To say my life has been dark lately would be a gross understatement. It’s literally just been one thing after another after another after another. Like seriously, give. me. a. break.
And I’m not going to lie to you, I haven’t always dealt with life’s blows gracefully. I sulk, and I lash out, and I recoil. Mostly I sleep and ignore people. That’s my coping mechanism. Say what you will, but it’s healthier (and cheaper) than heroin, right?
In my last blog I tried to describe what it feels like to be “more than just sad” during the holidays. It was hard then, and then things got worse. It’s one thing to lose one person you care about, it’s infinitely worse to be blindsided by the loss of several people.
Without going into a lot of detail (if you’re here to read the latest gossip in the on-going saga of my life, then you’ve come to the wrong place), I got pretty badly hurt. But, it was not by the person who I thought would deliver the most painful blow. Honestly, it was the way everyone else reacted that hurt the most.
The fallout was worse than the initial impact.
My friends, or people who I thought were my friends, turned their backs on me.
When I needed them the most they were nowhere to be found.
Under the guise of not wanting to get involved, or trying to stay neutral, they all left me high and dry. And that was when I learn a valuable lesson first hand: your boyfriend’s friends are not your friends. I thought due to the fact that my circumstances were different that my outcome would be different. I knew most of them outside of Lucas*. Even if Lucas had never been in the picture, I still would have known these people, and we still would have been friends. So I thought it was different.
It was not different.
When the dust settled, they were not my friends.
They were his.
That’s when I learned a second lesson: when the night is the darkest, you can see the stars. This works both on a scientific level, with actual stars, but also on a metaphorical level. Right now, while my night is the darkest, the stars in my life are all the more clear. And it’s not always the people who you would expect. There were people who I believed in, who let me down, and there were people that I didn’t really give a second thought to, who have stuck by my side. Life is funny like that. Constantly reminding you that you have no idea what’s going on.
Right now, it’s easy to see the people who really care about me. Because when you care about someone, you don’t skirt around the hard topics, you face them head on. When you care about someone, you don’t avoid them when you think something might be awkward, you walk through that awkwardness with them. When you care about someone you are not just there when it’s easy, you hang around when life gets messy.
These people, my metaphorical stars, have the knack for knowing when to be exactly what I need. They know when to give me tough love, and when to offer gentler advice; when to offer me a distraction, and when to let me wallow a little; when to encourage me to run a 5K, and when to feed me and tell me I’m pretty. They’ve all been incredibly thoughtful and kind to me, even when sometimes I was less than kind and thoughtful in return (read: when I was the worst person to be around).
So in a really strange way, I can already see the bright side of this situation. If nothing else comes from this, at least now I know who is in my corner. It was brought to my attention recently that I had been “burning bridges” with people, which I didn’t for a minute think was true. What had I done to burn any bridges? I wasn’t hateful to anyone, I didn’t even really talk to anyone about what was going on. How could I be burning bridges with people I wasn’t even talking to? But it looks like I was just blissfully unaware. I’ll just say this, if a rumor, or a little awkwardness is enough for you to cut ties with me, then honestly, I’m probably better off without you. I am not currently in a position to be able to tolerate having to question the intentions of everyone around me.
Feel free to divide yourselves up into the categories of STARS and BRIDGES and then react accordingly. I don’t think it will be hard, you know who you are on both sides of the fence. Thank you for continuing to help me figure life out, because you all play your part, some just do it better than others.
*name changed for obvious reasons