i have spent my entire existence in a therapist’s office. battling the highs of manic episodes and the lows of depressive ones. tangled in the acres of anxiety driven behaviors; failing classes because i was too anxious about finding parking. too many hours texting because human contact was down right terrifying. tear stained sheets because i felt like everyone hated me. but no matter what season of life i find myself in, i am always working hard at pushing my anxiety into a back corner or a small box down below the surface. tucking the anxieties and fears out of sight. over the last decade or so, i have put my mental health in the front seat and buckled her in. and in the last three years, my mental health has been my top priority. it’s no secret that i had a tough time. battling a war for what felt like years and years. and in all of it, was actually just a ton of life lessons piled on top of each other. i swear, for a while there it felt like the hits would never stop coming. my depression was wild during that time. the days felt incredibly long and i could literally cry at the drop of a pin. understandably so. and there have been a lot of ups and downs since this whole mess began. sure, the obvious big moments that we all know and love. but other big milestones and checkpoints. and each day, i have reminded myself of the path that lays behind me and the one spread out before me. it’s a strange place to be; alive after all this time. it really is. and maybe you think i talk about it too much or maybe you just feel that way because it’s never been talked about. but believe me when i say that it’s a strange place to be. and about six weeks ago, my best friend and other half walked away from our five year friendship. her top reason? that my experience with breast cancer was too much of who i am. weird, right? it just baffles me how someone else can take a look at what you’ve shared or laid out for the world to see and be able to pass judgement on it. that’s like testing the temperature of a fishbowl from outside the glass.

and the truth is, it’s still bothering me. the whole end of friendship, issues with my identity, walking out of my life thing. it is deeply emotional for me. and maybe that’s because this isn’t the first time someone lumps my trauma and tries to make what i am going through or have gone through into some sort of issue. but maybe because it’s also just not cute. trust me, i definitely didn’t get a choice on my trauma. believe me, i would’ve removed it from my cart if the opportunity struck. and right now, i am just processing so many different emotions. grief being one of them. loneliness another. sadness. overall, just feeling a lot of things. and tonight, i literally sank to the floor in the corner of my kitchen. very teenage drama queen adjacent. where they just slide down the fridge to the floor. basically me. and in that moment, everything was at the base of my brain, ready to fully explode. because the truth is that this whole end of friendship, not speaking to each other, calling my cancer out by name situation has me feeling abandoned. it has me questioning who i am in this world and more importantly, who i am to other people. it has me wondering if i am loved or valued. it has me worried that everyone will leave. it has me feeling like i am not worth staying. it has me questioning my worth, which is something that took me years to find, accept and respect. it has taken my ability to trust that no one else will walk out. it has me quite literally racking my brain for all the things i might’ve done right or wrong. and it feels unfair to be back in this heightened state of anxiety. where my focus is literally on the fact that i feel really lonely right now. and it’s not because of the lack of incredible people in my life. it’s because a person that meant so much to me and was so much to me, literally does not exist in my life anymore. it’s this massive void. a space that once held a huge part of me. phone calls and texts and letters and visits. videos and notifications. i was someone’s best friend. i was important. i was valued. it felt safe. it felt comfortable. it felt good. and now, it doesn’t. now it just hurts. and my brain is processing all the good times but now, they are all laced with the final words of one of the ugliest text messages that has ever been sent to me. and so i get the pleasure of grieving a friendship twice. the loss of what it was and the loss of what it must’ve never been. there were so many hurtful things said in the end. from her, not me. y’all know i tend to keep things classy. but in the end, it was a huge list of things she didn’t like about me. and it deflated this five year long friendship that held me, supported me, changed me. it felt like a crack in the middle of my heart. and sure, none of what she said is true. and sure, the days continue on exactly as they should. absolutely. no doubt about it. but in the end of this friendship, one that truly felt different than any other friendship, i was trampled. by a person i loved and trusted. that i flew one thousand two hundred and forty two miles to see just six weeks ago. my friend, my emergency contact, my person. and then it just ended. and it ended badly. and ugly. without any warning or real reason. just ugly things and a solid stomping on my trauma. and a big middle finger to everything that i was and am. and at the end of the day, i think what i really hate is that you can be something to someone one day; and absolutely nothing the very next.

and i guess i have a few fatal flaws- and in this, it was being too much. a flaw to some, a gift to others. i am pretty self aware most of the time and i grew up in a household where it was said often that we are a lot of who we are. and i know what i am. and i know what i have been through. i know that not everyone will like me and i respect the idea that not everyone will love me either. but i also know that after everything that has happened to me, i don’t think that i want to be asked to be less or do less or even ask for less. if you don’t want to be in my life anymore, just say it. be a grown up. lay it out on the table. say it and move on. don’t drag me through two weeks of ghosting after i bought a five hundred dollar round trip plane ticket and slept on an air mattress for five days. don’t line my traumas up one by one in an eight paragraph text. don’t use my battle with breast cancer as an exit strategy from a friendship. don’t take my words and secrets and just flat out destroy my character. because all that does is make you less of a good person. it’s putting you under fluorescent lights, sweetheart. it’s showing me that i wasted my time and my heart and all of who i am on someone who truly is less. someone who deserves less. someone who does not deserve me. and sure, it hurts right now. i want to call you on my way to target. i cringe when a memory of us pops up. it took me hours to archive all our photos. it’s the breakup no one asked for and surely, no one expected. but at the end of the day, the sadness and loneliness and betrayal that i am going through is definitely dimmed simply by recognizing that i was and always will be exactly this much. i love hard; a fatal flaw it appears. i trust too quickly. i have been through a lot and therefore in turn, am a lot. i come with an entire eight week vacation’s worth of baggage. and it’ll always be there. grab a bag, stay awhile. it’s not a bad thing, it’s just a thing. but it’ll be my baggage forever. and i carry it quite well. it doesn’t deserve to be checked at the door. it’s first class, carry on material baby! and sure, i could stuff the dark or ugly or whatever parts about me into the deepest corners of who i am but where’s the fun in that? because even though i’m having a tough time understanding this whole thing, it is truly dimmed simply by recognizing that i was and always will be exactly this much. and i don’t have to be less for anyone. ever. never. not in this life. or the next one. and the fact that i was too much for you, tells me ya never deserved to have as much as i gave.

i will never be any less than what i already am. since when has anyone gone anywhere and wanted less?! nah. we’re good here. if i am too much, go find less. but i surely will not sink myself into that word.


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