‘S’ is a friend I have had since 9th grade. When I look back at our friendship, it’s weird and I feel like I lack some sort of perspective. She has called me her best friend, told me I’ve saved her life, but now it feels like she is a complete stranger. It feels like ‘G’.
For some backstory, I have been friends with ‘S’ through so many tribulations in her life. Times where she’s faced eating disorders, times where she’s been with partners who were cruel to her, and times where she has been depressed. I’ve always helped her through those times because when she was young, she would always take my advice and it made me feel good. It felt good to help people, and through my life ever since I was a teenager I’ve loved to help people. There are some people who you want to help, who you will see in pain, but who will not take a person’s advice and not look at their life from a rational perspective. As a friend of one of these people, it’s difficult to watch and sometimes the choice needs to be made whether or not to stick by them and observe, or to simply abandon them.
Observing someone in pain isn’t easy, but it’s also not necessarily painful to the observer either. If you feel that a person is not in any imminent danger, and that they will pull through, sometimes you know you have to be there in the aftermath to help pick them up. Sometimes it’s harder than that though, and sometimes you end up being hurt because every time you want to put your hope and faith into them and expect them to change, you see them fall back down again. Sometimes people can’t accept help being picked up. These are the moments when it is difficult to observe someone you care about in pain or trouble. Enough of these moments can cause a person to question whether or not it’s a lost cause. This is the situation that I am in.
A year last year, ‘S’ visited my state for the first time. It was an incredible visit and we had a blast. Afterwards, we reminisced on our friendship of 9 years at the time, and planned for a next visit. We talked almost daily. Shortly after, we stopped talking regularly. This wasn’t odd, because ‘S’ and I haven’t always talked regularly. The comfort was knowing that when she needed help, I was there for her, and though I didn’t often ask for help, I felt I could count on her.