All of us have friends. At least I hope so - I wouldn't want to assume anything about anyone, but I feel that there is this consensus within society that every person has (or has had) at least one friend in their life.
Therefore, it must be known that having friends, getting closer to these friends, and even the actual act of making friends has a substantial effect on an individual and their psyche. Which makes sense, as we are naturally inclined to seek out relationships in an effort to combat the plague that is loneliness.
But, friendships provide so much more than their ability to help one feel less isolated. Friends often serve as trusted confidants, makeshift therapists, and adventure partners -just to name only a few roles they fill.
However, although friendships can bring great joy, they can also bring forth sadness. As the saying goes, all good things must come to an end.
Of course, this is not true of all friendships. But, just as everyone has made friends, everyone has also lost friends.
Sometimes we lose friends naturally - people slowly drift apart due to growing differences or perhaps one friend moved and the other couldn't follow. Other times we lose friends intentionally. This may be because of a large argument, or one friend may no longer find it healthy for them to maintain a relationship with the other; the reasons are simply too numerous to name.
I, myself, have lost friends via both paths. Of course, the former is much more ideal, as I find that there was nothing I could do to salvage that relationship. The latter, however, is a much harder pill to swallow.
Losing a friendship that had the potential to last is honestly gut-wrenching.
In my own experience, I will constantly try to think of what I did wrong, what I could have possibly done to hurt the other person and how I could've saved the friendship. A lot of the time too, this process is a gradual one; as a result, we can detect the onset of the end and watch as our relationship slowly crumbles. Which is frankly, the worst.
What we must realize though, is that losing friends is a natural part of life. I'm not saying that we shouldn't be sad over the loss of a friend - this honestly sucks and we have a right to be upset as we lose a contributing factor of our life. What I am saying, though, is that once it is clear that none of our efforts will help to save a friendship, we should learn to accept the inevitable and we shouldn't be upset with ourselves.
It might have been your fault. It might have been their fault. It might have not been anyone's fault at all. In any case, we should value what we gained from a friendship, and what we learned from the loss of that friendship.
It'll suck. It'll really suck, especially in the days and weeks following. But, in the end, these experiences will ultimately help us grow as individuals.
So, thank your friends and your ex-friends because, in the end, they helped you become you.