Written By A Finesse Our Minds-Leader
During my sophomore year of high school, it became clear to me that I was not Alright, Friend (AF). My mental health had already been declining when I began to experience a lot of conflict with my then-best friend of four years. The distress that resulted from the conflict, in addition to my friend’s responses to what I was experiencing, only exacerbated the poor condition of my mental health. I felt depressed, stopped caring about myself, hated myself, and began to self-harm. Interactions with my then-best friend caused me to feel like what I was experiencing was my fault and that I was a burden. Although she cared about me and tried to help, the stress of supporting me took a toll on her. She felt helpless and frustrated because I was not improving. Her well-intended words telling me to think positively and to try harder failed to help me. Some of her words hurt me. They seared into my memory so that I still remember them today, several years later. Eventually, my then-best friend decided to not be friends with me anymore. I was going through the darkest time of my life and felt abandoned. Betrayed. Heartbroken. Devastated. By the person who had supported me the most. I experienced suicidal thoughts and emotional breakdowns daily for months. The pain felt unbearable. Everything reminded me of the cherished friend I lost. A year and a half later, I finally stopped grieving the loss of the friendship, but bitterness remained and occasionally still affects me today. Although I cannot be glad that I went through the worst time of my life, I am glad that since then I have grown so much as a person. My mental health has improved– although my psychological symptoms have not gone away, they are less frequent and less debilitating. I have fostered healthy relationships with people who listen well and do not make me feel like a burden. It’s okay to be not Alright, Friend. When I wasn’t, it felt like the end of the world, and the idea of things getting better sounded like a lie. However, if you stick around long enough through all the times you feel like giving up, you may find that it was worth it.