Kind of ironic isn’t it? That it was my letter writing that started our friendship, and a letter that ends it.
Well, I guess this is it. You’re finally leaving. I don’t know what to feel about that, nor do I know what you feel about that.
There are things I wish I said, and some I shouldn’t have, and chances that I didn’t get to apologise for. But as much as it has become difficult for both of us, I cannot deny that you have played an extremely big role in my life, and I thank you for that.
From here onwards, I will be extremely harsh and straightforward and I will not give you any loving words that will make you leaving easier. You also have a choice to say no, I’m not reading your bullshit and just toss this letter, I will not know nor will I mind. But don’t say I didn’t warn you.
You’ve always come to me for advice, and I cannot say that I give good ones, or true ones, the only ones and the right ones. But I will give you my last ones, accept or not, it’s your choice.
Please think about the consequences before you do anything
I have sat through enough sessions where you have tried to hint something to a guy and it never works out, or you have tried something purely reckless and suffered the consequences badly. The thing that I’m trying to get across to you is your philosophy of YOLO is going to hurt and wound you and the people around you badly one day.
Yes, it is good to take chances, and yes I guess in a sense, the lesson that comes after that is beneficial. And I am an “eff it” person, I take chances too often, wear my heart on my sleeve and go in for the kill because I want to experience life at it’s fullest. But the thing is I weigh out my consequences and am willing to pay for the cost of the risk. And unfortunately, no, you do not and can never get the best of both worlds.
There will always be a price to pay whenever you do something, and if you have to be willing to bear the cost do it.
I will be harsh about this because bad decisions have and will screw you over and eff you up, especially if you’re not ready to bear the cost. Really, really badly.
Be friends with your siblings
We have both gone through this. Rejection in friendships and relationships and absence of friends that cause loneliness. My mentor’s best advice to this it to first be friends with your siblings before you even think of making any friends outside.
They will be your toughest companions, the one who drive you the craziest, the ones that you will hate, that you will love. If you can learn to be patient and tolerant and kind with them, fostering a relationship where the people you have to communicate with are the most difficult, you will learn the best communication skills, patience and time.
They will be your biggest support when you all become adults, and the closest ones that you know will always be there. They will teach you more about relationships that any boy can and will.
Do not fear vulnerability
In all your relationships, there has always been a case of fear of vulnerability. You’ve always asked me why have I been so honest with my feelings, well not just because I’m a straightforward person but because I choose to be vulnerable to people around me that I trust.
You have to accept that in order to build connections with people, you will always be at a risk of getting hurt. And yes it will suck, but if you want the good feelings and the good parts of the relationship, you have to go through the painful emotions of being rejected too.
Everyone is scared of rejection, but do you know what hurts more than rejection?
Love. Because when someone loves you, there’s a possibility of them hurting you and leaving you, and when the happiness leaves, you will be left more broken than ever. So do you not love anyone?
No, instead you learn to be grateful for the love you have and cherish it as much as possible so that even if it leaves you, you can say that you have appreciated it to the fullest.
Also, if you can’t be vulnerable and honest with someone because they treat it with nonchalance or misuse it, those are the people you don’t need close to you in your life. Sure, you don’t have to break ties but you know that it won’t be a relationship worth building.
Yes, vulnerability will be painful and hurtful, but being vulnerable is what makes you brave.
Romanticism will ruin your love
In most cases, you have the madly unrealistic concept of romanticism stuck in your head. And I’m sorry to say, but it will not happen and you will ruin yourself.
Firstly, romanticism is believing that marriage is a hopeful thing, that it will be a lifelong, loving marriage.
Well, that concept is true, but your love will change. In the beginning, it may be big proclamations with fireworks and flowers, but it will evolve into paying the bills or bringing the kids out so you can have some peace or nag you and checking up on you every five minutes. The expressions of love will not be always comfortable to the other person or even pleasant, and sometimes, out of love, the person will hurt you. But it is a different kind of love.
Secondly, the other person is not God, even though we always paint them a portrait of them as so.
They will not understand you nor accept everything about you or find your little flaws attractive. It will take a lot of work to understand each other and many, many explanations that will tire you out. There are small annoying habits about your partner you can never change, like never washing the dishes, or clipping their toenails without a bin, and bigger flaws that they should change but they don’t, can’t and won’t, like a drinking problem or a tendency to lie a lot. You cannot do anything to make them change, even as their partner. The only one who can change them is themselves.
But you aren’t perfect either.
Your partner will unashamedly point that out about you, and nitpick and annoy the life out of you.
But love is acceptance and change at the same time. You learn to accept the person for who they are and accept that you have to change to accommodate them.
Eventually, you will learn that relationships are more than just feelings and more of learning. You have chosen to be a lifelong student and teacher to your partner; they will teach you how to be a better person and you them, you will need teamwork to work practical activities even though teamwork may not always be present, and you will have to discuss money and family backgrounds. However, you can only work on yourself, because as much as you are a pair, you are also separate.
Your identity doesn’t change; you just have another identity to be responsible for. For example, you don’t become “single” to “in a relationship”, you are “single” AND “in a relationship.”. The person will not change and will change, and you got to be ready to handle that.
But so will you.
