having someone to text silly comments to in the middle of the day, or to share my happy secrets with. I know God has a plan for me though, and so each day I work harder to put a genuine smile on my face. Hoping, beyond hope, that today is the day I’ll meet my new best friend.
If you’ve read this far, thank you so much. a you choose to comment, I’ll hope you will do so with kindness in your heart. This was a truly hard situation for me, but in the end, I know I made all the right decisions.