Friendship Heartache

I’ve seen a couple of posts about this, but not many, so I thought I’d get to writing my own.

The amount of books, songs, films, shows etc we have that focus on heartbreak is astounding. If you turn on the radio, you probably can’t avoid hearing a song which is about breaking up with someone, or the mixed jumble of feelings you have for ex-partners. The amount of books I’ve read which have the premise, or even the climax, of the main character going through the stages of grief after breaking up with someone is just as high.

One thing that isn’t talked about nearly enough is that special kind of heartbreak you feel when you lose a friend. This can happen in so many ways – whether it’s just from not speaking to someone in a long time, or having a huge argument, or coming to realise that you no longer want to be friends. Many people would argue that losing a boyfriend/girlfriend is far similar, because more often than not they’re your best friends as well, but in my opinion the friendship heartache is something very different. Sure, heartbreak from a relationship can be crippling, but hopefully your friends are there to pick up the pieces and help you through. When it’s your friend that you lose, who’s there to help you through? How do you explain that that friend just got you in so many ways, and that without them you’re not entirely sure who you are? Who are you supposed to text or call when you overhear a nasty comment about you or when you find out that tesco is no longer selling those reduced chocolates that you’ve been gorging on for the past two months? What are you supposed to do when either you, or they, or both of you, realise that you’re not as close or even want to be as close as you used to be?

Let’s go to my own sob story. In primary school, I had a few people who I would call good friends – not that I’ve spoken to any of them in years – but more or less I was ‘friendly’ with everyone. The first year or two of secondary school was similar; I never really found a group that I thought ‘THESE ARE MY KIND OF PEOPLE’, so I sort of drifted from group to group. Towards the end of my second year (Year 8, when I was about 12/13 years old) I found a group of girls (not a surprise, seeing as I went to an all girls school) that I thought were my best of friends. One girl in particular I called my best friend. She seemed to know everything, and we just had so much fun together. We’d have sleepovers where we’d talk about the boys that weren’t in our lives and the celebrities we wish were in our lives. We’d talk about our families, and hopes, and dreams, and fears – you name it, we probably talked about it. Every now and then, we’d fall out for a few days after a petty comment or argument, but soon enough we were best friends again.

This girl, my best friend, had the power to absolutely destroy me. The amount of times I cried because of something she said to me or said about me to someone else (who then told me – thanks again to girl school gossip) was ridiculous. Over the next few years, I found other girls who I soon called best friends as well, but this first girl was still a fixture in my life. Honestly, she wasn’t a great person. She hurt a lot of people, but I was still friends with her. There was one instance I can remember clearly when I called her up because she was ill, telling her to not worry about anything and to get better soon. When she next came to school, she yelled at me for being such a bitch, calling her up to rub it in her face that she was ill and everyone else wasn’t. There was another time when she took me to ‘the bike sheds’ during one lunchtime and she again shouted at me. She had two other girls with her – and together they made up the original three girls I thought were my closest friends – but they didn’t say anything. It was clear though that they were there to support her. I was told that I was a horrible human being and that I was just jealous of her and hated her because she could wear skirts and make-up and I couldn’t. (I should probably mention here that I never wore make-up – mainly because I had no idea how to use it – and I always wore trousers – I really didn’t like my legs).

She knew exactly what to say to upset me, and she did know exactly what she was doing. The next day, she was back to pretending nothing had happened.

And so the years went on, and in my last two years of school I came to the realisation that I didn’t have to be her friend. I tolerated her, even to the point where I would sit next to her in one of my classes and chat, make jokes – all of that rubbish. I would chat to my true best friends, who would never ever say such awful things to me, and I would feel reassured that I wasn’t the only one who didn’t like this girl. The amount of instances where she made me want to curl up in my bed and never leave it’s safety are too many to count. After our final exams – when we were eighteen years old – I felt like I was a young teen again when one of my friends told me that she told them that she deleted me on facebook and was ‘really smug about it’. That hurt. Despite not even liking this girl, the years that we were friends would flash through my mind. Where was the girl who told me that she thought I was pretty despite my acne? Where was the girl who could make me laugh until my stomach ached?

What did I do? Well, I blocked her, because I didn’t want to see anything about her any longer.

I still feel a huge mix of weird feelings when I think about her now. Weirdly enough, she goes to university in London and I heard something about her from a friend of a friend. Turns out she’s upset a lot of people already at university, and the relief I feel that I don’t have that in my life any more is incredible. It doesn’t do anything to stop that little twinge I feel, that pang of heartache when I think about the times we were friends.

What’s the cure? Well, I’m still working on it. Surrounding yourself with other friends helps, as does eating copious amounts of chocolate. Also writing a blog post seems to help – writing it all down and throwing it out into the world is pretty cathartic (I hope you’ve ‘enjoyed’ reading about all my very important feelings). For me, finding confidence was a big factor. Being strong enough to just think that it was better to have known her and learned something than not at all. I’m better for it, because now I’m not afraid to tell someone ‘no’. I’m not afraid to have opinions, because I know how to fight my corner. I know that I can be independent, and that those stupid teenage fights we had were just that – stupid teenage fights. I have no desire to see her again, but I’d like to think that if I do ever have to speak to her again, I can be the bigger person.

