Warm, tight, secure, loved, fearless, and most importantly, safe. Grief, pain, hope, and love can all be shared through a simple embrace. It’s special because it’s a closeness that is reserved only for those who mean the most. A hug can save a life, and I’d go as far as to say that it has saved mine.

After years of never having a proper hug or a safety blanket, someone popped into my life several years ago who changed everything. She taught me the importance of a hug, and it changed me. She taught me that it’s okay to trust, to be loved, and to be safe. Talking is healthy and sharing pain is essential. A hug and a listening ear is often all it takes to improve your mood. It’s a simple reminder that you’re not alone, and it can change a person’s outlook in a second.

Sadly, I became very reliant upon that feeling of safety, and I pushed all my thoughts and feelings into her arms so that she and her hugs could help me cope. It was a spiral, and whilst it helped, it hurt to say goodbye. Not only that, but it ruined both of our chances at exams and revision, and I can never forgive myself that the mess I allowed myself to make for her at both AS and A2. I destroyed her chances, because I relied on her help, and her hugs. It nearly killed our friendship, and for that I’ll never forgive myself.

It was hard tonight to look at the face of my best friend on a screen. I’ve not been wrapped up in her arms for twelve weeks, and I miss her. When I feel a wave of sadness, I can fight it, but I can’t when I look at her face. I know that she would not appreciate my current silence. I know that if she knew exactly how awful I was really feeling right now, she wouldn’t allow me to go it alone. She’d talk to me, she’d hug me, and she’d be disappointed in me for not talking before now. I know she’s aware, but I’m hiding the real pain. She’s probably angry already, she’ll know I’m hiding something. I told her I need to honest. But she must concentrate and pass her exams, and so she must think that I’m settled and well. It’s guilt that I feel, but sadly, it’s how it has to be.

I’m teaching myself to be the girl that I was before. I’ve remembered how to suffer in silence, and I’ve remembered how to lie and smile. Sometimes, I can even lie to myself, and believe that I am happy. I’m getting good at it, I can manage for several days now. It’s something I have to do in order to not cause the same pain that hugs and a need to be loved caused before. I shouldn’t need to feel like there’s someone looking after me, and to help me, 24/7, and so I’m determined that I will simply ignore those feelings and cope with the demons alone.

But it’s a dangerous path that I am taking. It’s a path that will slowly lead to destruction, because I know that I cannot hold the silence forever. It’s not about a coping mechanism, it’s all about lies. Those lies may keep me safe, but they’re also hurting me. Each time I move I remember that my bubble of lies is slowly suffocating me. My breathing increase but my breaths are more shallow. There’s no oxygen, and if someone doesn’t come and burst the bubble soon, I fear I will collapse.

This video was shared in a post by side by side a few days ago. If you haven’t seen it already, you should go and watch it. It’s helped me not only to understand my response to stress and pain, but to also think about how I can better deal with my emotions, and how caring for others can actually help me to cope. It’s important to remember that I’m not alone, and that care and trust has to be mutual.

I’m always safe, because my best friend is always here for me. And in three weeks, I’ll get the hug that I’m so badly craving. It’s only three weeks, you have to do this. You can’t collapse before then.

It’s still a dilemma though. I want our reunion to be happy, but right now, I might just enter that hug and dissolve into tears. I need to talk, I wish there were no exams. I wish I didn’t have to hide. I’m afraid, and I wish that I could tell her why.

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