Tag Archives: break ups

When Friends are in Pain

It’s odd how secure I feel in my feelings and a friend’s (heartrending) break-up really put things into perspective:

I looked on, and as I looked on my heart felt a pang of numbness it hadn’t felt in such a long time.  I looked on and felt an old depression sink into my bones and the world was gray again.  Bitter memories fluttered by and every little emotion I’d felt after my own break-up resurfaced, condensed down into mere moments.  Emerging once more, embracing them with every bit of understanding I had accumulated, I prayed:  Please help my friend find guidance.  Please help them find strength to linger on long enough to rediscover the worth of life.

It was rough and we’re still not completely in the clear.  However, I sense it now, energy is being released unlike before.  Piecemeal, it’s finally starting to dissipate.  My friend was in pain, they suffered and didn’t know how to find solace, comfort and release.  There’s always that initial phase of going back, trying to reclaim what was lost – it ripped them apart.  Too many what-ifs, too many questions and not enough closure.  There’s nothing I can do but watch on in silence, be that witness, and reaffirm things that I’ve always known to be true:  “It’s ohk to cry”, “You’re a good person, you’re just lost”.  “You’re going to feel like dying over and over,” I text them.  It’s easier than having them show me their face.  They don’t want to be seen – very few people get to see someone so raw and vulnerable and I can’t be mad.  “It’s going to suck for a long time,” I continue, praying my words give solidarity, “but it’ll end.”  Outside of the numerous texts, I let them talk.  I let them tell me anything and press my ears for the flyby phrases and words that are inevitably muttered.  I spend as much time, distract them and hold and remind them:  you’re going to feel alone, but I am here.

I did everything I could remember wanting when I was in pain and felt like there was nothing left.  I did my best to be that person I needed most:  simply there and willing to hold me, listen on without judgement and to reel me back even if it meant I’d hate them for seeing my weakness and through my intentions.  That is the best route one can take in comforting a friend.  You talk and you try to mitigate those negative thoughts that spin endlessly in their minds.  You understand that emotions, especially love, can boil your mind in madness and leave you far less than rational.  You do your best to rewrite those beliefs, compassionately, but honestly and mindfully.  Always remember:  this isn’t about you, it’s about them and what they need.

Take care of one another.