Best Friends

I am consistently talking about my best friends, and how important they are to have, etc. However, last night, as I was sitting there, thinking how thankful I am for my besties, I realized that I had never written a post explaining why best friends are so important. So, here ya go. I’m going to try and write 5 reasons why best friends are so important to have, and some ways I’m super thankful for my besties.

Reason #1: Besties always have your back

I always thought that phrase just meant that a friend would back you up in an argument or something, but it actually means a lot more. It means that your bestie is always there when you need them, and that you can rely on them. Kind of like how, in a trust fall, you trust that your bestie is behind you (at your back, as it where), ready to catch you.

Reason #2: Besties are ready to sit back and listen to you (and if they’re not, it’s probably for a good reason)

For the past week or so I’ve been crazy emotional. From crying, to thankful, to depressed. You name it, I felt it, and I didn’t always do a good job of controlling it. Throughout the whole thing, one of my besties was always there, ready to listen to what I was saying, and reassure me that I was just being emotional, and nothing’s actually wrong.

Reason #3: Besties are there to help you heal

Parents are there to say no, even if they don’t want to. There the responsible person who needs to lay down the law. And, that’s great, but sometimes it hurts. If you’re upset about something, and said parent lays down the law, they aren’t always the person you want to go to to heal/ feel better. A bestie will sit with you (or chat with you on messenger) as long as it takes for you to feel better. Parents help instruct, and besties help you along through that instruction.

Reason #4: Besties are the family you chose

Family isn’t easy. I was blessed to have a pretty great family, but sometimes family is just awful. When you have a bestie, they feel like family. They come over, won’t care what you look like, or what anything in the house looks like, and just be with you. I’ve had some great times with my besties just sitting around laughing and having fun together. The best friends are the ones you can just sit/ be with, and be totally happy. Not just happy, but loved.

Reason #5: Besties love you no matter what

This has another meaning to it, too, that I didn’t know until I got older. It isn’t so much going through fights and still loving each other, but always loving each other no matter the situation. The older you get, the harder it is to hang out, and sometimes the farther apart you are. But, if you really love someone, then that love can withstand any trial, and any amount of space if you choose to make it do so.

I have been super fortunate to have a lot of besties in my life. They have always loved me, always been there for me, and I can’t imagine my life without them. Best friends are the people you laugh with, and make stupid jokes with, and who bring true joy to your life when everything might feel awful. Sometimes they give you an escape from life, just for an afternoon, and it helps you recharge and be ready to fight another day.

I love my best friends with my whole heart, and I’m so thankful that they’ve stuck with me throughout this crazy stretch of life. I’m also thankful that I get to keep making best friends in every stretch of life I happen upon.

My Year

Life has just been insane. I remember last year, thinking about how everything was gonna go, and thinking it would all just be the same. I thought I’d continue to stay depressed, and nauseous, and lonely, and anxious. I thought the insanity would never end. I thought I’d never be my “normal” self again. And now, here I am, sitting on my couch, looking forward to all of the awesome things I get to do this summer. I’m actually excited about something for once. I’m not nervous, or anxious. Just, excited.

My next stage of life is nothing like I planned, but I’m really excited about it. I’ve made some knew-ish friendships, and I’m so glad I have the opportunity to stay here and cultivate them. I get to focus on my art, and music, and the people in my life.

Now that I have all my emotions back in check, I’m pretty much as normal as I used to be (not that I was ever normal in the first place). Something I realized, though, is that that “normal” part of me that I thought was gone, was my love for life. For the past six years people have mentioned to me here and there that I have a “love for life”, and I never really thought much of it until I lost it. It keeps me going, it helps me encourage people, and, it reminds me that life isn’t all bad.

There’s always this point, after going through a long, hard stretch of life, where I can look back at it all and be thankful for all the crap I had to go through (that usually doesn’t come for a good while, however). Right now, right this second, I’m there. And it feels amazing. I’m looking back at everything and realizing how much I’ve grown, and how much I’ve learned about my self. In the course of just a few months I learned how to really take care of myself, both mentally and physically. I’ve learned how to forgive people, and how to let people go, and that you don’t always have to let people go. I’ve learned how to keep friendships across miles. And, I’ve learned how to be a big girl.

Around the time I started feeling nauseous, and things started to feel wonky (about two years ago), I started getting to be really good friends with one of the girls who had just graduated from my youth group. She is now my best friend, and my sister. One of my biggest fears with growing up, and moving into the college class at church, and being a college student, was that I wouldn’t have any friends. That all my friends would leave me, and I’d be alone. But, having that friend who’s a bit older than me really helped me branch out. She helped me realize that college students aren’t terrifying. And, because she’d hang out with the college students, I got to know a lot of them, too.

Life’s looking up, and I’m happy about it. I no longer wake up depressed everyday. I no longer walk through life terrified that it’ll get bad again. And, I’ve got some amazing friends to help me keep walking along, and keep knowing that it won’t get bad again.

