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A stranger with memories: The fear of losing friends
People are not meant to stay forever. They come and go. And as humans, a relationship is innate to us. When we are inside our mum's belly, a family relationship has already begun. We've built it at such a young age. And as we grow, friendship and love to others develop.
And like people, relationships always come to an end, either by force or by death. Some are meant to be longer, and some are meant to be like a wind. It may bring comfort, or it may bring dust along the wind - a discomfort.
When we are a child, we might not realize it, but we've built a lot of friendships. At the playgrounds, at the malls, in the classrooms, or even at restaurants where our parents brought us.
Friendship can be like oxygen; unnoticed yet necessary.
If you're an adult, you may already figure out the mystery behind friendships that are now gone. But if you're a teenager like me, you could be wondering now,
"What is this feeling inside of me? A grieving emotion that must set free."
So, why does losing a friend scare you?
You're a human - this explains it all. But I'm gonna keep going, lol.
Fear is inevitable. You may do everything to beat it but still feel it. You can do every single thing, therapy or meditation, but you can still feel fear. Why? Because it's an emotion. It's part of being a human.
You can't say your weak just because you're scared. It's just reminding you that you are alive! Fear doesn't stop. But, you can do certain things to minimize its negative impact on you.
Being scared of a bad event that has a high probability of happening can really negatively affects us, even though we are not sure when it'll happen. Some of us are afraid of the unknown. Because when that happens, you know that you'll be devastated.
And sometimes, we are not afraid of the event of losing friends; we are scared about the devastating emotion that comes after it: the sadness from feeling alone.
Or, we could be afraid that years of memories with special people will be wasted. We invested emotion and time in it, and of course, when you lose an investment, you'll feel shattered and devastated.
Why do we lose them?
Two sides of the coin don't apply with this situation (well, on some).
Grow as we go | This is not a blame game
Going through this phase doesn't always mean that you or your friend is toxic. It could mean that we just didn't go well together anymore. As people get older, having different goals, dreams, priorities, visions, and philosophies are normal.
Remember, we are learning animals. We continue to grow and develop.
What I realized from my past friendships is, "the things that mediate us was lost". For certain situations, you could not be in the same school anymore, the same neighborhood, or the same organization. We now have nothing in common. Our priorities now are not paralleled.
And most of the time, you just stop contacting each other. A simple "Hi" cannot be seen. And no one has the guts to ask why or what just happened?
Why are we afraid to ask the other? Because we're scared of the answers. We fear that we might be the reason why the friendship has broken. We are afraid to know what kind of qualities we have that contributed to the sudden separation. It is the fear of knowing.
On the other hand, some friendships are just toxic. It's either you or the other. And if you know that you bring toxicity or you receive toxicity, please leave immediately.
If you are the toxic one, please gradually change your behavior. This world is being run where the majority categorically develops the right and moral behavior. And if you happen to negatively affect the majority of people, you have to develop better and moral characteristics for yourself and others. Utilitarianism it is.
And if you are the person who receives toxicity, please know your worth. Leave immediately.
How did I address this fear?
As I said before, people are not meant to stay forever. The reasons why friendship broke could be because we grow apart, we hurt each other, or we die. If it can't be fixed, then don't fix it. Acceptance will always be the first step. Acknowledge that you have lost a friend.
Remember, grieving doesn't only happen when someone dies. You can also grieve when a friendship ends. Death is not only limited to the physical body of the people, but it can also connote the idea of losing connection with someone, with or without closure. Cry your heart out, make your eyes puff, let your nose be red. Let yourself grieve, but also let yourself walk free.
3. Unfollow them on social media
People can be gone, but the memories with them are still alive. You cannot just say "Oh my brain, you have to delete these memories with them." Nah, it doesn't work that way. Social Media is a very powerful invention. If you happen to see their photos or see them hanging out with new friends, it'll fuel the fire of curiosity to seek an answer and self-blame. This may urge lead you to hate that person, or you may blame yourself for a connection that has ended.
4. Be kind
The connection that ended in a snap is really exhausting. It consumes your energy. A lot blame themselves on this situation, but remember the quote, "Always be kind", not for others, but yourself. You deserve happiness even if you feel you don't.
5. Seek help from other friends | Connect, not just communicate
There's a saying that communication is the key, but I beg to disagree. In the aspect of speaking, communicating aims to share information, nothing more and nothing less. While connecting also shares information, but it seeks to fully understand the speaker's message. People who communicate will listen to someone because they have to reply. While the people who want to connect engage themselves in a conversation with an intent to understand. Talk about your situation with the people you trust. Feel free to open up. Please don't let this emotion be bottled up.
As I said in the previous blogs, "It is when you understand a situation that you can already open a path to a solution. Take your time to heal to see what went wrong and what improvements should be made on your characteristics. Learn, so you'll be ready for future relationships, be it friendships or romantically. Learning is the most important thing in growing.
If you did all of this and still feel lost that it consumes a lot of your energy, please seek help from professionals if you have the means to do so. 🤗
Please remember that as humans, we are vulnerable to every situation we fear. Fear is such an important emotion. Broken friendships are normal as you grow up. People come and go.
Even though it was fine with me that some of my friendships ended (tho most of them just happened out of nowhere without serious disagreements or conflict), it still made me question myself on what characteristics of mine contributed to the situation. It still made me think of why's and what if's. And of course, I still feel sad whenever I think of them and realize that they weren't in my life anymore. It was a rollercoaster ride of emotions. It's challenging. But gladly, this contemplation passed. 💕
Note: The people who are in the pictures have been my friends since Grade 7 (13 years old) 🥰 I include our photos here in the blog coz even though, I've lost a lot of friends, they're still here. We've been through ups and downs. We may not chat with each other every single day, but we're one chat away if one needs help.
We're all busy in our college life, pursuing individual's dreams, and have our own responsibilities. Hopefully, we can travel the whole world in the succeeding years!
All the photos posted here have their permissions.😊The persons who have been blurred out haven't replied to me yet, so I didn't get their permission to post their faces hehe.