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Better This Way

Reflection on the ending of a 15 year friendship.

By Amanda WashburnPublished 7 years ago 4 min read

A few days ago I lost someone important to me. We had been friends since we were freshman in high school but, when it came down to it, my anxiety was too much for her. She told that it was too stressful for her so she needed to end our friendship. Words cannot explain how heartbroken I was. We had been through so much together. I honestly expected us to remain friends for our entire lives. The day things ended was very dark for me. I felt like I was being punished for having this emotional and anxiety ridden part of myself. I felt like the mistake I made was opening up and reaching out during crisis. If only I had managed better on my own, then I wouldn’t have stressed her so and we would still be friends. I cried for most of the day.

The next morning I woke and looked at the clock on my phone. It was just before 7:00. On a usual weekday, she would be calling around this time in need of a ride to work. So, while everyone in my house slept, I would take her to work. It would be 8:30 by the time I got home. My one year old son, Edgar, would wake up soon after so must days I would never get back to sleep. However, on this morning I was able to roll over and go back to sleep. When my son woke up later I was able to get up and handle him with a grace I hadn’t felt in quite a while. It didn’t take long for me to figure out the difference. I felt a little better rested.

About midmorning I would usually receive a text message from her asking for a ride on her lunch break. I always brought Edgar along and she would usually buy us something to eat as well. It was because of this I only ever asked her for gas money if I absolutely had to. Since I didn’t have to do this on this day, when my wife woke up, we were able to have a nice morning together as a family. My wife, Nikki, works really late every night so she sleeps in in the mornings. Normally mornings are a little rough around my house because I’m also juggling taking my friend somewhere on her lunch break. On this day, things went much smoother. We were able to hang out as a family until it was time for my wife to go to work. Normally this time would have been cut a couple hours short by my friend needing a ride home from work. I would have taken Edgar along again, and either taken her straight home or to run errands. By the time I got home Nikki would have been ready to walk out the door.

Today, there was no rush. After my wife left I had a quiet night with Edgar. It was actually relaxing. The difference was that my phone wasn’t going off. My friend would always text me about the never ending problems she was having with whatever guy she was seeing. My life isn’t about that. I have a family. I am concerned with playdates and finances and politics and the future. I am sorry but I’m just not into the bar experience. Honestly, it reminded me so much of high school. It was all about boys and wondering if he could be the one. I am just not into that anymore. I am a married, adult woman with a one year old. It was all stressing me out and I knew this. I should have told her but I didn’t want to hurt her. I should have told her that giving her rides three times a day and spending my nights listening to her latest drama, which was usually the same drama, was just all too much. Maybe, if I had, we could have worked on things and continued to be friends. This whole thing breaks my heart.

I am starting to feel an odd sort of peace about it, though. We were best friends for a very long time and that meant something. It will always mean something. This is just the end of a chapter, not the entire book. Truth be told, I am already seeing how things are better this way. She kept me in the past. I am ready to look toward the future.

I see how giving her so much of my time was affecting my family and myself. I am loving this extra time with my family. We have even been able to go to some weekly children’s events that I hadn’t been able to take Edgar to because it conflicted with my friend’s schedule. I should have told her no. I should never have given her so many rides. I will never let anyone take so much time from my family again. That was my mistake. I’ve learned my lesson. That mistake has cost me my oldest friend. But, it was a lesson I needed to learn. I choose to grow from this. I see now how valuable time with my family is to me. I am glad for all this time I get to watch Edgar grow. It is so precious to me. And as I move forward in my life and grow, I hope that my friend can also find some peace. I know she has been struggling and I wish I could be there for her in this time. But, I was holding her back, too. Now she has the opportunity to truly spread her wings and fly. She is so strong. I know she will.

friendship

About the Creator

Amanda Washburn

Freelance writer and single mom. Lives in Montana with one son, two cats, and one dog. Writes everything from poetry to listicles.

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    Amanda WashburnWritten by Amanda Washburn

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