People tend to forget that a best friend can break your heart.
Why is it we’re so wrapped up in romantic love that we’ll take our friendships for granted, or worse, betray a person we call “friend?”
Maybe it’s unintentional. Maybe we hide behind excuses.
Or maybe, we all forget that we’re human, and humans don’t always make the right choices. But one thing we all do is help each other learn and grow. Even those horrible experiences with backstabbing or careless friends will teach you something valuable.
It’s up to you to learn from those experiences and those people. And ultimately, friends who teach you these heartbreaking lessons were put into your life for exactly that purpose. No more and no less.
People come and go, all your life. Only a rare few will remain constant in each chapter.
I’ve had my fair share of friendship heartbreaks and, as you might expect, the worst one taught me the most. I don’t hate the experience, nor do I hate her. I’m actually quite grateful.
My life has come so far from where it was six years ago (in 2013) that I sometimes look back at those days and wonder if they happened in another lifetime. This time, six years ago, I was neck deep in the most painfully agonizing (romantic) heartbreak. I had graduated college that spring and returned home from trekking on the Appalachian Trail for the entire summer, but my soul hurt. Deeply.
I started dating my now-husband right around that time and I desperately craved to reforge friendships, new and old. I hadn’t been the greatest friend during my prior relationship and I spent the next few years trying to pick up the pieces of the girl I’d once been, the girl I’d shattered to the floor.
For some, those attempts were in vain. I didn’t realize it at the time, but some bridges were always meant to burn.
The best friend who broke my heart I first met in college. We connected instantly; we were so similar. I think that maybe, because of the person I’d become trying to force a relationship that wasn’t meant to be, I pushed her away. Maybe it was something I said, or did, one particular day. Maybe it was a passive aggressive note I once left her. Maybe it was everything and nothing or maybe I’d just become too toxic.
I’ll never really know, because I never got any closure. Not from her anyway.
A year after our college graduation I traveled to attend some party she invited me to at her new place, bringing along my at-the-time new boyfriend (now-husband). I wanted to show my old college crew that I’d finally found someone worthwhile, someone worth my time. We had a fabulous adventure.
It wasn’t until months later my now-husband mentioned to me that a group of girls at that party had “warned” him about me. And that this friend of mine, the one I loved so much and was so excited for him to meet, was one of them.
Naturally, I confronted her. I sent her a message about it and she simply stated that our friendship had been over for a while, insinuating that I was stupid for not noticing. We never talked again.
I was dumbfounded. Angry. Hurt. Confused. You name it, I felt it.
The loss of that friendship hit me harder than I care to admit, but here I am writing about it anyway. I didn’t, and probably never will, understand exactly what happened, or what I did wrong. At the time I thought losing our friendship would kill me, but it didn’t.
Do you know what that loss did for me?
It motivated me.
Yes, it broke my heart, but it also forced me to take a good, hard look at the person I was. Even though I’d been growing slowly into a better person each day since I left my college-self behind, it hadn’t been enough to save the shreds of a friendship I cared so much about.
I continued to prune my bad habits, and luckily, with the help of my now-husband and those friends who did stay by me through all the erratic, unstable, and outright insane behavior, I somehow birthed myself back into the girl I’d once been. The girl who loved. The girl who smiled. The girl who cared.
I didn’t forget her friendship in a mere matter of months though. It took me years to work through the loss and to stop being so angry with her for choosing to do something that she simply needed. She did what was best for her. Our friendship didn’t mean to her what it meant to me, and I realize now that that’s okay. Somehow, I healed the last scar on my heart, and I forgave her.
It’s okay to feel deeply for people who don’t feel the same way for you. It’s truly one of the most difficult experiences to go through, but it’s okay. It’s all part of the human experience. People seem to think it’s less important when it happens with a friendship versus a romantic relationship, but I don’t.
And I’ll never be angry at myself for feeling something for another person again.
Our range of emotions, from the highest point to the lowest point, must be welcomed and embraced, for the experiences and the knowledge that comes with them shapes the journey that is our lives.
I’m lucky to be so loved now. It’s actually really difficult keeping up with all of the friendships I have. Adulting is both wonderful and awful, and I’m rather grateful for the friends who chose to walk away because I think I’d go mad trying to stay in touch with all of them.
I’ll never forget this friendship though. She was the stability and the support that I needed during college as I hit rock bottom, and even if she got the worst of me, she gave me the best of me.
So, while a best friend did break my heart, I couldn’t be more thankful that it happened.
Until next time –
Yours for happy writing,