• Victoria DuCharme

How Losing My Best Friend Made Me a Better One

Picture Sourced From: https://coach.nine.com.au/2016/11/15/14/19/why-heart-break-hurts-so-much

She told me that she didn't want to be friends with me anymore.

About two weeks after getting out of the psych ward. A time in my life when I honestly needed her the most.

She told me that she didn't feel comfortable with how I treated her sometimes and that it would be best if we didn't continue our friendship. I told her that I understood. And that was that.

Nothing had prepared me for how much the following months would feel like a break up. Except that it wasn't a break up with a partner. It was a break up with my best friend. And a stereotypical break up at that.

Everything suddenly sort of reminded me of her. Every song that I listened to described my feelings. How abandoned I felt. How furious I was that she never gave me a chance to fix things about myself so that our friendship could be healthier and so that I could be a better friend to her. Every meme that I saw on Facebook was a devastating reminder of how I wasn't her friend anymore and that I could no longer tag her in a Harry Potter meme or a cat video. Every time I did well on a test or every time I had a bad day, I wanted nothing more than share that with her. And I missed the sound of her laughing. Or hearing about her relationship or how her classes were going.

I felt miserable. I cried a lot. I ate a lot of ice cream. Considered checking myself into the psych ward again. "How could this happen?" I thought. "Last month I was talking to her about my theoretical future wedding and how she would be my maid of honor. Why didn't she say something then?" I tortured myself with these thoughts for weeks on end. Ruminated, and analyzed, and replayed everything in my head. Sometimes I still do.

But then I participated in a research study for a psychology class. It was just a typical survey. But this survey was asking questions about friendship. Questions like, "Do you feel supported by your best friend?" or "Do you feel like you could tell your best friend anything without any sort of judgement from them?" or "Do you feel like your best friend puts forth as much effort in the friendship as you do?" And then it hit me. She was in a psychology class where participating in these types of research surveys are encouraged for credit. What if she had taken this survey? Maybe she would have answered all of these questions with "No, I don't feel like my best friend supports me," or something similar. And finally, I could sort of understand her perspective, even if I didn't agree with it. This survey actually brought me a little peace, a little closure.

In the end, if my pessimism, and my tears, and my complaining had begun to negatively affect her well-being, then she absolutely did the right thing. If this is what she needed to feel healthy, then I support her ending our friendship. I mean, there's really nothing else I can do. And I now know that leaving a friendship out of the blue, isn't my friendship style.

She may have deserved better, but so did I. I deserve a friend who stays in my life. Who may get tired of my complaining but doesn't leave me. Who tells me when I'm being a bitch or when she doesn't like when I do something a certain way. Who gives me a chance to improve and grow.

And I found these friends. The ones who don't let my shit affect them. The ones who tell me when I fuck up, but hold me when I cry. The ones who send me text messages, asking me how my day was. The ones who check in on me. The ones who accept me. Who love me, in my messy entirety.

And in return, I do the same for them. If they have a bad day, I check in on them. I make it a priority to know what's going on in their life. I listen to their concerns and their problems, because that's what they do for me. I make sure that I apologize if I say accidentally say something a bit too sarcastic or a bit too mean. I go over to their place to hang out or they come over to mine. We cook together and study together and watch Netflix together. We laugh and support each other. We tell the same stories over and over again and we cry about the same things over and over again. And I don't get tired of it. I am grateful that I finally have people who want to stay in my life and I want to stay in theirs.

She told me that she didn't want to be friends with me anymore.

And that's okay.

Because now I'm really glad she didn't.

(Originally published by author on Vocal)