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Starting Over

To make a very long story short, I lost 3 relationships that meant a lot to me in a very short period of time. Losing the first two put some cracks in my armor but the last one shattered me. I was in a state that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. I’m talking not eating, sleeping, or properly functioning for a week. I didn’t think that I’d ever be okay again.  I lost my best friend but more importantly, I lost myself.

Flashforward 3 months. Life has gotten better but it didn’t happen overnight. I had to go through a process of rediscovering myself. I’ve prayed and read more devotionals in the past few months than I did all of last year. I’ve cried a lot.  “Inspirational” quotes and mantras have become my thing. You can find them on sticky notes all over my room. I’ve found new hobbies, reconnected with old friends, and remembered that my happiness should never be dependent on another person. Basically, I became the cliche protagonist in every rom-com who’s on a journey of self-discovery. At least I know there has to be a happily ever after around the corner.

Things improved but I still wasn’t completely happy. My friendship with the person who broke me, let’s call him X, was different from the other two. X was my person at uni. The kind of person who I could be my most authentic self with and know that I would still be accepted and loved. The person who’d been there for all of my highs and lows. X willingly put up with my crazy, pretended to like my favorite shows, and constantly made my heart happy.

That’s not to say that our friendship was perfect. X was an idiot. I say that in the most loving way. The boy drove me crazy.  His communication skills were non-existent, his memory was worse than my grandma’s, and he never understood why I wanted to rant without him offering suggestions “to make things better.” I was very aware of his faults, as he was of mine, but that was part of the beauty of our friendship. We were willing to accept the other’s flaws and work on our own. He was an integral part of my life and I didn’t want to let go of our friendship.

It’s taken some time and a lot of thought but we’re trying to rebuild. Putting it mildly, other people haven’t been supportive of this decision. All of my friends are giving me grief for trying to start over. I know they mean well and I’m sure that I’d be saying the same things if I were them but no one is willing to see things from my point of view. Although I know that I can live without X, I don’t want to. I no longer have to question what my life would look like without him because I’ve lived through it. I’ve learned a lot about myself and the kind of friendships I need. I’ve had time to weigh the pros and cons of my decision and I’m 99% sure that I’ve made the right choice.

Call it naivety or unwarranted optimism but I have faith in this new beginning. Things won’t be the same but they can still be good. In order to make sure that this fresh start works, I’ve come up with some new friendship rules. Shoutout to Dua Lipa for the inspiration.

  1. Don’t pick up the phone too often. I know you want to tell him every little thing like you used to. Don’t. If you call him crying, he will pick up and try to help every single time. That leads to an unhealthy dependency. You’re a big girl. Figure some things out yourself.
  2. Don’t let him in too quickly. Trust is earned. He lost yours and it’ll take time for him to earn it back. Don’t rush the process. Yes, you love him but you have to love yourself, and your wellbeing, more.
  3. Be his friend. Nothing more. Set clear boundaries and stick with them.

I’m ready to move on, even if my friends aren’t. Like I said, I understand where they’re coming from but I’ve also realized how quickly people try to make decisions for others that they wouldn’t make for themselves. I’m definitely guilty of doing the same. Though the intentions are good, the impact is not. That’s not to say all the advice I’ve gotten is bad. Of course, the opinions of people who care about you are important. They offer insight that you might not be able to see on your own. That being said, no one can completely understand a situation that they’re not a part of. From the outside looking in, it’s easy to see things as black and white when they’re really a million shades of grey.

No relationship is perfect. Pain is inevitable.You have to decide whether keeping a person in your life is beneficial or detrimental. Be brutally honest with yourself. Remember, it takes a lot of strength to leave a relationship but it takes an equal amount to stay. If leaving is really the best thing for you then go. Don’t allow yourself to stay in an unhealthy relationship. If the relationship is salvageable, without having to sacrifice your wellbeing, then stay. Find solutions while still taking care of yourself. Whatever you decide, make sure it really is your decision. Everyone will have an opinion. They’ll try to make you do what they assume is best. Don’t let them. Do what you have to. No explanation needed.

