Five Years

Five years, in the grand scheme of things, isn’t really that long. But when you look at it that I’m twenty in a few months, five years seems much longer – a quarter of my life in fact. And five years is the amount of time I’ve known my best friend, as facebook very kindly told us today.

There’s times when I wonder how we made it though that time: how did she ever put up with me? How have I coped with her? But the answer is simple, we care about and love each other more than the other realises. That’s what friendship is about, and I love and appreciate that more than anything else in the world.

Sure, we’ve had our ups and downs. All friends do, and it’s perfectly normal. We’ve got our happy memories and laughter, and we have our regrets. In fact, I have a lot of regrets. But it’s important not to focus on the past, and instead consider the future.

There’s been times when I thought I might loose her, either through pushing her away with my own silliness, or really, actually loosing her. Forever, and gone. Dead. I hate that word. There’s been nights that I’ve been terrified that I won’t see her in the morning, or that she won’t want me to care anymore and will demand to never see me again. There’s been many many nights that I’ve worried about her.

I wish I had a magic wand and could make it all okay, for both of us.

But I can’t, so what’s important is that I’m always here for her. She could call me in tears at 3am, and I wouldn’t care. Hell, I’ve called her in tears at that time. She could call me one afternoon and tell me not to ask questions but make her laugh, and I’d try my complete and honest best to do so. She could ask me to sit in silence with her just so she knew that someone was there, and I would do it. She’s done it for me. If she needed me to, I’d happily jump on a plane and see her right now. I’d travel wherever she needed to go. I would do absolutely anything, and I truly and honestly mean that from the bottom of my heart.

I miss her every single day and I think about her every day. I worry about her every day, regardless of how she actually is. I wonder how little parts of my day would be different if she was there, and sometimes there’s nothing I can do to make myself feel okay because I just need her by my side, and she can’t be there. She’s far away now, and I miss her. I miss her more than I should, or more than I’d care to let anyone know.

Because friendship is everything to me. So here’s to the next five years, and that thought brings the escape of the single tear that I’ve been fighting back for weeks. Because I’m very very lucky to have someone who means and cares so much.

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Alcohol

I’ve never been completely comfortable with the idea of drinking. When I first came to university, it was something that I had made an effort to actively avoid, and so the first few weeks were a bit of a shock. I remember standing in the queue for the main event at freshers week. Someone threw a drink over me. I was terrified. I didn’t really get drunk all week, even though I did have a bit of alcohol. I watched those around me loose control and it scared me. As the semester went on, I got more and more comfortable with the idea of being tipsy, and whilst I was still ready to come home by 1.30am, I began to enjoy going out.

Over the summer, I didn’t drink. There was the odd glass of wine with a meal, but nothing more. I was happy with that, I can’t see a point in drinking really unless you’re going to get drunk and go out. I came back here last week feeling very much like I was out of practice. More confident with alcohol still, but lacking understanding again of what my levels are, and when I should stop and how much to drink.

I came back to a night out with pre drinks at ours. I was ready to go out that night, but we crashed on the sofa. Nobody else wanted to go, and I was gutted as I’d been very excited and was perfectly tipsy. The Friday, I skipped. I had a Skype meeting that night anyway. Saturday was my first experience of a house party. I feel like they’re half of the problem. There’s people everywhere, there’s no fun social drinking games to keep me distracted, and I have to make a super effort to talk to people, which is something I struggle with anyway, never mind when I’ve just started drinking alcohol and so am feeling uncomfortable. I let a friend pour my drinks, and I was brought home at 11pm unable to remember most of the evening. Last night was another house party. I poured my own drinks, it was going okay, and at about 10.30pm I was an excellent level of drunk. The problem: we didn’t go out until midnight and the last two drinks tipped me over the edge. I didn’t fancy a thirty minute walk to the club and I came home in tears, in the dark and on my own. I hate the dark. I tried to call my friend to leave her a message like I always do in the dark, but her answer machine had changed and I panicked that I’d gotten a wrong number. Maybe I just need to choose a drink that’s not vodka, something that has a little more of a gradient between ‘I’m enjoying this’ and ‘I hate this’. But what? I’ve no idea. Peach Schnapps? Sure, but with what? I’m a novice at this, and nobody out there seems to get that, so I just copy the crowd and get the vodka back out.

I’m not sure how to approach the issues. Alcohol is the social life here at university. Yes, there’s societies where alcohol is less of a focus, and chilled out coffee’s between lectures with course friends, but if I want to stay in touch with those who I lived with last year, I simply feel like I have to drink. I’m not enjoying it, I’m struggling with what’s the right level, and when we have been out so far, I’ve not felt safe.

And perhaps that’s what it all boils down to, safety. I need to be safe, and I need to know that those around me are safe. That nobody will do anything stupid and that we’ll all get home. I don’t enjoy the rash decisions that people make when they’re drunk, because I like to think thing through and consider the outcome. It’s difficult, I know. I’m someone who often doesn’t feel safe, but there’s not many people, and certainly none at university, who know that.

I’ve woken up this morning with an overwhelming desire that I just want to go home. Whilst I’m not going to, and I know that’s probably just as much about the amount of work I need to do today as it is the alcohol, I wish there was someone I could talk to. I need a friend to hold my hand and let me go through everything I feel about alcohol. Because I can’t go on like this forever, university is meant to be for fun, not for unhappiness.