An Open Letter To The Friend Who Has Been Through Too Much

An Open Letter To The Friend Who Has Been Through Too Much

To you, my friend.
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Dear Bestie,

First off, I want to say how terribly sorry I am that you have had to endure everything that has happened to you. It breaks my heart seeing you sad and knowing that there is nothing I can do to make the hurt go away. I see the amazing person you are and I wonder why you were put through all those heart breaks. I bet you wonder sometimes too. I wish more than anything that I could give you the answers you're looking for, but I can’t. What I can do, is write.

I know you hate to be pitied so, I’m not going to do that here. Instead, I wanted to write down all the things that I hope you’ll never forget, as someone who has been through one too many heartbreaks...

1. I hope you always know how wonderful you are. You have repeatedly gone through heartbreak and devastation and yet, you light up the room when you walk in. You never fail to brighten someone's day and make them laugh. You are the person that I have laughed my hardest with, and I will forever cherish that. You always make sure that everyone is okay, and that doesn’t go unnoticed. You are such a rare soul, never forget that.

2. I hope you know that you’ll never be alone. A huge part of you broke when you went through what you did. Everyday is a harsh reminder of what you lost, and every day, you surprise me by always being able to find the good in the day, which is a hard quality to pick up after going through such devastation. I’ll be the first to say that I love when you’re happy, but when the tears seep past your grip, know that I will always be here to help you in any way that I can.

3. I hope you know that you are not weak. You are one of the strongest people I know. I will never, ever see you as weak if you break down or can’t do something because of its familiarity. Cry with me if you have to. Wake me up in the middle of the night if you need someone. You’ll never be seen as weak in my eyes for doing that. I know that everything you’ve been through has been unimaginable, and I hope you are never ashamed of it because it has made you into one of the best souls I know.

4. I hope you know that I will always look out for you. I know you don’t want to be pitied, but you’re my best friend and if I can somehow protect you from another heartbreak, you can bet my bottom dollar that I will.

5. I hope you know that I’ll always pay attention. I pay attention to everything, no matter how big or small it may be. That’s not just because you’ve gone through a lot, but because you’re my best friend. I listen for the things that make you upset or the things that make you happy. If it's something I can fix or something I can do, I try to make sure that whatever's needed is there.

6. I hope you know that I am forever grateful for you. As I watched my hair fall out in clumps knowing there was nothing I could do to stop it, and as listening to the sound of doctors diagnosing me with issue after issue made me numb, I stood not knowing what to do and in that stillness, I always found myself looking to you. You give me the extra strength that I could never find by myself, you make me brave. It’s not just what you’ve been through that gives me the strength, it’s the fact that no matter what happens to me, or what I look like, I can always count on you to still be here. For that, I am forever grateful, and for that, I hope I can give you the same strength and comfort that you give me, to get you through some of your darkest days.

7. I hope you know that you are loved. You are loved by us so much, as you always will be, but your family is who I’m referring to. I hope you know that nothing is more important than them. They will forever be your calm in the storm. I see the effect it has on you when they aren’t close by. Please know that nothing here can fill the void of missing them. Nothing is more important than taking care of yourself. I know how happy your family makes you, and how loved you feel when you're with them. So if you need them, go see them.

8. I hope you know you can always use me as an outlet. You are someone who holds in a lot and you don’t like to talk about your feelings. Which I get, because I am the same way, but when you get sad or stuck in your head, come to me instead of bottling it all inside of yourself. We don’t even have to talk about it. You can even yell at me, I’ll take it, just let me know why at the end. If you’re in a funk, come hang out with me and we can lay in bed and watch a funny movie, or we can go to Red Robin and make fun of your daddy tinder match while we swoon over a soup bowl of ranch. We can even go laser tagging and both be out of breath in the first two minutes. Nothing gets your mind off your problems like pretending you’re extremely fit and not actually gasping for air. Everyone is in need of some bestie time, so whenever you need it, come grab me because I’m always ready to go.

9. Lastly, I hope someday, you can find peace with it all. Peace is something that may never happen, but I hope with all my soul that one day, that peace finds you.


I love you and I am thankful for you every single day. I hope you'll never forget these things. What you’ve gone through is so heavy, but you never let it destroy you.

I will forever be by your side through the good and the bad, no matter where our lives will end up in the future. Never question that.

Also, I have one more thing to add. I put it last because it’s the utmost important one. It’s one that, over everything, I need you to believe every day with your core.


10. I hope you know, she will always be proud of you.


XoXo,

L

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College As Told By Junie B. Jones

A tribute to the beloved author Barbara Parks.
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The Junie B. Jones series was a big part of my childhood. They were the first chapter books I ever read. On car trips, my mother would entertain my sister and me by purchasing a new Junie B. Jones book and reading it to us. My favorite part about the books then, and still, are how funny they are. Junie B. takes things very literally, and her (mis)adventures are hilarious. A lot of children's authors tend to write for children and parents in their books to keep the attention of both parties. Barbara Park, the author of the Junie B. Jones series, did just that. This is why many things Junie B. said in Kindergarten could be applied to her experiences in college, as shown here.

