Despite all the friendship bracelets I’ve given out over the years, I’ve come to the harsh realisation recently that sometimes you just need to let go of friendships. It’s a fact that not all friendships last forever and some barely make it past a few years so why do we feel the need to cling onto them for so long? Think of it as a relationship, if it’s toxic, it needs to end.
Don’t get me wrong it’s bloody difficult, but sometimes you just need to accept that you’re not friends anymore. Are they there when you need them most? Do they support you through the tough times? Do they make the effort to see or speak to you? If you just answered no to all three of those questions then the likelihood is that they’re not as much as a friend as they used to be or say they are. That might seem brutal but you’ve got to be cruel to be kind to yourself. I’ve come to realise this recently and it feels like a weight lifted off my shoulders.
For me, it’s become so important to let go of friendships for my own sanity, mental health and growth. People can hold you back and I feel like a new gal now that I’ve realised who my real pals are. I know that they’re the ones who would do anything for me, value me as a friend and want to see me succeed. Some friendships can make you feel like total shit (let’s not lie) and they are just not worth having in your life, regardless of whether you have a mental illness or not. Personally, I can struggle with people who don’t give a shit about my anxiety because I know they don’t have my best interests at heart.
There is an abundance of reasons why a friendship might be over. Maybe they used you, stole from you or betrayed you or perhaps their morals and principles changed, or just life could’ve just got in the way. Every friendship is different so there’s never going to be a set in stone reason as to why a friendship fizzles out. Letting go of friendships isn’t necessarily a bad thing though. We all change and grow as people whether you like it or not so some friendships are inevitably going to fall apart. I’ve experienced this myself with school friends where we grew apart as they scattered all over the country to go to university and I stayed at home and continued to work but that’s just life. Some friendships aren’t strong enough to endure four years apart but a handful are, and they’re the keepers!
There’s a poem which states that people come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime and man, it hit me hard when I read that! It makes it so much clearer to me that it’s okay not to be friends with everyone forever. Now I’m 22, I’ve been through five different schools, college and countless jobs and made so many friends along the way from all different social circles and walks of life but I can still count on one hand the friends who will be there for life. As long as I’ve got those chums, I think it’s okay for me to let other friendships go who don’t bring me any joy or benefit my life in any way.
Don’t forget, you are allowed to be selfish sometimes and you are fortunate enough to be able to pick your friends.
Have you ever had to let go of friendships? How did you cope? Did you feel better?