Throughout life, we often find ourselves outgrowing habits and people. What isn't given enough discussion is the impact of having to leave behind friendships. You spend countless moments bonding, intertwining lives, and learning the vulnerabilities of your closest ally. What happens when you realize who you deem "a friend" may not have your best interests at heart and you must sever all ties?
The tragic murder of Clark Atlanta University student, Alexis Crawford, has given me pause and been a time to reflect on my current and past friendships. I have wondered if a friend's motives were genuine or why did a friendship not work. Each person has a purpose and season in your life, and many of the ending to my past friendships can be chalked up to silly rifts or ego. Evaluating the energies I surround myself with has compelled me to end any friendship that feels burdened with negativity or fosters parasitic tendencies. Calling it quits may seem necessary given the circumstances, but ending said friendships has still left me mixed emotions.
You must define healthy coping mechanisms. Some people may choose to spend more time with family or to completely ignore the person's existence altogether. Just as we learn to deal with the grief of the deceased, the same consideration should be taken with a lost friendship. You will have some great days where you don't revel in the past because you know you made the best decision for your mental well-being, and then there are those low points where the emotions hit you like a ton of bricks. In those dark times, an unwavering inner circle is key. These trusted gatekeepers of wellness will build you up.
I find comfort in a gem from Dr. Joy of Therapy For Black Girls for dealing with friendships in transition: "Acknowledge that things will be different and allow yourself to grieve."
Until next time... be great!
xo Mia Shantel