Ending 2015, losing one of your best friends seems impossible to survive but losing two is even harder. My anxiety was at an all time high. I would lock myself inside, away from my friends that were still there, in fear of seeing the old ones. When my friends did finally get me to go for a fun night out, I was always filled with a false sense of hope. One of the friends I had lost constantly would be there, get drunk, and tell me how she missed me. She would catch me up on her life, remind me that the past was the past, and say how we had to be friends again. It only lead to me watching all our friends attend her wedding as I sat home crying that this girl I thought was my best friend didn’t care enough to put our stupid fight behind for her such a huge milestone. My friends who I wasn’t fighting with saw it breaking me when she never called like she promised but I would always tell them, “I am over it anyways. I don’t care about them anymore.” There was a light at the end of the tunnel; or so I thought. I had just started a new job and had high hopes that I would meet new people I liked and be able to have a fresh start. That hope was quickly shattered when I realized I didn’t fit in at all. The job, the loss of my two friends- at times it felt so consuming. 2016 felt like my version of hell.
Since I can remember I have been known for my cheerful (annoying) voice but now, all I could hear was misery every time I spoke. I could still always find the bright side to things but a new understanding of the dark side was also awoken in my brain. Everything positive had its negative side. Had life always been this way? I couldn’t tell if my new depression had given me clarity to the harsh reality of the world or I was just living in a brand new world where everyone was just as unhappy as I was. I was convinced karma was getting it’s payback on me and I was losing. I was struggling. I knew I was losing myself but I didn’t want to reach out to anyone because I was always known as the happy one.
Everyday after work my boyfriend would ask how my day was and everyday I said, “It’s great! “The people are nice!” I don’t know if I lied for him or if I lied for myself but I was lying. Work was far from great. As I sat verifying insurances one day, I heard a group of my coworkers snickering and whispering. As I turned around, the room fell silent. I heard my voice say, “Are you guys talking about me?” It didn’t feel like me saying it though. It didn’t feel like the same girl who was confident enough to drop pick up lines as ice breakers to strangers at the bar. Their laughter and how quickly they dispersed proved my theory that they were talking about me.
My boyfriend finally saw through my facade and I couldn’t hold the tears back from him any longer. Once I started crying, I couldn’t stop. I felt like now that someone knew my secret it might get easier. I wish I could say it did but honestly, it just kept getting worse. Every time I felt like I was getting my sadness under control something new would come and knock me down. I was having thoughts I never, ever thought I would have with no way of stopping them.
I think the hardest part was that every other time I was sad I knew a night out laughing with my best friend was always the medicine I needed. She knew how to make me laugh, she saw through my “I’m okay,” and a good old vent session could help the stress feel more bearable. Except, she was gone. Whenever I’d go to turn to her it was like the heartbreak of losing her was brand new. The only person I felt I could turn to was my boyfriend. He was there but at times I resented him because his life seemed so perfect! His amazing job, his brand new car, and his ability to see the happiness in everything. I couldn’t stand that he couldn’t understand. He always had a simple fix for everything but he had never felt denial. He didn’t understand how it sometimes made little things seem like a mountain.
I don’t know when it changed but it did. I didn’t even realize it until Saturday night. The same ex best friend that had been telling me for months prior to let bygones be bygones every time she was drunk was at the same party as me. Luckily, it’s been a little more than a year and there’s no animosity anymore. We can be cordial and even share a few laughs together now. As I was leaving she kept telling me she was thankful that I stood up for her during a drunken fight she had earlier in the night. She gave me a hug, a gesture of kindness, and I turned to ice. I couldn’t hug her back and she didn’t hold back yelling at me for it. I gave her a hug, and for once, felt relief flood my body. This time not just because of the false hope. As she kept talking about how she missed us, I heard “Just SHUTUP. I’m sick of hearing this same drunken conversation.” It wasn’t that meek girl who was being bullied at work that spoke up but it was the confident girl who used pickup lines as icebreakers. I look back and I have come a long way from that girl whose chest was so tight from anxiety that she couldn’t breathe. I am now… Happy! A feeling that I only felt a handful of times during 2016 has become my mindset again. I can hear the cheerful (annoying) voice coming back when I speak again. Up until Saturday I didn’t even realize how far I had come. My identity had become the sad girl and I couldn’t find the positive in anything anymore. It wasn’t until I heard myself tell the girl I had been dying to fix my friendship with to shutup that I realized I finally was actually over it