This post has been a long time in the making. I’d write a bit, decide I shouldn’t write about it, delete stuff, then come back to it. I’ve now decided to go ahead with it, though. Many of us probably go through this type of personal crisis without knowing fully how to deal with it, as most of our relationship ending information revolves around romantic partners. Also, we’re told to never ditch our girlfriends, as if they are infallible women who will always have our backs.
My longest friendship ended at the end of last year, and, even though I hadn’t seen her in person for nearly a decade, I still referred to her as my best friend. She had never referred to me has her best friend, but I thought it was a way of her not wanting to seem to keen. Strange, looking back, to think of all the times when others came first. When she moved far away and didn’t tell me. When backhanded compliments became a new language for me to learn.
I know that everyone is doing the best that they can at any given time, but I found myself unable to tolerate the personal digs and general toxicity of the relationship. I tried for a long time but realised that I always felt bad after talking to her. Sometimes, I’d feel bad for days. I became guarded in our conversations, as any admission of weakness would be exploited, and confidences leaked to others. And so I ended it.
For the first few weeks, I was shaky and sad. It felt like a breakup, which it was in its way. Now three months on, this topic is still hard to write about, but I’ve realised that being her friend is not part of my identity. Moreover, ending such a toxic relationship allowed me to see my way through a depression I’d found myself in. Rather than isolating myself, I reconnected with two friends I really love. I wonder what I was waiting for.
When I think of minimising, my first thought revolves around the physical stuff that clutters my space. However, minimising the stuff is just one step on this road, and it makes you realise everything you can no longer tolerate.