About four months ago now, I started dealing with some problems and issues that I have faced for the most part of my life but never had the courage to deal with. And it worked! I felt better, stronger and happier every day. I was able to shed a lot of bad habits and bad behaviours and I became a much happier, nicer and more fun person to be around!
Then mid-September things started going sideways again: I was super stressed at work. I didn’t sleep very well, tossing and turning all night. And as soon as I woke up, the stress was all over me from within seconds. My heart racing. A big knot in my stomach. My brain firing 100 thoughts a minute – all the things I hadn’t done. Should have done. All the things I owed people. I was too tired and too stressed to prioritise the things important to me. All the great tools I had picked up since starting therapy just fell off my radar. All the good habits I had adopted were lost. I stopped meditating. I stopped eating healthy. And I started getting very negative again. Nasty. Hopelessness came crawling back. Listlessness.
Over a period of three weeks it just got worse and worse. I spiraled steadily and quickly downward, until I was back in a deeply depressed state, not having the will power or spirit to deal with anything. Not even the things that I know very well are good for me and make me feel better. I started feeling completely helpless and was very close to giving up on life again. I avoided everyone. I couldn’t talk about it because I was sick of hearing myself being so pathetic and at the same time, all I wanted to do was to isolate myself from everything and everyone, and wallow…
I have a friend who understands me incredibly well. Someone who is similar to me and shares many of my problems and struggles, but who has come a lot farther than I have, in terms of admitting them and dealing with them. This friendship has helped me a lot over the last few months of self-improvement because I feel I can be myself with them. I don’t have to provide any explanations, or make any excuses, because they know exactly where I am at and what I am going through. And hearing them tell me about their own journey, and how they deal with stuff, has been a great help and a learning experience. One that I believe has helped me start healing and grow a lot faster than I would have without their friendship.
But as I hit rock bottom again, three weeks ago, I started doing what I have always done before: lashing out at the people closest to me. Passive aggressively making my problems, pains and anxiety their problem too but still not hearing them, or allowing them to help me, because any advise I would just swat away like a fly. Whatever they tried to tell me I would shoot it down and get angry with them for being so stupid, or not knowing (me) better.
So my friend cut me off. They stopped responding to my messages – happy, sad or angry ones. They stopped sending me any messages. It was like I did not exist to them anymore but they didn’t do that out of the blue. They had been very clear with me that they cannot have this kind of negativity and self-destructive behavior be a part of their life, for various reasons. So when I went down that path, and tried to force them down there with me, they simply went away.
At first I was sad. I was confused and angry – I couldn’t fathom how they could be so insensitive and do this to me now, when I was so depressed! SO helpless. So much in need of a friend and someone who understood me and what I was going through!
But in doing so they forced me to stop being so incredibly self-absorbed and destructive and start reflecting over my own behavior and attitude. They made me snap out of that “victims” and “blaming” mode and forced me to take a step back and look at myself through their eyes. To see what they saw and most importantly, see how I had been treating them and realise that being sick or not, is not an excuse for such behavior! They made me realise that the only one who can “fix” me, is me – I have to own my own problems and stop making them everyone else’s. Stop blaming others and deal with this myself. Not necessarily by myself but for myself.
If they read this and decide to reconnect with me, I’d be very happy to have them back in my life. But if they don’t, I am ok with that too. Because they taught me this very valuable lesson and that means more than anything to me. They helped me grow. So, thank you for cutting me off.
I am not writing this to them, or for them, even though it may seem like it. I am writing this for me and to share my learnings. Irrespective of if, when or how, my friend and I reconnect, I will always be grateful for the times we have shared. The laughs. The many deep conversations about self-improvement, healing and growth. The shared and personal dreams. And I won’t remember those moments with sadness, or miss not having them in my life anymore. I will only and always cherish the memories, and look back at this friendship with deep love and gratitude.
Forever thankful for the impact they had on my life, and how much they helped me grow…