When Junie B. introduces herself hundreds of times during orientation week:

“My name is Junie B. Jones. The B stands for Beatrice. Except I don't like Beatrice. I just like B and that's all." (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 1)

When she goes to her first college career fair:

"Yeah, only guess what? I never even heard of that dumb word careers before. And so I won't know what the heck we're talking about." (Junie B. Jones and her Big Fat Mouth, p. 2)

When she thinks people in class are gossiping about her:

“They whispered to each other for a real long time. Also, they kept looking at me. And they wouldn't even stop." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 66)

When someone asks her about the library:

“It's where the books are. And guess what? Books are my very favorite things in the whole world!" (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 27)

When she doesn't know what she's eating at the caf:

“I peeked inside the bread. I stared and stared for a real long time. 'Cause I didn't actually recognize the meat, that's why. Finally, I ate it anyway. It was tasty...whatever it was." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 66)

When she gets bored during class:

“I drew a sausage patty on my arm. Only that wasn't even an assignment." (Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren, p. 18)

When she considers dropping out:

“Maybe someday I will just be the Boss of Cookies instead!" (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 76)

When her friends invite her to the lake for Labor Day:

“GOOD NEWS! I CAN COME TO THE LAKE WITH YOU, I BELIEVE!" (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 17)

When her professor never enters grades on time:

“I rolled my eyes way up to the sky." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 38)

When her friends won't stop poking her on Facebook:


“Do not poke me one more time, and I mean it." (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 7)

When she finds out she got a bad test grade:

“Then my eyes got a little bit wet. I wasn't crying, though." (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 17)

When she isn't allowed to have a pet on campus but really wants one:

“FISH STICK! I NAMED HIM FISH STICK BECAUSE HE'S A FISH STICK, OF COURSE!" (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 59)

When she has to walk across campus in the dark:

“There's no such thing as monsters. There's no such thing as monsters." (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed, p. 12)

When her boyfriend breaks her heart:

“I am a bachelorette. A bachelorette is when your boyfriend named Ricardo dumps you at recess. Only I wasn't actually expecting that terrible trouble." (Junie B. Jones Is (almost) a Flower Girl, p. 1)

When she paints her first canvas:


"And painting is the funnest thing I love!" (Junie B. Jones and her Big Fat Mouth, p. 61)

When her sorority takes stacked pictures:

“The biggie kids stand in the back. And the shortie kids stand in the front. I am a shortie kid. Only that is nothing to be ashamed of." (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed, p. 7)

When she's had enough of the caf's food:

“Want to bake a lemon pie? A lemon pie would be fun, don't you think?" (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed p. 34)

When she forgets about an exam:

“Speechless is when your mouth can't speech." (Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren, p. 54)

When she finds out she has enough credits to graduate:

“A DIPLOMA! A DIPLOMA! I WILL LOVE A DIPLOMA!" (Junie B. Jones is a Graduation Girl p. 6)

When she gets home from college:

"IT'S ME! IT'S JUNIE B. JONES! I'M HOME FROM MY SCHOOL!" (Junie B. Jones and some Sneaky Peaky Spying p. 20)

Cover Image Credit: OrderOfBooks

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I Might Have Aborted My Fetus When I Was 18, But Looking Back, I Saved A Child’s Life

It may have been one of the hardest decisions of my life, but I wouldn't be where I am today if I hadn't had done it.

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Due to recent political strife happening in the world today, I have decided to write on a very touchy, difficult subject for me that only a handful of people truly know.

When I was 18 years old, I had an abortion.

I was fresh out of high school, and deferring college for a year or two — I wanted to get all of my immature fun out so I was prepared to focus and work in the future. I was going through my hardcore party stage, and I had a boyfriend at the time that truly was a work of art (I mean truly).

Needless to say, I was extremely misinformed on sex education, and I never really thought it could happen to me. I actually thought I was invincible to getting pregnant, and it never really registered to me that if I had unprotected sex, I could actually get pregnant (I was 18, I never said I was smart).

I remember being at my desk job and for weeks, I just felt so nauseous and overly tired. I was late for my period, but it never really registered to me something could be wrong besides just getting the flu — it was November, which is the peak of flu season.

The first person I told was my best friend, and she came with me to get three pregnancy tests at Target. The first one came negative, however, the second two came positive.

I truly believe this was when my anxiety disorder started because I haven't been the same ever since.

Growing up in a conservative, Catholic Italian household, teen pregnancy and especially abortion is 150% frowned upon. So when I went to Planned Parenthood and got the actual lab test done that came out positive, I was heartbroken.

I felt like I was stuck between two roads: Follow how I was raised and have the child, or terminate it and ultimately save myself AND the child from a hard future.

My boyfriend at the time and I were beyond not ready. That same week, I found out he had cheated on me with his ex and finances weren't looking so great, and I was starting to go through the hardest depression of my life. Because of our relationship, I had lost so many friends and family, that I was left to decide the fate of both myself and this fetus. I could barely take care of myself — I was drinking, overcoming drug addictions, slightly suicidal and living with a man who didn't love me.

As selfish as you may think this was, I terminated the fetus and had the abortion.

I knew that if I had the child, I would be continuing the cycle in which my family has created. My goal since I was young was to break the cycle and breakaway from the toxicity in how generations of children in my family were raised. If I had this child, I can assure you my life would be far from how it is now.

If I had carried to term, I would have had a six-year old, and God knows where I would've been.

Now, I am fulfilling my future by getting a BA in Politics, Philosophy and Economics, having several student leadership roles, and looking into law schools for the future.

Although it still haunts me, and the thought of having another abortion truly upsets me, it was the best thing to ever happen to me. I get asked constantly "Do you think it's just to kill a valuable future of a child?" and my response to that is this:

It's in the hands of the woman. She is giving away her valuable future to an unwanted pregnancy, which then resentment could cause horror to both the child and the woman.

As horrible as it was for me in my personal experience, I would not be where I am today: a strong woman, who had overcome addiction, her partying stage, and ultimately got her life in order. If I would have had the child, I can assure you that I would have followed the footsteps of my own childhood, and the child would not have had an easy life.

Because of this, I saved both my life and the child's life.

And if you don't agree or you dislike this decision, tough stuff because this is my body, my decision, my choice — no one else.

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