Dear Friend (On Your Birthday),
We met almost 17 years ago, we dated in Grade 10, we had fun while it lasted (all of 6 or 7 months), and went through the awkward phase were we couldnt be friends because exes werent friends in high school. But, that didnt stop us for long. We didnt realize it right then and there, but we built what we now know is a strong, long-lasting connection that has become one of the most important friendships in my life.
In my first year of university, when I was overcome with fear after I experienced my first panic attack, you were there. I struggled to understand why I was experiencing social anxiety, generalized anxiety disorder and had agoraphobia and of course, with the awful side effects of Zoloft. You didnt change your opinion about me. When I would call you in-between my classes at school, you picked up and listened to me and said whatever you could to calm me down.
When I started working in my career job, you were only a phone call away or text message away. You always are here for me. I am so grateful for it.
You didnt judge me or look at me differently when I told you about my bipolar diagnosis. Instead, if you hadnt heard from me for a couple of weeks, you would try to reach me to see if I was okay. I remember once I really wouldnt answer anyones messages as I was hibernating and you had to contact my husband (boyfriend at the time), to see if I was okay.
When you ask me how I am and I say Okay, unlike most people, you know that means anything but okay, and you try to find out what is going on, but dont push me too hard to share because you dont want to pressure me as you know I could withdraw and hibernate.
Our friendship is a judgment free zone. I can tell you anything and vice versa. Ive never been so honest with a friend or been able to speak (or text) so freely without fear of being judged. I can admit things to you that I dont even what to admit to myself. We just get one another. We can tell each other about fears and know that with complete honesty comes complete truth. We support each others mental health and emotional health and have helped each other through many tough situations.
I will never forget one spring day a few years ago when I was having a particularly emotional day at work and you came to meet me at my office on lunchtime, and sat with me for an hour, while I cried my eyes out. I was in such a dark place and I dont know what I would have done without you that day.
There are many times where I have been a mess and you came to the rescue.
You are the shining example of what a true friend is. You are proof that you can have a long-lasting friendship and grow together, of a friendship where we are both there for each other and where we know each others tendencies enough to know when to reach out to one another.
We are here to encourage each other and support each other, to motivate and inspire each other and we make sure we dont compromise our sense of selves.
There is no formula for happiness but for whatever reason, when Im with you, you remind me of happy. When I am anxious, I message you because you remind me of happy. You remind me of an earlier time in my life when I was more carefree and happy. You take me to a place where I feel normal and can forget about the difficult thoughts I am experiencing by distracting me. I guess it says a lot about a friendship when you can make a person forget about their problems- even if its for a brief few minutes.
When I met my husband, he knew there was a really special friend named Mike in my life. I am lucky that you both like each other and we can all spend time together (and you both have a good sense of humour which means lots of laughs ensue when we are all together). One of the last times I was in a dark, dark, place, you came over and the three of us just sat and talked for hours and it was perfect.
Thank you for all the late night chats, the long conversations, the support and the confidence you give me.
Dont ever let anyone change you.