An Open Letter to a Much-Loved Friend
Note: Today, this is for one friend in particular. But it is also for anyone that has ever felt they weren’t tough enough to keep going.
At this point I think I’ve fallen apart enough times that I’m beginning to learn how to do it well. In some ways I have kind of realized I’m a phoenix… when things feel like they’re burning to the ground around me, it’s not so much an end as a beginning.
But life was unfair to you, my friend. It didn’t give you the chance to fall apart. It demanded that you be tough for everyone around you. It may have only asked for a bit more every day, but eventually that weight on your shoulders was going to teach you to walk with your face to the ground. One day you were going to forget to lift up your head. And then that one day would become one week, and that one week would become one month, and then here we would be.
My friend, you’ve been tough for me long enough. Now it’s my turn to be there for you. And I will, be there for you that is.
I will be there for the ups and the downs, but also for the in-betweens, the broken bits that have no neat endings or good answers.
I will be there for the days when you feel like you are drowning. I will not claim to know how to save you, because that would diminish what you are going through. Instead, I will climb in beside you and we can learn to breathe underwater together.
I will be there for the days you forget to see yourself through my eyes. I will write “beautiful” on your skin over and over again until it is the only thing you see in the mirror.
Friend, your pain is not beautiful, but your healing is. Do not cut yourself where you are not bleeding, but also do not be afraid to bleed where you have been cut. I can handle your blood, your sweat, and your tears. After all, the best things will always take some of them each in the end.
And finally, know that I see your strength and bravery, even when you do not. You may feel like you’ve lost in some way, but I know your “surrender” for what it really is—a declaration that you will not waste your energy when there are so many other things out there worth fighting for.
And you are at the very top of that list. You are worth fighting for. I promise I will never let you forget that.