I was once in a phase of life where I had become very emotionally dependent on a close friend.
If there were any random success in my life, I would reach out to her.
If there was any failure I was going through, I would reach out to her.
If there was any problem I was in the middle of, I would again reach out to her.
And she would, like a very good friend – lend her ears, listen patiently, and even offer solutions whenever I asked for them.
Calls with her had become a feel-good button, that I could click anytime and my mood would get better.
However, over the time of a couple of months, this feeling started to wane.
I started realising a lot of times that she wasn’t there for me emotionally.
She was rude, emotionless, and maybe tired of me.
I honestly don’t know what happened there. In hindsight, I of course know that I should not have been so much dependent on her emotionally.
I kept convincing myself that this is just a thought, she might be in a bad phase herself that she won’t be comfortable sharing, and I would subside the feeling.
During this time only, I came across another big challenge of my life and reached out to her.
The only difference – this time she made it verbally clear that I need to find my own footing. I just wished that she did not do this rudely.
And that, lead to an internal breakdown.
It almost felt like abandonment.
Someone who was like a part of your emotional home, someone who once called you one of your closest friends, someone who not only was there for you in your thick and thin rather also said that they are there (and meant it), now just left me emotionally alone.
Was I too much dependent? Maybe.
Did I trust her more than myself? Maybe.
Did I stop being the source of my own happiness? Certainly.
Thus, I started introspecting.
The first few days were spent in thinking of how could someone be there for you and then leave immediately? Okay, even if they left, should they not have communicated? Why this cold behaviour?
It almost felt like a part of me shut down because now I would think again 100 times before being vulnerable.
When so many thoughts were good enough to not make a change, I began my healing process.
I was scheduled to go to a meditation retreat (thankfully) a week later, which helped me let go of a lot of my emotional baggage.
I spent almost 10 days there, which even made me reflect on how when I would come back to the real world, I would make a change in the way I approach life.
Here are the realisations I had about that friend:
- You are not the centre of their universe. That friend visibly has a huge social life as well as work life, and they are not going to give so much in a relationship.
- Maybe this was their way of making me better. I would certainly not use a “stop-talking-and-become-emotionless-approach” towards anyone, however, this is what makes us different as human beings. Emotionless was their weapon. As much as I didn’t like it, I had to deal with it.
- No matter how “bad” another human being has become, we still have the power to heal the relationship through our thoughts. I consciously started looking at every thought I created about that friend, and purposefully translated it into an empowering one.
But you know what, in all this healing, I felt a part of me was lost.
Like broken romantic relationships, if the love was pure, that person’s exit also closes a door of your heart forever.
Then come very good people (like this friend) and they are there to make you vulnerable again. When they leave again emotionally, it feels like a personal loss.
Not a loss of that person.
Rather loss of self.
The part of me that used to be chirpy.
The part of me that used to come alive.
The part of me knew that I mattered.
All this while, that friend and I were in touch – sharing work updates, sharing life updates, hanging out in groups, etc.
A couple of days later, that friend and I get on a call, and she shares a list of 7-8 positive changes she noticed in me.
And my response (in my head) was:
So what do I do?
Stop healing myself?
Abandon myself like you did?
As if I was left with the option of reaching out to you.
She even said at the end of that call that she was there, should I need something.
I almost wanted to tell her to speak her truth, but then I realised I should speak the truth to myself and not expect her to be there.
Maybe this was just her way of “forgiveness”.
Maybe she didn’t care, and this was just a formality. That’s also okay.
Maybe she actually wanted to be there. I didn’t know. Nor cared to know anymore. This was the person who had taught me to be vulnerable emotionally, and this was the person who was intently curious about my happiness.
The truth, my friend, is that people will come and leave. Sometimes, while being an active part of your life.
But no one is coming to save you.
No one is coming to be there for you.
Only you, and only you, are going to do that.
It’s hard, but if it were easy, you won’t be holding this book in your hands right now.
But the bad news is that you are in this alone.
Which, if we were to give it the right meaning, it is also the best news ever.