There is a phrase that says “Make new friends but keep the old; Those are silver, these are gold”. It wasn’t until recently that this phrase resonated me, I’ve struggle to maintain friendships long enough to test the theory. In fact I write this blog post in a year that I lost 2 of my closest ever friends. I lost one of my best and oldest friend as well as my sister in insanity. The culling of friends is nothing new to me, I’m too impulsive and volatile to wait till the new year to discontinue a toxic relationship. I struggle with the aftermath of a failed friendship because despite the either unproductive and emotionally draining nature of the relationship, I’m still long and need to grieve for those friendships. I miss them, I miss what they contributed to my life even if was negated by unreasonable demands and opinion. Each person I classify as a friend is a friend because they fulfil a role in my life – they had function in life. My survival and ability to thrive is dependent on the maintenance of a delicate ecosystem, so when I subtract someone from this environment my life begins to fall apart.
“You’ve got a friend in me”
This picture was taken just over 5 years and represents the closest people in my life. I remember this exact day, it was in the first couple weeks of university, before the realities of life hit. I desperately wish I could go back and savour this moment in history. It was nothing special, all we did was drink tequlla and do drunken laundry. Stars failed to align and this combination of friends failed to chill again – netball, relationships and change in circumstances meants there was either a subtraction or an addition but never the same. I love them unconditionally, they’re so supportive and loving and overall amazing. I feel like only they know how to deal with me, they’ve gone through break ups, breakdowns and breaks away from sanity. I have a self care routine and safe mode procedure. My old friends understand my need to unplug and reboot when sick. This isn’t saying that I don’t love my new friends because honestly I do but I hate having to explain and justify. I’m constantly having to provide context and history to my behaviour.
“Don’t tell me you wanna be alone cause I don’t believe you… No, no, no don’t think I don’t know just what you need”
This year I made an important and unexpected friend. Me and Keem have an incredibly verbally affectionate relationship offset by the lack of physical contact. I don’t think he knows how much his friendship means to me, like no one else tells me they loves me or appears that genuinely concerned when I drift. All we do is basically talk about football, check on each other’s wellbeing and exchange off colour jokes. I’m no stranger to the male best friends infact I have tendency to jump from male best friend to male best friend. My oldest friends are guys and I will forever love them because imprisoned or not I know Moon & Yanick got me regardless.
“”Fuck all your niggas, except my niggas”
I cry repeatedly that I have a bunch of new friends and none of them understand me. I’ve began to realise that this is okay as long as I accept the fact that I can’t expect more from them. I’ve had to radically accept the fact that my newer friends will not understand my coping mechanism, thought process or realise how much progress I’ve made. I’ve had to change the type of personal information I divulge and my expectations regarding my responses to their support.
“Real friends, how many of us? It’s not many of us, we smile at each other, we smile at each other but how many honest”