Everything we go through has a good reason. I’ve known that with my whole heart for the last six years. But, sometimes, when you’re in the midst of everything, it’s hard to remember. Look at Job, from the Bible. He spent years upon years in agony. He knew that God had a reason for everything that was going on, but he still cried out because everything in his life hurt so bad, for so long, and it never seemed like it’d get better. Well, it did. And it turned out even better than before.

I spent just over two years (two and a half?) with this nausea, and anxiety, and I prayed so hard that God would just take it away. Throughout everything, and after it being so long, I thought he never would. But he did. And now I’m sitting here, totally fine, ready to go see my friend give a presentation at school later tonight. God does look out for us, and he watches over us. Even if it seems like he never will. Even if it seems like it’s hopeless. He does.

Getting Up

Some days one of the hardest things you can do is get out of bed. There have been multiple days where I just wanted to avoid the entire world and hide in my wonderful, comfy, perfect cave of blankets and safety. However, just because it seems like a good idea, doesn’t mean it is.

There was one day where I just felt bad; both emotionally and physically. I stayed in bed until ten A.M., and my day didn’t get any better. I just continued to feel worse, and, I didn’t really get anything done that day. Nothing got worse (aside from the fact that I was wallowing in my own emotions), but nothing got better, either.

To avoid another day where I just wallowed and felt terrible, I decided to make sure that I made myself get up every day and get to work. It didn’t have to be a ton of work, but, by making myself get up, I gained a whole new state of mind. I’m awake, and at least ready to be productive, if that’s what I chose to do.

All good choices aside, I totally understand the want to just avoid the world. I’m not nearly as depressed as I once was, but I still have days when I feel like total crap. Life is hard, people are hard, and my bed is comfy and warm. Sometimes, life sucks. But we still need to get up and face it. It’s like I said before. Nothing gets worse, but nothing gets any better, either.

A friend asked me the other day if they could just avoid the hard stuff, and I told them no. I told them that if they avoided this new challenge in their life, they’re missing out on an opportunity to learn something, and to grow, and to be stronger in the end. I have to remind myself of that quite often…

I tend to have two speeds, depending on my mood. I either eat fear for breakfast, or, I hide from everything remotely terrifying.

Relish the Moment

You may be wondering why, in my last post, I decided to take 1,152 words and tell you all about my weekend. Part of the reason was because there were so many things I was thankful for. But, I also wanted to remind myself of all the good things that happened.

Because my anxiety tends to run on the social side, it can be really hard to want to go out and do things that I used to love doing. I’m a social person, and the only thing keeping me from doing some of the things that I really love it to do, is fear. So, by talking about all the good things, and all the things that went well, I’m reminded of all the fun that could happen.

There are a lot of ways you could remember the good things. Most often I’ll text my bestie with something like, “I ate breakfast today!” Or I’ll journal about the good things from my day. Even just talking to myself about it and acknowledging that I’m okay really helps.

When life just feels awful all the time it can be really hard to get out of your own head. And, by, “out of your own head”, I mean escaping the fear that things will never get better. It’s so easy to get in the pattern of things being hard that you develop this mind-set that things will never be easy again. That everything will be scary, and everything will go wrong. And when you get stuck in that mind-set (at least, I did), I started to get more depressed, and more anxious, and I was in this vortex of never-ending pain. It just got worse and worse until I stood up, pulled on my big girl panties, and decided to get my butt off the couch and do something. Don’t get me wrong, it was really hard. It’s not like I stood up and was perfectly fine. It took a lot of hard work, and it still does.

I did some Googling and found out that part of the reason I could be feeling so bad is my schedule, and my diet. I hadn’t really had a good sleep schedule, with being anxious all the time eating was kind of a struggle (although I did still eat), and I’m notorious for not doing a good job of drinking water throughout the day. So, for me, “pulling up my big girl panties” meant making myself eat, making myself go to bed and get up at the same times, and making myself drink water. It was kinda hard to get a good schedule down, but it’s only been a week and a half of the schedule and it’s helped a lot. I’ve had little to no anxiety since last Friday, and it feels amazing. I’m not depressed, I’m not anxious, and *pause for dramatic effect* I’m happy about things. I’m actually excited to go see my friends, instead of curled up in a ball of tears and panic.

When I realized all this crap I’ve had to deal with over the last three years or so could’ve been fixed just like that, I was not excited. I mean, I was, because now it’s a pretty easy fix, but I was so shocked that it took me this long to even consider that my schedule could be at fault. It made me think about how easy it really is to sit in your own little rut, feeling bad for yourself, instead of trying to find answers. (I definitely did try to find answers as to why I felt bad, but there were also plenty of times I just wanted to lie in bed all day because I felt so defeated.)

Anxiety and depression are finicky little creatures. There are lots of different reasons you could be depressed, or anxious, and they all vary depending on the person. They don’t always have an easy fix. For me, it did (although I’m probably gonna have to fight it every now and then). For others, not so much; and I really feel you. I know what it’s like to feel your world spinning by and you have no idea how to make it stop. It sucks, and I’m sorry. But, you’re not alone. I really hope my journey through anxiety has helped at least one or two of you (if not more). My “journey” isn’t over, and it probably never will be. But, now I know some great ways to help myself, and others.

(Apparently I did another post similar to this one called Count the Wins.)