I saw these pictures come up online and my emotional response led me to writing a post about it. I realised that not only did I completely relate with the message of these pictures, but I realised I was not alone in the suffering. So, this letter is for everyone out there who is hurting and can not bring themself to express their feelings. Feel free to share.
I know it’s been a long time since I’ve reached out to you or replied to your messages. I’m sorry and feel sad about it, especially when I see you give up and form new friendships instead.
I understand that life is always moving on. There is no pause button in reality. However, that is exactly what has happened to me. Life has thrown me some hard stuff and I have been so utterly overwhelmed and bombarded with stresses and responsibilities that I have inadvertently hit PAUSE.
You know our old friend the snail? Remember how when we were kids we’d poke their weird eyeballs and watch them recoil back into their shell. Then…slowly an eye will pop back out and then another until the snail is out again and creeping along the garden path again?
Well, I’m that snail.
And life jabbed me in the eye one too many times and now I’m too worried to come out of my shell!
On the one hand it feels safe being in my shell. No one can hurt me in here. I can focus purely on what I need to do and survive. But…it is lonely. For me, I still think if you and see you as my friend. I don’t realise that my absence has made you drift away. I miss you. But I don’t know how or what to do to get out of the shell again.
I am silent and absent because I am hurting. But as the more time passes, the harder it is to come out and be my normal self again. I need help to do it.
I am happy you are living your life and having exciting adventures! I am glad you have formed bonds with others and found friendship in others! But can I ask, please don’t give up on me?
I know it sucks to not have replies to your calls or messages. Or maybe I’ve cancelled our plans one too many times? I know it sends a bad message when I leave social media or hide away, but I want you to know it’s nothing to do with you. It’s nothing you e done or said. It’s not that I don’t want to be your friend anymore.
I know friendships are all about give and take. It’s a two-way street. But sometimes life throws boulder-sized lemons that put you in a critical condition, bruised, beaten and helpless. When you’re struck down so badly, you have nothing at all to offer in the form of friendship.
I am still your friend. I want to be better and I want to have more to give, but right now I am still hurting and healing. I need time. I need understanding.
And I really need a friend. I hope you will still be mine.
Have you ever felt this way? Have you ever found bereavement, divorce, illness or any other trial has affected your friendships? Let me know in the comments below.