My senior year of high school was a very lonely time for me. I had once been excited to go to school and start every day, but by the end of my junior year, I could barely get out of bed. I would smile, act normal, and bear it, but my heart ached and my stomach felt like it was ripping in two, especially on my drive to school.
That year began with one mistake that led to an even worse one. A boy in my class asked me out because he thought I was pretty, and I said yes. I believed him every time he said he liked me, when he actually just wanted arm candy. I even believed him when he ordered me around, saying “this is what couples do.” Those five months were a whirlwind of confusion, exhaustion, and sadness. For a while, I couldn’t understand why I was so unhappy with him.
In September of my senior year, I broke up with him on a whim. I sobbed, screamed, and regretted it, but he got over me in a week. In about three months he would get another girlfriend of his same moral standing, by that I mean none, and start a long-term, actually respectful relationship.
I was in more pain when he began ignoring me. It was even worse after I saw him actually caring for someone else, someone who wasn’t me. Instead of going to my friends and family, I made the wrong choice and didn’t.
My friends knew I was unhappy, but I refused to reach out. He had already distanced me from my close friends when we were together, but I found out that several of them knew he was a bad person and didn’t tell me. I was enraged, became very paranoid, and chose to silently distrust and hate everyone.
By the time the school year was over, I learned a far different truth. When I finally opened up, I was greeted by so much love and support from my best friends that I cried happy tears instead.
They took care of me, listened to me, and took the time to understand. They helped me drive away my persistent negative thoughts and worked hard to convince me that the way he treated me was not my fault. I would drop by their houses at random so that I wouldn’t have to sit alone and think about how worthless I felt. My friends let me vent even if I was just repeating myself and never complained about me dragging them down. Most of them still don’t know everything that happened, but they still sent me late night texts to help me sleep and always helped me have fun despite the pain.
Graduation was one of the tougher times that my friends got me through. It was supposed to be special and exciting, but I couldn’t understand how my horrible ex was happy while I was still so miserable. But my friends were, and still are, so loving and understanding that they convinced me to go to prom, graduation, and even the all-night grad party hours away from home. My ex was at the grad party too, having fun with his friends and girlfriend. If I didn’t have my friends, then I know I would have hidden and cried all night. Instead, my friends stayed by my side and we had a blast. That night of dancing, playing games, and laughing until no sound came out at Dave & Buster’s became one of my favorite memories.
The next few months before college were still hard for me because being home brought back bad memories, but I can’t imagine recovering from this without my friends. I am truly thankful for these friends who showed me what loving someone really looks like.