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I lost, and gained so much

So, let’s talk about loss. Not death, but just loosing someone in your life. I lost two people within a few weeks of each other that meant a lot to me. One is still in my life and on friendly terms and the other, I doubt I’ll ever see again. And honestly, I’m not sure if I want to ever see them again. This particular set of loss set off a major health crisis for me, it happened at the end of the lockdown in 2020, and I’m still not right. I’ve struggled a lot with dietary issues, (not that I want to post this because it’s embarrassing but) chronic IBS, and fatigue since it all happened. If I have so much as an ounce of stress currently, my body reacts. And oh, my dear lord I am so fucking over it. It is one of the reasons that my job has been axed, as I can’t heal in that environment of constant stressors. So, what happened? Well, call me a cliché, but it started when I met a boy... Well, a man really, we are in our thirties.

So, I met someone. I don’t usually like people, in a romantic way, and specially don’t commit. I’m not sure if it’s a commitment issue or I just enjoy being by myself. Also, being attached to only one person... I’m not sure about it. There are too many cool people on this planet, and you want me to just choose one? One?! Hmm. To hard basket. So, when I found myself drawn to this particular and wonderfully mustached gent, I was thrown head first off a cliff. And well, we started dating. It was wonderful; until it ended. He was worse than I was in regards to being alone. After a while, he panicked, he chose to break it off, saying he finds it easier to be alone. Nothing wrong with me, just he’d rather not be in relationship. Ouch. It was the first time I’d truly committed. It hurt. It hurt particularly because he said I was wonderful. So even though he thought I was a good person, my best wasn’t for him. That’s a different kind of hurt. I ended up bumping into his best friend one night, they were drunk as a skunk and I doubt they’d have said this to me otherwise, but he gave me the biggest hug and he reiterated that it wasn’t me, it was the mustached gent who had the commitment issues. So, thank you drunk bestie. It was genuinely nice to know, and your secret is safe with both of us because I doubt you remember that you spoke to me.

Then, well, I was heartbroken. And what do you need when you’re heartbroken? Your bestie. The day of the heartbreak, we messaged all day. I thank her for that. It was tough. We’d just come out of lockdown and were allowed to expand our bubbles slightly. So, coffee was much needed and on the cards. But then it got delayed due to illness, which is fine. So, a short back story, I’d known them for almost a decade but only truly been besties for about four years, I think. We met weekly, sometimes more, and we both were at university at the time. They had a long list of health and mental health issues. So, often our coffees were delayed if their health wasn’t good. But it was awesome when I could see them. Anyway, the first two coffee dates with them got delayed due to illness. Third time, I can’t remember. But the fourth(?) time, it looked like it was happening, finally get to have coffee and bitch about boys with the bestie! And then. And then on the day, I get a message saying: sorry I’m getting a package delivered, I can’t come. I can’t tell you the rage I felt. I was less than a package. I was hurting. Bad. I’d always been there for them. And for once I needed them. And a package. A package, was more important than me. I remember exiting out of the conversation and walking away from my computer in complete fury.

Now, there is a lot of nuances to this friendship and story that I’ll never be able to capture in writing. We were two very broken humans. Except I was at the point where I wanted things to change. And in my opinion looking back, she hadn’t hit that point yet, she was still wallowing. It sounds extreme saying that was the end point to our friendship, a package, but in hindsight there was years of buildup. I had ignored everyone around me, multiple people had told me she didn’t sound like she was good for me and it wasn’t an equal friendship. When I was on the phone with Ma crying about how she wasn’t there for me, my Ma pointed out that she never was there for me each time I truly needed it and I cried about it every time. Which I must have blocked out in my mind as I didn’t remember that. So, after I cooled down for a week, I had barely messaged her. And when we did start messaging again, it felt different but neither of us said anything. I guess we pretended it didn’t happen in the end but the riff it had caused was permanent. We were both shit at communication. She had, for me, really let me down. And we were both terrified of confrontation. She couldn’t cope with disappointing people, so she always left first as a defense mechanism, which resulted in... well; disappointing people. 10/10 destructive cycle. I was quite literally her last friend. Sweeping things under the rug was both our styles, though it was the first time hurt and anger was directed towards one another. Healthy relationships talk about things regardless of being uncomfortable because you know it’s better for the long term. After two weeks of no mention of catching up from her end, I said, “I’m waiting for you to say coffee.” To which I got the response, “We both are”. And with that; I knew it was over. The last thing I got was a package couriered to me for my birthday, another arrow in the soul. She lived a ten-minute bus ride from me. Then two days after my birthday was the last message to each other in our discord server.

I’d lost my partner and then my best friend in six weeks.

My health collapsed.

Now, I’ve experienced mental health issues most of my life but never physical health issues apart from some sports injuries and having my gall blabber taken out. I could barely get myself to move. I lost seven kgs within a week and a half. I felt so weak and I slept most of the days away. Short walks were exhausting and I couldn’t eat anything because my body instantly rejected it. It was not a fun time. Lack of better words; I was fucked mate. I think it was the final straw for the connection between my body and mind. My body had put up with a lot over the years due to my mental health and this was the final straw that broke the camel's back. I was wrecked.

It needed to happen.

I’m so thankful now, definitely not during, that it happened. Me and the mustached gent are on friendly terms now. I see him at the store where I first met him and we have a chat from time to time. And it’s nice. I’ll always have a soft spot for that twit, but I know it wouldn’t have worked out in the end anyway. And that’s okay. I learnt a lot from him and about myself in regards to what I want in a relationship. However, when it comes to my old bestie. I hope she’s doing well, even though I know she won't be. But I don’t want her back in my life. Looking back and reflecting on our friendship, it was toxic. We were bad for each other. We validated each other's bullshit and reflected our own short comings on to the world. I miss that bitch. The hole that was left behind in me from losing her is still mostly there. It’s slowly getting smaller but it’s there. I will never regret knowing her and being friends with her but I’m happy we are not friends anymore. I’ve gained so much and was able to grow since she’s been gone, she held me back and I held myself back. I also realized I was such a shit friend to all my other friends. I was solely focused on that friendship. I almost got annoyed when others would contact me to hang out. And you know what, those friends I had neglected, they were the ones that were there for me in the end. I woke up. I ache every time I want to rant about something with a friend and they don’t respond with validation. No, they hit me with advice or constructive criticism. Or straight up just listen to me. And it hurts. And I love it. They want me to grow. They want to help me. And I can do the same back. It got to the point where I was trying to better myself and I wouldn’t tell my bestie what I was doing. If, something good happened to me, I felt bad that something good had happened to me. Now I celebrate the good and my friends join me. I can’t thank them enough.

My health will eventually improve, just need to rest and chip away at it. So, I’m not worried. Just tired.

And, now I know what healthy friendships feel like. It’s honestly scary. It’s commitment, effort and responsibility.

And fucking hell it’s rewarding.

Ten out of ten would recommend.

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