Friends Come and Friends Go

“As I get older, I am becoming more selective of who I consider a friend. I find that I would rather have four quarters than 100 pennies”

Unknown

One of the hardest things about life is “change”. It is unavoidable and honestly a natural occurrence here on Earth. As you travel throughout the different phases of your life, your surroundings also change. People in your life may move, pass away, or just continue on a journey that is different from yours. One of my biggest challenges has been letting people go. Since I was a young girl, I always wanted to be the girl that everybody liked, the girl who was kind to all, and the one who never let anyone down. To some degree, I still feel this way.

But — can I say — how unrealistic this is? No matter what you do, you cannot make everyone happy. And honestly if you try, you will be burnt out and anxiety ridden. It has taken me a long time to realize this and I fight this concept in my head almost everyday.

About two years, I lost about 3-4 close friends if not more. I was at the lowest point in my life. I couldn’t take care of anyone anymore because I could barely take care of myself. And for some people, this is a complete deal breaker especially if they are going through something similar in their own life. My marriage was failing, I was verbally abused daily, I recently miscarried, and I felt stuck – I could not see how to pull myself out of the misery. I became a person I didn’t even know anymore. I started drinking heavily, not eating, getting high on anxiety meds, and doing basically anything destructive to run from my life. I was too scared of what was on the other side, even though I really had nothing to lose. I literally went day to day wishing I could run away or just not live life anymore. I had a couple close friends at the time that then slowly disappeared because they “could not handle my shit” – and yes I was really told that. It broke me in ways I cannot describe because the last thing I wanted was to be considered a selfish person. But honestly, in that time I needed to be selfish to get my shit together. I wasn’t me anymore.

Once I started to find myself again, I went back to my friends who had distanced themselves at the time. I wanted to try to mend things. Unfortunately, those relationships were unmendable in most circumstances.

I don’t blame them necessarily, which I’m sure will surprise you because it surprised me! But, bottom line is this — We all need to protect ourselves FIRST and foremost. Now to the classic plane scenario to prove my point. When there is turbulence on a plane, the flight attendant tells you to put the mask on yourself first before attempting to mask another. That is because you need to be able to breathe clearly if you are going to be any use to someone else.

In retrospect, we are all human so I would be lying if I said it was hard not to take this personally. My heart felt so empty. I blamed myself for the longest time. Then one day, I decided to #1 acknowledge what happened #2 admit there were times I was wrong and #3 forgive myself for something I could not go back and change.

The thing to remember is there is a purpose for every person you meet – whether they stay for a season, a couple days, or a lifetime. At the end of the day, you cannot make someone see something they don’t want to see. You also can’t force an apology down someone’s throat. All you can do is put your heart out there, apologize, and move on. Trust the process. And whether they are in your life or not, the most important thing to do for your own sanity and heart is to wish them well.

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