As we go through stages of courtship, trust me when I say this, but you will know with a certainty if someone is not right for you or if things will not work out. Don’t force it to work out. Let it go. Don’t be together for the sake of conquering loneliness or for the fear you won’t meet someone else or for the fear that life would be worse without them.
Essentially, it’s saying, yo you’re stuck with this person who you’re legally bound to for life whom you will try to love and cherish and he/she will try to do the same to you, but it doesn’t mean you both will always succeed, and it will be rough because circumstances will hit you, your love will change but you will (try to) go through it together, and you gotta learn to accept the changes in your love, to fully appreciate the different stages of love.
No matter what, you are stuck together and it’s not always gonna be fun and it takes work but it will be worth it.
Now here’s the toughest part, for both me and you.
Here’s the thing about the mental illness that tore us apart.
Firstly, it is random. That means there is no specific reason about why I get panic attacks and anxiety.
Secondly, I cannot control it.
Thirdly, it is chronic. It is long lasting, and I will have good days and bad days, but it will never truly leave me, despite the ten thousand people that tell me I will be free from it one day.
How does this affect us?
Well, firstly, we as humans, we don’t think we like to imagine life as random.
We need everything to have cause and reason, and if we can’t find it, we create one. For example, people have diabetes because they don’t eat well, people get depression because they’re weak, or they have heart disease because And most of the time, the reasons become overly simplistic and just totally inaccurate.
When I attribute our broken friendship as the cause of my panic disorder, I hope you can understand why I hated you so much. It doesn’t validate my behaviour as a result of the hate, my disorder is a random occurrence in my life, something that just developed.
When I’ve forgiven you, I began to blame other things, my physiology, my genes, the workload, and most of all, myself. It made me feel like at least I was in control of my illness and that if I change a habit, or pray more, or exercise more, or lock myself at home or at least did something, I could get rid of it.
But illness doesn’t work that way.
You can’t simply overpower it by the force of sheer will and constant habits. Yes, you can improve it, make your life better in a way, to make your condition more bearable and immune to the illness, but you can’t stop the flu virus from infecting your lungs when it comes no matter how many oranges you eat or pills you take. And that’s the same thing with my mental illness.
I’m not in control of it, and if I’m not in control of it, much less you.
The chronic state of the illness is really what separates this from all the other illnesses.
The way we view other illnesses and something we want to conquer and put behind us don’t apply to mental illness. That’s the reason why I changed my testimony from “conquering depression” to “walking out of it”.
I can have bad days and I can have good days, but it will never truly leave me.
You can never treat me the same way you used to because I can never be who I used to be, a person who wasn’t diagnosed with panic disorder and anxiety.
I hope this long essay explains why I had an outburst then. And why we can never ever be close friends ever again, nor can you speak to me the way you used to. I will be lying to myself if I say I truly have let go, even though I would prefer to believe that lie if it makes my anxiety less real. This is also the moment we will cue every single Christian, condemning me for being unforgiving, to follow Jesus example, and that I hang to old things. I am not Jesus, even though I try to be. It will take me time, a very long time to completely and fully let go. I am still young and immature, I will not pretend to be a saint and say that I have reached that point of might and holiness to be all forgiving.
Honestly, I just beg you, if for the sake of my sanity (literally), please leave me alone and let this friendship go. I have given so many chances already, and I just feel more and more stupid for letting you in and consuming the poison that fuels my illness. As you wouldn’t feed sugar to a diabetic, don’t trigger my anxiety.
I know you don’t understand it, and I’m glad you don’t because you’re fortunate enough to not go through what I do.
You can do whatever you want to do with this. You can choose to hate me, despise me, curse me for making your life more miserable just when you are struck with the grief and missing everyone before you leave for Canada. You can complain about this to all your friends because of the audacity I have to do this stupid thing and waste a week to type this. You might not even read this.
But this is my last act of love and care for you. Even though you may hate me now, do me one last favour and give me the closure I need so I don’t have regrets of not saying goodbye, or at least saying what I wanted to say.
I tell everyone I could care less about you, but I think it’s just an exterior of someone who is tired of being hurt by the same person over and over again, someone who’s tired of giving her empathy and vulnerability, to someone who doesn’t seem to appreciate it but at the same time lets the person take advantage because they care too much about the person’s well-being.
I invest a lot into the people I love and can be vulnerable with, and yes, I’m not going to lie that I do expect something back even though I try not to, so it will hurt when they don’t give a shit about you. I’m trying to get rid of that complex, but it’s not happening anytime soon.
I will miss you. Despite all that, I hope the Lord will be with you, and you can truly walk in the Spirit with him, not just through the bad times where you’re desperate, but even through the times you think you don’t need him, because those are the actually the toughest and the most dangerous times. I pray that you will grow up well, and not repeat the same bloody mistake again. This was just be saying what I wanted to say, with no courtesy or strings attached, so this is the most honest, raw, beaten down advice from me that’s intended for your well-being. The road to hell is paved with good intentions.
My final wish is for you to live well, and to become who God intends you to be and to walk with him. Thanks for walking through the full cycle of strangers to acquaintances to friends to best friends and back to strangers with me. I guess this is where we become strangers again.
Who knows how many years later, we can walk the cycle again.