Letting Go

It’s hard to let someone go when we don’t know why they’re gone. It’s natural to want an explanation, an understanding, something that puts their leaving into perspective. It’s hard to move on when there is nothing but silence, or worse, a strangely formal way of relating, as though you made the whole thing up. But we can’t put our lives on hold, waiting for an answer that may never come. Maybe they will tell us one day, or maybe they will never understand it themselves. Their reason isn’t that important. What is important is that we don’t abandon ourselves in the heart of loss. That we don’t make another’s presence more important than our own. That we don’t lock ourselves in a prison of our own making, waiting for an external liberator to set us free. If they have left, we have to leave, too. We have to let the pain through the holes they left behind so it can find its ultimate destination. Our precious life waits on no one.
(From: Jeff brown: http://www.soulshaping.com)

The topic of friendship comes up frequently for those of us that are experiencing mental and/or physical health issues. Friendship… An elephant trampling around in my brain, my heart and my soul. It rarely takes a break. I keep hoping it will bust out or give up. Just let go, just move on, just stop thinking about it. That’s about as easy to do as ignoring a tick that has latched on to your skin, burrowing deeper, feeding off your blood, growing bigger by the day, while you watch its bright red infection spread through your veins.

I had a few friends from my previous place of employment who have slowly drifted away. Another friend of 20 plus years that has left me in a state of emptiness, unwilling to talk to talk to me, unwilling to understand and forgive. It’s a confusing and very sad place to be. No conversations, no explanations, no answers. They probably aren’t even thinking about it. There is no elephant knocking around in their brains, no tick slowly sucking the life out of them. Why? Because life must change? Because I must learn some new lesson?

I shared my deepest secrets with them. I explained my health issues. I trusted. As someone who experiences depression and anxiety, letting go of these friends is far easier said than done. I’m left feeling guilty, insecure, defeated… To put my heart and soul out there again is a daunting task. One that I’m not sure I’m up to just yet. I like this statement by Jeff Brown, for there are holes in my heart left behind by these people. And the pain isn’t just seeping in… It’s pouring in, filling my heart so full that I fear it may burst. I don’t know where the ultimate destination of that pain will be. And what will I do to patch up the holes once the pain settles? It is my precious life and my precious life deserves better.

Change… I can accept that life changes. This isn’t the first thing in my life to change. The definition of a friend is a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard, a person who gives assistance and support. By that very definition, a friend is someone who sticks by you during times of change. I won’t accept that as the force behind such thoughtlessness, such a feeble excuse for leaving a friend.

Lessons… Believe me, I’m learning from this. This lesson, however, does not excuse the behaviors of these former friends. This is a lesson for me. This is a lesson about the choices others make in responding to my illnesses. They are choosing to gaslight me and to dismiss compassion and understanding. And that is on them, not me. They are making the wrong choice. Perhaps this lesson is the beginning of filling up those puncture wounds left in my heart. This is me, accepting that the true fault lies with them. If you don’t want to walk with me, then get out of my way.

As I sit here writing this, I am also thinking about an invitation from one of these ‘friends’ to attend a dinner get-together. Someone who hasn’t bothered to talk to me in, I don’t know how many months. I don’t have any idea why she even invited me. As I’ve been debating for days whether or not to go, the thought that comes to my mind over and over again is this: Does SHE deserve to have ME there?

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38 thoughts on “Letting Go

  1. I only just saw this post. I have been through so much pain in friendships, most especially following the return to my home town when I was at my lowest point. I got pulled in for a superficial kind of connection (turns out) because once really intense deep feelings began to surface the message I got was if I wanted to belong I was best to keep the door shut on them. I cant do that kind of ‘friendship’ anymore so I really get where you coming from here. Some people just ‘hang out’ so as to have something to do on a seemingly superficial level (and usually this involves some kind of alcohol) I just could not do that kind of relationship any more and its burned me but my feeling is better out on your own than in something where the price of belonging involves excising a huge part of who you are. Good on for speaking up about it in a way that values how you feel deep inside ❤

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    1. This is such a common topic amongst those of us with mental health and chronic health issues. It is something that I just can’t wrap my head around. I’m sorry that you have had to experience it too. A friend is supposed to be a friend, no conditions. I agree with your statement, better alone than with people who bring you down. I’ve made better friendships here, with people like you, who are genuine and offer support and encouragement. I keep saying that I wish we all lived near each other. We would have the best group of friends!! Thank you dear friend ❤

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      1. Yes, I often wish that too, to be able to actually meet and share a cup of tea and talk face to face, how lovely would that be 🙂 Letting go of those other painful experiences takes some time and yes, its difficult so understand. I think often it comes out of other’s fear and feeling of being unable to cope or know what to say (either that or they are judging us). ❤

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        1. I read your post and again, thank you! I feel blessed to have found you here and so happy that you find my blog inspiring! I’ll check out the other blogs as well. Do I need to also nominate 5 bloggers that I find inspiring?

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                  1. Yes….the thing with blog awards is there are guidelines but everyone pits their own spin on it. Thank your nominator (me lol 😂) Write your facts so readers get to know you a bit…and then make 5 to 10 nominations (providing and link to their blog

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                  2. Hadn’t finished sorry 😂 Link to their blog…and then you’re done. There aren’t winners in blog awards on wordpress…it’s just a way to share and advertise your blog so more people can find you. And to say what your favourite blogs are :). Add blog award to your categories when you’re writing the post, and people can type that into their search and everyone who has done award posts will come up in the list. 😊

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                    1. Last question (I hope)… So when people have a list of award certificate pictures on their blogs, those are the same kind of thing? Or does wordpress actually give out other types of awards (like versatile blogger, etc.)?

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                    2. Yes they are the same kind of awards and work the same way. The blog-aholic award is quite a new one ❤_WordPress doesn’t gibr awards…it is other bloggers who nominate each other 😊 I hope that makes sense 😀 You can Google the blog-aholic award images and use one to put on your post 🙂

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                    3. I think I’ll need your help again!! I posted the award info. but don’t think I linked to my nominees correctly… On yours, you can click on the blogger name and it takes you straight to their site. Mines not working that way, not sure how to add the link into my post. Can you help?

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                    4. You go onto the persons blog site…copy the website address then in wordpress you click on the link symbol (in the toolbar above where you write) paste the web address into the URL, then type what you want the link to say (the bloggers name) in the box underneath then click on the button to add link. Then ctrl-V on the keyboard to add the link into wherever you want it in the post 😊 I hope that helps xx

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  2. Friends are tricky. I dont know if you’ve ever heard of Byron Katie? She has something called ‘the work’ which really helps me in these kinds of situations especiallly when I’m dealing with people. She’s not for everyone but freedom is there just in those 4 questions if you are willing to give it a try. xxx

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          1. Hurrahforcoffee… Just wanted to let you know that I just looked through the Byron Katie info. you suggested and I really like it. I’m going to go through the work and see what I find out. I know that my mind almost ALWAYS takes me to the worst case scenario, all around thoughts that I don’t know for sure to be factual. It’s amazing how my brain can take me in a downward spiral in an instant. Anyway, thank you again! I’m looking forward to learning more ❤

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            1. Hi. Just wanted to let you know that I have nominated you for the Blog-Aholic award… more info. can be found on my blog award post! And thanks again for directing me to Byron Katie 🙂

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