This post is more of a way for me to get things off my mind than anything else. It’s something that has been bothering me for a very long time and I know many people won’t read this or won’t care, but that’s okay. I’m not asking for sympathy, I just want to get my emotions and thoughts out.
I’ve never been one of those people who have a lot of friends. Until quite recently I had no one who I could even call a friend, except for Katy, who has been a good friend to me for over 10 years but lives on the other side of the world. I’ve always dreamed of having that best friend that everyone else seems to have and do everything with. So naturally, whenever I make a new friend here in South Africa, I want the friendship to last. But sometimes in my quest to keep a friend, I end up having to suffer in one way or another. They only come to me when they have problems but never listen to mine, they always borrow money from me when I barely have enough for myself but won’t do the same for me in desperate times, they backstab me, they tell lies to my friends and family to ruin my reputation, the list goes on. Sadly over the last 10 years that I have lived in South Africa, I have had a grand total of 8 “best friends” who were very toxic people and brought me down, some of them even going so far as to try to sabotage my entire life and make me want to (and in some instances I even tried to) end my life. But I held on to them for as long as I could because they were all I had. I don’t really want to bore anyone with the details of what happened but if anyone is interested then they can message me and ask.
Anyway, for a long time I would do absolutely anything for a friend, even if I knew they aren’t good friends to me at all. I would allow myself to be used by them, just to have the ability to call them my friend.
And sometimes, after realising what they really were and having a huge fight (sometimes not speaking to each other for years), I would make the mistake of giving them another chance and letting them back into my life. Don’t believe the “people change” and “everyone deserves a second chance” bullshit because surprise surprise, most people don’t change. Not even one bit. There have only been 2 cases in my life where people changed and we could become friends again.
But over the past few years I have come to realise what a true friend is. I have my best friend in the entire world who is also my soul mate – he has always been caring, understanding and supportive from the first day we even spoke to each other and would do absolutely anything to make me happy. I have three other people who I really feel like I can trust with my life and always know how to make me smile, even though we don’t see each other often. Two of them are new friends that I only met this year but have done so much for me already. For the first time I know what it feels like to have friendships that aren’t one-sided. Friends who actually care. Friends who put in effort to see me or do something nice, just because they felt like it. Friends who treat me the way I’ve always treated “friends” but have never been treated before.
And because I finally know what real friends are, I won’t settle for less. I won’t take people’s shit anymore. I won’t surround myself with negative people who only drag me down even further. There is a difference between a friend in need and a “friend” who plays the victim, and the latter isn’t good for me, or you, or anyone for that matter. Don’t let “friends” walk over you or make you hate yourself or your life. It’s not selfish to want to be happy, so don’t let “friends” take that happiness away from you. Unfortunately, sometimes that means letting go of a friend you really care about. It hurts but in the end, it’s what’s best.
Sorry for the long rant.