My friend once told me that I’m the only person I’m guaranteed to spend the rest of my life with so I have to do what makes me happy and do what I approved of. It would’ve been good advice if I wasn’t depressed, but I was that day and I just remember thinking “Other people are the only reason I’m here, so if I play by that rule, I’d be dead.” And just thought that was the most bullshit thing I had ever heard so I ignored it.
Since then, I have found myself in a circumstance where I had to take that advice.
I used to depend on my friend for almost everything; to the point where I wouldn’t be alive if it wasn’t for her. Until one day, my friend and I got in a fight. We took some time apart from each other and I was alone.
When I was alone for that period of time, it was scary. I didn’t know if I could handle being alone in this world.
I had two options here: I could either end my life/have another trip to the psych ward, or figure out some way that I could make myself happy and enjoy my life. I picked the 2nd option.
I put some thought into what my friend had said before. It was true. People leave us, people die. It just happens, whether it’s intended or not. The only person guaranteed to stay with us until the day we die is ourselves. Not only that, but we spend all day and every day with ourselves. So we should try and become our own best friend. Or at least someone we like and tolerate.
I had to start being emotionally and mentally independent. I had to start handling everything on my own and start doing things that made me happy. I learned that I did not need approval from others to do anything. I pushed through anxiety provoking situations all by myself. I treated myself to a new haircut and new clothes. And it felt great. I felt free. I accomplished a lot on my own. I learned how to actually be ok with being alone. I’m actually grateful for the time I had alone.
Don’t get me wrong, having friends is great. I love my friends to the moon and back. I’d do anything for them and vice versa (hopefully). We have fun together and we know that we can go to each other for advice and encouragement. We understand each other in ways that no one else can.
My friend and I are best friends again. But I guarantee that I will stay independent and live my own lifestyle. I don’t go to her for everything any more. I am capable of handling things on my own and I take pride in that. I go to her sometimes, but not because I need to but because I truly value her opinion and advice. I am never going to lose my independence again.
We need to be able to support ourselves and be okay without our friends. We cannot depend on them to save our lives all the time. We can’t make them feel responsible for our choices and actions. We can’t give them reasons to worry about us all the time. It’s not fair to them and it’s not fair to us. It’s not fair to us because we lose our independence and coping skills to the point where we can barely function on our own.
Because what if they leave us or unfortunately pass away while we’re dependent on them? Even if we think it’s never going to happen?
Will we be able to cope and make it out alive?
Four months ago, I did not know what I would do without my best friend, or if I would even be able to stay alive if I lost her. I am glad that I had the opportunity to be alone because now that I have, I know that I can handle life on my own. I don’t need anyone to save my life; I can be my own lifesaver.
I am never making the same mistake of depending on another human being ever again.
Thank you my friend for teaching me one of the most important lessons I will ever learn in my life, even if I had to learn the hard way.
And I’m sorry I had to learn the hard way.