“Don’t make friends who are comfortable to be with. Make friends who will force you to lever yourself up” – Thomas J. Watson
I prepare you for some mush, which I hope doesn’t make you cringe but I felt it in me to send this out now, instead of my original idea of adding them to my story week by week.
And maybe because we are in #mentalhealthawarenessmonth and I have been thinking more and more about feeling alone. I have to give dues to the people who listened to all of my woes when I finally decided to air them. And so I felt compelled to send out this post, out of turn of my regular posts because I have to send out my gratitude, to the people listed within. I have had a slight roller coaster within the last couple of weeks and these people are still there. The majority have been there during not only the ‘fun times’ but also during times I have been growing or in pain. The times when you know that they will always be by your side.
A large portion also assisted me with getting this blog out there, the first one I did, I felt an overwhelming warmth when I had a group of people working to help me get this out there. All using their own skills to advise, assist and do what they could to bring this all to life. They all know who they are and I am always going to be indebted to them.
I read this post yesterday on Instagram and couldn’t disagree with it more. Something along the lines of
“If a friendship lasts longer than 7 years, psychologists say it will last a lifetime”
I am not saying that this isn’t true for some people but I can tell you that I am proof that its not true for all. I have been in situations where I have had friendships for longer and they most definitely have not lasted a ‘lifetime’. They were taken away from me in the unceremonious way by the actual friends themselves.
When we get to that place in my journey, you will know which situation this was and how it happened but for now I can just say this…that I have been that person that just clings on because I always thought “Friendships are meant to last a lifetime”. I used to remain silent and embarrassed when others would tell me how they had known some since they were babies together and wonder why I wasn’t. Why would I want to be one of the people that it didn’t happen to? I didn’t want to be the weird one who has to say they don’t have friends from when they were in nappies. But guess what? I am. I can’t change that. I wasn’t the one who let go they (in most cases) had to let go, of me. But that’s more because I am a martyr to the cause than anything. I used to keep all people close because that’s all I thought a friendship was. I was always trying to keep everyone else happy, sometimes thinking that if I f*ck up, will they leave me? That’s not healthy in itself. But the answer is no, the wrong people will not stay if you make a mistake, regardless of how big or small it may be. Your friends should always be there to let you know where you went wrong and help you make it right the next time it may happen. You should also be ok with the fact that things change and people move on, you are not a bad person if the relationship has changed, at the end of the day there are still two people that need to make it work.
I have learnt from those who are true friends that this is the way you are there for people. I would do that for others but realised people won’t do it for you. Sometimes the people you think you can’t live without will stand there and watch you burn and say they couldn’t find the fire extinguisher…….and also don’t tell you what you did to cause them offence. How is a person meant to grow if they don’t know what they have done? Everyone needs to be realistic, something may not offend one person but will the other, however if this is not communicated how will anyone move on? In my case I had to accept it and move on because I didn’t get an answer. And I had already spent nearly 2 years in agonising pain, constantly wondering what I had done? And how I was a bad person again, I was the one who caused problems, as always, but its funny how the problems were never made clear. I am not saying it’s easy confronting someone and telling them and even if I may have been defensive to begin with, I know I would have been the one to apologise and also probably would have apologised for causing them to behave the way they did….I told you I am a martyr to the cause….
Everyone just needs to be kinder to each other and maybe take a moment to realise people may be going through something before the assumptions and bitchy comments are made.
Now as you continue to read you will know I went through two heartbreaks and various issues such as:
- Family problems
- Work issues
- Friend turmoil
- Loss of confidence
- Loosing myself
Amongst more – you may stop reading after a while and may consider that I may have too many ‘issues’ but hey someone may relate….
And these friends have been the group who have provided with much valuable guidance and advice over the last couple of years, some are newer and more shinier than the others (no offence to the older more rusty ones :D) and some can’t seem to leave me even though I can be too much to handle.
They have taken me for what I am and I have had nowhere to hide, literally warts and all. They have, without knowing, all provided the nurture for me to sit here in front of you now and lay my soul bare. It takes a lot of slow chipping to coax someone out of the shell of the person they have become and none of them gave up. Even during times they didn’t know what to do. For this I will be eternally grateful, relationships will always change but they will always remain a part of my story even if I do end up driving them away.
Please meet ‘The Revivers’ (I have coined a new word) they in more senses than not have been part of reviving me. Being part of a process that has brought me to where I am now.
I will add them by initials so they can figure out who they are to me and also, I don’t want to be sued…(people do anything for money….I joke!). Some of them will be too obvious for them not to know. However, this is a kind of fun way of doing it.
N.B: This is not in order of favourite and for less pressure I didn’t add family members.
JKB – One of the longest relationships I have, we have the same building of a human. I will go to JKB when I need to understand, if I have been the ‘wrong person’ or if I need to be reassured with anything to do with my confidence. Whether work, me, friends and family, JKB is there even when they don’t have the capacity to deal with their own demons but always has the time for me. We’ve both grown with each other and learnt how to combat the world when we didn’t understand the cruelty it can bring. I am sure this is something we will have to continue to do, sadly. For my sake I hope they will always be there.
