Falling into the arms of friendship

As a teen, I received all of my best life advice from the classics – Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul. Last weekend, I was nosing around my bookshelves and I found my copy of this life-saving book and a quote just stood out to me:

“Letting go doesn’t mean that you don’t care about someone anymore. It’s just realizing that the only person you really have control over is yourself.” – Deborah Reber

I had to let him go, otherwise, I would never start to heal. I had to realize that the only person in the relationship that I could force to change was myself. He was never going to treat me the way I wanted, which was made even more clear to me when he ghosted me.

I spent so much time and energy trying to fix a clearly broken man and I stopped trying to keep myself from falling apart. Over the course of our three-year tour, I pushed away friends and fought with family, all in the name of defending him. But, really, what was I fighting for? He never fought for me. So, when he ghosted me, that’s when I knew for sure that I had to start taking back control of my life and fighting for myself. My best friends from the college years have been here for me all along and I love them for it a little more each day. They kept me strong during some of my darkest days, particularly when we weren’t all getting along so well.

Recently, I re-connected with some of my oldest friends. Twenty-one years of friendship is a long time, right? These boys, now grown men (which I can hardly believe we are all so old already. Where does time go?) have been on my side since Pre-K and I am so sorry I treated them the way I did. My relationship with my ex was one of the worst situations of emotional abuse. He made me feel like I didn’t need any of my friends from home. They had never met him, but they knew he was a bad guy that would most likely end up hurting me. I didn’t listen, but I used their opinions about my relationship as an excuse to punish them. In the words of the great Connie Francis, “Who’s Sorry Now?”

On January 1, I promised myself that I would make it 60 days without thinking about or wanting to contact him. Unfortunately, in a drunken moment of weakness, I relapsed and before I could stop I had dialed his cellphone number. Even when intoxicated, I can remember his number. And for a second, he actually picked up, but then when he heard my voice, the call disconnected. Clearly, he hung up on me. So, in a drunken stupor, I made the mistake of calling again, and I begged for him to listen to me, but he hung up. That hurt me more than my dislocating jaw ever did. It was an unstoppable pain that I had been holding back like water in a dam waiting to spill over. So, I cried. I cried harder than I have cried in months. It was all too much finally…not to mention, I was very drunk. I dialed my therapist, my best friend, and then my uncle. It felt so good to know that there are people who care about me and love me enough to answer my calls when I need them.

So, I didn’t make the sixty days and I have to start all over again, but with all the friendships I have been rebuilding, I think things will be easier this time around. Slowly, I have felt the love that I had for him leaving me and it makes me feel better – it’s so freeing. I’ve done nothing but be in love with him for three years that I forgot what it was like to learn to love myself a little more than I had. I hope that he learns how he treated me was disgusting and I hope his new girlfriend does the exact same thing to him.

I hope you find your peace
Falling on your knees, prayin’

When I write these posts, I like to listen to music to help me focus and so today’s post was written with Kesha’s “Praying” in the background. This song has been essential to my healing process and I hope it can help you.

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