Once upon a time I had a close-knit group of friends. We shared laughs, we told secrets, we cried together and loved together and breathed together. We were inseparable, friends until the very end. We would grow up together, be each others' bridesmaids, care for each others' babies. It was the dream. There would be no stopping us.
Then one by one, each of them was taken down by the Drama Llama, a ferocious beast who makes his way into social circles and destroys them. He spreads malicious lies and rumours, starts arguments and slander until everyone is divided. Even the mightiest of friendships can crumble when the Drama Llama is present.
But he is not the only one to blame, there was also Cuthbert, the raging ball of paranoia who lives in my head.
Cuthbert fed off my sensitivity. He plagued my mind with a torrent of venom powerful enough to cripple me with self-loathing. Cuthbert was right, I wasn't really their friend. I was just this irritating, disgusting human who followed them about. Nobody in their right mind would be friends with me. The paranoia took root, I was left unable to think clearly. I didn't contact anybody for fear of rejection. They would only be annoyed that I was still trying to be their friend. The love I felt for them turned into bitterness at how I was never accepted, never truly part of the group. It hurt.
Growing apart is all part of growing up, they say. I can't accept that though, I will always blame Cuthbert and the Drama Llama.
Losing my friends hurt for the longest time, I felt betrayed and alone. But not any more, now I have friends who will love me for who I am no matter what, who understand that sometimes Cuthbert gets into my head and who know how to help banish him. I love them with enough ferocity and power to light up a thousand cities. Sure I still miss the other guys from time to time, I miss the laughs we shared and everything we ever experienced together, but I suppose our time has come. Those who were driven away by the Drama Llama are unlikely to ever come back to me, but I no longer hold on to hope. The people in my life now are all I need. I've let go of the bitterness and resentment.
So here's to friendships new and old, and appreciating the people you have in your life.