49 thoughts on “Starting Over”

  1. In the last couple of years I have gone through a lot of ‘friendship break-ups’ with people who I thought that were my really close friends. It was hard a first but slowly it got better.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I wish more people would share the raw and real about the unfiltered stuff like what you’ve just done. You are so strong!! ❤ Tthanks for being brave enough to share your story here, I know how hard that can be. I love that you dug deep and made the choice to surround yourself with positive energy and lots of self care. Nothing is ever clear-cut black and white, you've got to do what's best for you. x

    ~ Melanie
    http://imagineyou.co.za/

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your three friendships, but I hope that in time the pain will heal and like you said you will be able to focus on new beginnings. Noone should judge your decision its up to you as to what you want to do and if you want to rebuild on old friendships, then that is ok as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sometimes you really have to let go of people who no longer understand you. It’s not an easy thing to get over but you will eventually. And you’ll have more room for people who will help you grow!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Starting over after a series of heart-wrecking relationships can be so difficult especially due to the fear of history repeating itself once again. Anyway, I can say that you can take the step and move forward as long as you don’t have to compromise yourself again.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. i’m so sorry to hear what you’ve been through, but at the same time i’m so glad that you dare yourself hard enough to get up and start over, even better because not only start over, but also take the second chance. i hope things are getting better with you and your surrounding. stay positive! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Welcome to growing up and older. I too have lost many friends in my life thus far. It is truly heartbreaking especially when we lose that X from our lives. My X was the brother I never had..that one guy who was always there by my side in the best & worst of times. However, when you lose that person, you learn about yourself and how you relate to others. For me it took a bit of time to realize my faults and challenges that lead to X & I moving apart. However, as painful and sad as it was, I am glad it happened because hopefully I learned about who I am and how I affect others. Hopefully I will learn to be a better man, friend, and brother to those I want in my life so that it doesnt happen again.

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  8. Thank you for sharing with us such a raw journey with us that you’ve had to take. I lost a very close friend a year and a half ago and it was heartbreaking. I’ve moved on from the friendship and know i’m at a better place but it definitely wasnt an overnight thing.

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  9. We all go through ups and downs in our life but the way you dealt with this situation and came back in a more strong and positive way is what totally inspires me. More power to you ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  10. You made it through a very tough time in your life and emerged stronger and more self aware. Over the years I have learned to accept my destiny because inevitably the Creator knows better what is good for us than we do and never tests us with more than we can bear. After all the heartache you now know your own boundaries and limitations and what you need to be truly happy. All the best for the future.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. losing the people we count on the most is hard, but sometimes it just has to be done in order to grow as a person. I decided to end my friendship of 17 years because all she provided was toxic and negative feelings. And I just couldn’t have that!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Removing negative people from your life, especially when they’ve been a part of your life for a while, is really difficult. I’m glad that you did what was best for you!

      Like

  12. Yeah it’s really hard to be friends with people as it is. And when it’s someone of the opposite sex there can be so many pitfalls to it. Not least of which is the ability to keep friendship separate and not wind up in a relationship because if one of the two of you don’t want it, it won’t end well. And then you lose your friend and companion.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. A broken heart allows you to recharge and make space for more love. You`ll see that great things will happen to you. Remember nothing happens without a reason. Sounds cliche but it`s true. Lots of love and virtual hugs ❤
    Ps: Dua Lipa rocks.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Sometimes you need to do what makes you happy and what you feel is the right thing to do in your life, regardless of how your friends feel about it. Because at the end of the day it’s your life and your happiness, not theirs. With that being said, it’s still nice that they care enough about you and your future to have an opinion. Also, I love those relationship goals. They sound like a nice, healthy foundation to start fresh on!

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  15. I know all too well what it means to start over. I’ve done it 2x in the last 3 years. My last relationship crushed me. I never thought I was going to recover and then X came along and made me smile. That lasted just under a year and here I am on my own again. It’s been 3 months. It’s not without its challenges, but I am doing just fine. There were some adjustments in the beginning, but in time it all balances out ❤ to you 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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