Written for House 21.
Two years ago, around the summer time, something happened.
Lots happened in fact, it was hands down the worst time of my entire life, a time I’m still unable to reflect on without falling down a rather large depressive hole.
However, that’s not what I was getting at. What I am referring to is it was also the end of a five-year friendship.
I cut this person out of my life in a whirlwind of emotions, she was at one point someone I had considered as one of my closest friends, someone I had assumed would be in my life forever. Except this relationship felt very imbalanced.
And when I needed her, she let me down really badly.
But that’s not what this post is about, it’s not about pointing fingers, who did what, who was right and who was wrong. It’s the fact that the breakup of a friendship is the same as a relationship breakup, yet it is one we talk a lot less about.
Having almost two years without her in my life has given me the time to reflect on the friendship in a way which was too painful at first. It has given me the chance to realise our friendship had been failing long before the final straw was snapped.
There are many reasons why people end friendships. You grow apart, you go different ways, you develop different interests…the list goes on.
And yet we hardly talk about it. Why is that? Is it because we place our friendships less important than our relationships? Are they any less heart breaking when they end?
I don’t believe so.
There were signs months before the end, I can see that now. And yet I didn’t do anything about it, I simply pushed those thoughts to one side and focused on maintaining the friendship I thought we both wanted.
That day, those last few messages exchanged I remember how I felt. At first there was a lot of anger, a lot of upset and hurt. But then as the months went by and I realised neither of us would reach out to the other I discovered different emotions.
I realised that I didn’t miss her. Yes, I still thought of her a lot, I wondered how she was but yet I felt waves of peace, I knew our friendship had long died and I felt okay with that. Because ultimately your friends should be the wall that you lean against when your world collapses.
I still think of her, and I wonder could we have worked it out? Spoke about it and moved on?
Maybe, I guess I will never know.
Two years on, I can comfortably say it was the right decision to end our friendship. It was difficult and there were many times I did want to reach out to her, but I know that would have been the wrong decision.
And a part of me thought she had my number, she knew where I lived, if she had wanted me in her life she had the option.
Losing our friendship made me invest more in the people around me who had long survived that terrible time and those friendships became so much stronger in the process.
On my side, two years along the line there are no bad feelings, I have long put aside the hurt I felt in those first few weeks and I wish her well and I hope, ultimately, she’s happy in her life.
Having survived both the end of a friendship and the end of a relationship I wouldn’t say one is any easier than the other, you miss that person, you crave the memories you once shared and it can take a long time to fill that void in your life. But really, whether it’s a friend or a lover, if they’re not bringing something good into your life you really are better without them.