Day 6: How to Survive Being Dumped by a Friend

9:23 PM

So fuck you, fuck you, fuck you
And all we’ve been through
I said leave it, leave it, leave it
It’s nothing to you
And if you hate me, hate me, hate me
Then hate me so good that you can let me out, let me out, let me out
Of this hell when you’re around

- Rootless Tree, Damien Rice
A UCLA study on friendships between women found that losing a best friend is more stressful than losing a significant other. Author Gale Berkowitz writes, “friendships between women are special. They shape who we are and who we are yet to be. They soothe our tumultuous inner world, fill the emotional gaps in our marriage, and help us remember who we really are.”

The friend I lost was a man, but I can’t imagine it hurting any worse if he’d been a woman. We’ve known each other since I was sixteen and he was fourteen. We never dated, never even considered dating, and were always more like brother and sister than friends. When we were confused about school, other friendships, family drama, or this crazy, complicated thing called life, we could talk to each other and know instinctively that we wouldn’t be judged. 

We didn’t have the kind of friendship where we talked every single day, but when we did, we picked up exactly where we left off. It was like no time had passed at all. And now that’s all gone.

I won’t go into details, but the short version is that we had a massive falling out. Hateful things were said, and I’ve felt physically ill since it happened. But I’m starting to feel just a tiny bit better, so I thought I would offer some tips based on what I’ve been doing to help myself heal. 
1.) Accept that you’re going to feel like shit. This is someone you genuinely believed would always be there, and for one reason or another, they aren’t there anymore. People who say, “oh, well, at least you can make new friends!” just don’t understand. You feel like shit, and guess what? You’re allowed to. 
2.) Cry me a river. Curl up with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s — you know those guys will never abandon you when you need them — snuggle your furry children, and bawl your eyes out. Crying is cathartic, and you’re going to do it anyway. 
3.) Write them a letter. Don’t actually send it! All the things you wish you could say, write them all down. Write about the good times, write about those annoying quirks they had that always bugged the shit out of you but that you overlooked because they were your friend, and that’s what friends are supposed to do. Just put it out there so you don’t keep it bottled up inside. 
4.) Listen to all the emo music you want. Sing along to Evanescence and Breaking Benjamin. Or just blast it from your speakers while you curl into a ball eating your ice cream. Either way, listening to someone screaming out their pain will remind you that you aren’t the only one who’s been hurt. 
5.) Give it time. Maybe you’ll wake up tomorrow and forget about the fight, reach for your phone to text them about the hilarious dream you had, and then it will hit you all over again. This is going to happen, but eventually, it’s going to happen less, and maybe one day you’ll be able to look back on your friendship with a smile. 

What it all boils down to is that some friendships are pizza — you enjoy them while they last, but they’re fleeting. Others are like wine — they age, grow complex, and are finally consumed. And others are like honey — they never, ever spoil. 

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  1. "You feel like shit, and guess what? You’re allowed to"

    This is the best piece of advice I've ever given or received.

    I'm sorry you're going through this. It sucks. Ain't nothing else to day.

  2. Thanks. I think a lot of people just assume, "oh, I have other friends. Why am I so upset?" BECAUSE IT'S NORMAL.

    It definitely sucks, but c'est la vie.


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