I’ve moved on. I hope she has too.

On Being Happy: Writing

If you don’t already know by now that I like to write, you probably haven’t noticed the title of the blog and accidentally found yourself here wondering what to do next. (My advice is to subscribe, leave a like and a comment, then have a wonderful rest of day)

Writing is my passion, no surprise there, and so it’s not a shock to discover that writing makes me ridiculously happy. There’s nothing quite like being able to create something out of nothing, which is probably why I’m so envious of people who can paint and draw with ease. Writing is my equivalent to painting some gorgeous landscape. It’s the only way that I can kind of call myself an ‘artist’.

I’m not exactly sure when I discovered this love, but I do remember writing a ‘play’ when I was really young – we’re talking maybe 7 years old or so – that sort of resembled a very bad adaptation of Scooby Doo. All I can remember is a group of friends (and their dog) going to a graveyard, finding a man who suddenly became a vampire, then a witch showing up, and finally the dog saving the day. Believing it to be a masterpiece, I then insisted on the neighbour’s children acting it out in front of the family.

Another memory is of my first ‘crush’, if you can even call it that. I remember thinking that a boy in my class was really cool because he was the fastest runner out of everyone – clearly I had very high standards. He then moved to another country, so with that emotional experience behind me I decided to write my first novel all about it and it ended with me going to Australia (although I can’t actually remember if that was actually where his family moved to or if it was just because I always wanted to go there thanks to Finding Nemo). I even wrote a sequel, where I was bitten by a black widow spider, decided that in my final days I didn’t like this boy all that much, and then after that everything gets a bit hazy. I’m pretty sure I don’t kill myself off in the end, so I’m pretty interested to see if that manuscript ever makes a reappearance.

I wrote stories all through secondary school, which varied from moderately ok to spectacularly bad. I remember in year nine, when I was about thirteen or fourteen, my school had a little short story competition. My best friend and I so started writing what we that was an amazing story, where we wrote the opening scene. It started off with a girl on a motorbike, charging somewhere to save the day, and her female guardian angel is also there and basically they just kick arse. We were so proud of this, but annoyed when we submitted it that we never heard back – I think it’s because so few people actually went for it. Nevertheless, my friend and I decided that this idea was to good to let go, so for the next few years at school, we would go to the school computers in our lunchtimes and write this incredible story. We had writing sessions at each other’s houses, thinking we were creative geniuses, and wrote in hilarious lines and scenes. I think I even tried to write a song when I went through my ‘I can’t sing that well so instead I’m going to be a songwriter’ phase. Our book had everything: two kick arse female leads (because what with Twilight, the usual heroine in books didn’t do that much arse-kicking), a few guardian angels because who doesn’t like a bit of supernatural, and two beautiful male love interests because hello we were hormonal teenage girls. I think our twist was that these two guys, similarly one human and one guardian angel because there were no inter-species relations in our book, were actually the bad guys and the girls end up kicking their arses too because they don’t need no men in their lives. It was a good time. We even had such beautiful descriptions, one that I remember to this day. ‘The hospital smelled of soap and rubber’. Pure poetry.

Going back and reading some of the things I wrote is at once completely embarrassing and wonderful. I have one unfinished book (because although I have over 170 files of different book ideas, I very rarely finished one) where I essentially took all of the books I recently read and changed them. It included TwilightThe Vampire Diaries, and the House of Night series. From what I remember, I essentially created a new female character (modelled after yours truly) who travels through these different story worlds and basically puts all the female leads to shame, telling them to ‘grow some balls’ (yes, I know, I actually wrote that) and beat the bad guys themselves. No attractive male vampire to save the day, the human girls were going to do it. You can probably tell that I had a bit of a thing for female leads basically bossing every scenario. I’m pretty sure it’s because Kim Possible was my idol.

And now I still write story after story, jotting down every idea that I have even though 95% of the time they’re absolute crap. Despite that, I’m still going and hopefully one day I’ll be able to write for a living. This year, despite I’m busier than ever, I’ve decided to participate in ‘NaNoWriMo’ – National Novel Writing Month, where you try to write a novel in a month. To ‘win’, you have to reach 50,000 words, but that isn’t my goal. As always, I strive to make sure that writing never becomes a chore for me, so instead my goal is to have fun, try and write as much as I can, and not get stressed out when I don’t hit the word count because I have several assignments for university to finish and even more books to make a start on.

If you’re interested in NaNo, then you should definitely check out their website: nanowrimo.org/

And If you’re already on NaNo, then be sure to add me as a writing buddy! Of course, my username is ‘Stammydodger’.

Anyway, I hope you’re all having a wonderful day and feel free to leave a comment down below – preferably something to do with this post, but at this point anything will do. Catch you next time!