RO – I didn’t expect this relationship, this person has been my guidance through the darkest times. Someone I would know was praying for me even when I wasn’t asking. And someone who will always want me to grow, even when I have been back to them and shown I have grown, they tell me to strive for more. They may be the ones to push me further than I can imagine. But even for now, where I am is enough for me and the path that RO has travelled with me has been a gracious one.
JJC – For seeing the potential and pushing me, both in mind and body. Figuring out the person I was even when I was quiet and timid. Seeing my growth and being proud of it. Always encouraging me and sometimes I feel like JJC may kill me but I won’t complain because at least I will be happy.
SN – For holding me as their own and giving me support when I had no confidence. At the start I didn’t know how to take this relationship and now that I think back I feel that SN was may have been in a bad place of their own and I wasn’t in a place to understand that. That being said, SN is one of the most strong and resilient people I have met. Their confidence gives me confidence, SN has been become infectious in my life in the most positive way.
ZQ – Always being there to ask me how things are going, putting a positive spin on anything I may be going through or just being there to joke around with so I forget. Knowing when I am in need and doing whatever possible to help me and giving me the push and confidence when I didn’t believe in me anymore.
PDC – Kept pushing me to love myself, when I was at my lowest point she kept instilling self-love. Making me embrace myself and has brought me to the place where, I am now able to tolerate myself more and I never thought that was possible. Belly laughing occurs a lot around PDC, well to be fair it happens with all of the people in this post but PDC just tops it slightly.
VS – Is always the friend I could escape to, no question no judgement. An ear when it was needed, even during times of their own need. A place that became safe but wouldn’t ever tell me I was right when I was wrong.
SM – Carried my sad arse around South East Asia for three months and just let me be, whilst sacrificing what they wanted. Knowing some of the pain I was going through and still trying to guide me through, while trying to figure themselves out.
BG – However annoyingly, BG has always been pragmatic in situations and making me reconsider whether I had in fact thought of everything. Once you ask them for help they are fully invested and will help you see it through. Sometimes their pragmatism is unbearable so obviously it helps that he is probably one of the most hilarious people I have met but hopefully they won’t figure out that this is them and get an even bigger head *roll eyes*
JA – We sit under the stars and they listen(s) to me harp on about why we deal with the small things when we haven’t figured out why we are here. JA manages my impatience and control freak side with a comment that makes me laugh and the pressure eases. The relationship has been one filled with making really obscure comments or references and the other still knows what was meant. They ease my overthinking and remind me that life shouldn’t be taken so seriously or it would be me doing the same back to them. They will always be the person that knows I get anxious if my rain mac is zipped up too high….
The initials may be the same but no I am not talking about me
GH – Will probably be surprised that they are in here but in the last couple of months their wisdom and guidance have been the key tool in providing me with the confidence to just own myself and be ok with it. They mentored me to think of things in a different way. Approach situations I found difficult in a way I wouldn’t consider and with that my confidence has grown and things don’t seem so hard.
SE – Being a support in a capacity I didn’t even know I needed. Making me feel that being different was more than ok. Probably brought out all my dark and dirty humour in the process but that’s just part of it all. SE has remained positive through all the years I have known them even when faced with their own obstacles. This has been a long standing friendship that has only recently blossomed even more.
SL – Their drive to always be a better person has always been something I have admired. There have been a few tenuous situations between us but we always come back stronger. They instilled the drive in me and made feel empowered as a women.
AP – I go to this person with the most random questions and always ask them for the advice. Even during hard times of their own, they came back with a smile and the warmest personality. One of the most accommodating and selfless people I know.
RM – The first one I was drawn to, on one of the most daunting days of my life. They bring the chill factor in situations in which I have lost my head. I just always know they are going to be a constant and bring up the most random of topics of conversation. We always seem to have remained the same with each other.
RT – I realised recently how this person is completely and totally comfortable with the person that they are and with that many people are drawn. They have an array of great friends and it proved to me again that being you is better than pretending. They also have a tendency just to call you out there on the spot, even if its one of the biggest days of their lives but with this honesty you know you don’t have anything to be worried about. You will always know where you stand with them and that can be difficult with some people
AV – We met maybe twice and since then have always been there for each other, it’s one of those ones where it doesn’t matter how much time has passed. And from the outset they have done what they wanted and made it their own. They have never given in to the pressures of culture and that gave me more and more reason to be me. Even if people thought it was crazy.
I mean I know that people say you should only have a handful of friends and they may see this as overkill or a form of gloating but for me these people fill different capacities in a number of years of me growing and I want them to know in the shortest form what they have meant to me.
Lets just say they ‘started at the bottom’ with me….
Full disclosure: There may be more mistakes than normal as, the one’s who normal edit are in this piece