Perhaps the most profoundly unfathomable and worst loss a teenage girl can go through is that of losing a person. Or, in simpler terms, a best friend. The loss of the type of friend that is not merely a friend, but much more like a non-biological sibling, more like a part of who you are. The type of person who breaks through your walls and allows you to see the light inside of you, light that would’ve been concealed before. The type of person who uncovers truth that had been stuck inside of you all along, but had only needed a slight push to let it through. The loss of such a rare relationship is an insanely harsh one. I have gone through this insurmountable change more than once, and the intense discomfort that comes with the loss of a best friend, I know, is awful. It is a tumultuous rollercoaster of a ridiculous amount of conflicting feelings, and yet it also seems like it cannot possibly be real. I understand this rollercoaster, and despite the feeling that it is endless, I promise you, it really isn’t.
When this loss happens, it is most usually rather unexpectedly abrupt. The distance that can fall between even the closest of friends, is enormously shocking. I, myself, have grown so far apart from those who I never even imagined I would not spend the entire day talking to. I know the uncomfortable awakening that accompanies the loss. It is as if this person, this chosen person who you’ve shared everything in your life with, from the strangest and darkest places inside of you, to the lightest moments of your life, this person is suddenly and entirely, just gone. It’s like a piece of you disappears right with them. It is completely awful. And the thing is, I know it can so easily feel like the end of the world. But, trust me, it really isn’t.
The first thing you must do when learning how to live without your best friend, is to truly think, long and hard, if the friendship is one worth fighting for. If it is, then attempt to fight for it. Go right up to this person, no matter how difficult or impetuous of a move you think it may be, it will be much worse if you lose them completely and you never even tried to fix it. You have to try. It’s up to you to make that effort, which does, admittedly, suck, but if you don’t step up, then what hope is there? Go and fight to keep the friendship alive- what is wrong? Why is this problem happening right now? Is there any way to stop the problem? Try, if you feel like you really can put in the effort, and that the friendship is worth holding onto. Try to fight the distance. You can grow up without growing apart, but it takes a whole lot of hard work. And of course, a whole lot of communicative understanding.
And then, there’s the next worst stage of this: the realization that despite the tireless efforts you can go to, to hold onto your friendship, it will never be the same. You might realize that it is simply too little, too late. Growing apart is a normal, important part of life. Your best friend isn’t a bad person (I hope!). They’re just human, and so are you. You have to realize that blame isn’t going to really get you anywhere in the instance of growing apart. Oh, I have thrown my fair share of fits while cursing out my friends and singing along to “Bad Blood”, more than once. Truthfully, you can be as brutal and bitter as you want, but it isn’t ever going to solve anything. Losing people you once thought would be with you forever is probably the worst thing I could think of, but one day, maybe you will reflect back on the loss and think, hey, maybe I felt sort of terribly abandoned for a while but, I’m actually okay now. You will recover from this loss. Like all losses, we lose what we allow ourselves to. Losing the person is one thing, but we can save what the person gave you, preserve the strength they brought out in us. We can save what we would like to, and ban ourselves from ever losing ourselves.
If all of this isn’t helping- well, let me go on. The most painful feeling of all is the feeling that you aren’t good enough for someone anymore, the most rudely awakening feeling that no matter the lengths you go to try to make yourself better, you will never be enough for this person. You will never recover what you once so strongly had. That feeling is complete hell. And honestly, it does ache for quite a while. It takes a long time to really recover, but once you do, you’re better. It is easier to accept the distance, and you don’t have to completely ignore your former best friend, of course you can be normal people and interact, but it’ll progressively get easier to accept the strange fact that they might not always be there like they once were.
I know how terribly difficult this crazy transition can feel, trust me, I do. But I endured it. I got through it, rather slowly, but even though it took time, I still got through it. You may lose who you think defines you, and you’ll always have history, it is just unavoidable, but guess what? Who you were with that person, it doesn’t define you. You define yourself. Maybe this person made you stronger, and now, it feels like they’re somehow making you weaker. Don’t allow that weak person that you are right now overshadow the strong person they helped turn you into. Gently drift away from the friendship without leaving behind the goodness you got out of it. If you spent this much time with this person, if you trusted them that much, then they were obviously worth it at the time. So why regret your trust? Why feel painful remorse for making a choice you once believed to be a good one? This person made you better, this person helped you see yourself clearer. And you can keep your memories with them forever, they may hurt at the moment, but one day it will get easier to think of this person without losing your mind over the details of what you could’ve done, what you should’ve said. One day, it will become easier to breathe without an old memory choke you. Memories are often permanent, but as I previously said, people are not. You choose how you allow your memories to define you.
People change, they grow entirely apart, and I know it can really suck, but guess what the great thing about it all is? It’s actually okay. You’re still yourself. You can go out in this world and make yourself someone who you want to be. You’re not alone, even if it feels like it. You’re just going through what we all go through right now. It happens to every single person in the world. It is called growing up, in the most awkward and uncomfortable of ways.
It is all we do in this life, and it is endless, but it is necessary.