But…it’s also you. In fact, it's mostly you. It’s me reacting to you. I didn’t want to confront you, because what would be the point? What good could have come out of me saying “I don’t particularly like you anymore”? There’s no point to making a formal process out of simply growing apart.
But we weren’t just growing apart, that’s the thing. We were both changing, and our personalities stopped being compatible. Maybe I annoyed you or you viewed me as a different person, but staying in contact with you hurt me. You stopped having positive things to say, you started mocking me for every decision I made, and being around you stopped being fun and started being exhausting. I’d start shaking when you told me you were on your way to pick me up. When I came home from your house, I’d get in fights with my family, I’d spiral into angry, self-hating thoughts, and my usually sunny personality would be taken over by cynicism and a bad attitude—both of which I learned from you. For months, I didn’t connect the dots because the idea of friendship was so important to me.
You’d stopped being there for me, but I felt obligated to support and comfort you in the interest of friendship. Truthfully, you made me feel obligated to you through guilt trips and snide comments and small put-downs. Talking to you felt like a particularly nasty chore, but I told myself it was just a phase, that you were going through a rough patch in life and if I were loving and selfless and understanding, I’d get my old friend back.
But I didn’t. Instead, I burned out.
So I got selfish. Made up excuses to not sleep over. Made other plans that conflicted with our dinner date. Stopped calling you on weekends. Didn’t send you a birthday card. I distanced myself from you in the interests of self-preservation, because I knew that if I continued this friendship, I would stop growing as a person and end up jaded and angry and cynical and perpetually dissatisfied…with you.
You probably don’t even realize what your behavior has become. And I know that when I distanced myself, it hurt you because you don’t know what you’re doing. You don’t know that you’ve been hurting me, and you don’t know that I couldn’t handle it. But that doesn’t change the fact that it happened. It doesn’t change the fact that when I stopped talking to you, it felt like a forty pound weight was taken off of my chest. It doesn’t change the fact that I am happy, with friends who are equally as loving, supportive, and understanding as I am to them.
You used to be one of my top priorities, but so was my own happiness. Unfortunately, I had to choose between you and my own health.
You know which one I chose.