Even within a school environment, life is tough. Friends are battling exam stress, self harm, depression, and eating disorders. There’s the snigger of someone you’ve never met as you walk down the corridor. A throwaway comment that when you’re already having a bad day, can push you over the edge of that cliff as you fall into a breakdown.
It’s the safest option, to live in silence and try and blend into the background of the busy environment. Sometimes, the easy way out is to keep your head down, work as hard as you can, and cry when you’re alone at night. There will be times in life when you think you have nobody, and that you’re all alone. To haul yourself out of bed in the morning is a mental challenge, and to reassure yourself that today will be better is like being asked to sprint up a mountain.
But is silence really the best option? Sometimes, the safest path is not the path that we should take. Then again, it can be hard to make that decision and choose that path when you’re alone. That thought is what leads me to the true point of this post. Today, I want to say thank you to the person who has taught me that I’m NEVER alone. It’s a thank you that I could never say to her face, and I will even struggle to write it down. Words have never been my strong point, but I want to try to explain why I need to say thank you. Because I owe her that much.
I want to take you back to four years ago. I was just moving schools for my first year of GCSE’s, and I was a little mouse. I was silent, blended in, kept out of everyone’s way, and worked hard. I was a nobody. Pain was dealt with internally, and externally, I smiled. The only way I could keep the few friends that I did have was to do this. I was told off by my friends if for whatever reason I didn’t have a smile on my face. At night, I went home and I got stressed and cried.
Four years on, and I’m going to let you into the last few days. Earlier this week, I was told ‘It’s like we didn’t even know each other, and then suddenly, we were best friends.’ And she’s right. That’s exactly what did happen. But I’ve changed so much, and she makes me so strong, and so happy. It’s less than four weeks until my last A Level exam and freedom, and I can’t wait! We spent Friday night together, determined to laugh and to smile before the madness really sets in. Determined to ignore the stresses of school and exams, and not to talk about eating, weight, or calories, we giggled and laughed like four year olds all evening. Oreo brownies were order of the evening, along with cards, and a kids movie.
She also helped me on Friday night, to overcome something that I’ve been struggling with for a long time. And that’s why I want to say thank you. Four years ago, I wouldn’t even talk to her. But she’s taught me that it’s good to talk, and it’s safe to cry. Letting people in can only ever make things better, and make you a better and happier person. It doesn’t matter what people say, and what jokes are thrown around, because we know what our friendship is. And I truly would be lost without her. Seeing her in pain is so horrible, but I now know that for her, seeing me in pain is just as murdering. But we can have fun, and we can laugh. And it’s amazing when we do.
In four months, I have to let her go. She’s going to be a doctor, and I’m going to university too. We’re going to be at opposite ends of the country. (and if one more person chooses to point out just how far away we’re going to be, I’m actually going to go crazy!) Shhh, don’t tell her, but I’ve spent some time today looking into making a surprise visit to her once she’s gone. I know exactly how I’m going to do it now, and I’ve got some plans in place for saving the money to afford it. Because when you love someone unconditionally, it’s all that matters. She’s all that matters. It’s taken me a long time to understand this, but I don’t think she’ll forget me. Ever. That makes me so excited, so happy. I can’t wait until we’re 97 and tottering down the road arm in arm.
I told you that I didn’t know how to explain, and I’m sure that you still probably don’t understand, but I’ve tried, and that’s what’s important. So now, I give you my own special method of communication. This is how it makes sense to me, and that’s why I struggle with my words.