I had a best friend from early childhood till I was about 20 years old. We did most things together and I was closer to her than my own sister. I even would go as far as to say that I thought of her as a sister.
While in college, she and I lived together with two other young women in a two bedroom apartment. She and I shared a bedroom and the other two women shared the other room. We had so much fun in that little apartment.
At the time I was into going to parties, staying out till the early morning hours in West Hollywood and having what I thought was a good time. This included the use of some hard illegal drugs. I ended up strung out on numerous occasions and my best friend finally had enough of my partying. I had my first manic episode, due to all the partying, drugs, lack of sleep, stress from school and all while working a part time job.
I was taken to the hospital and was admitted to the psych ward, where they later diagnosed me as Bipolar I. Upon release, my best friend told me she could not have me living in that apartment anymore and no longer wanted me in her life. My life choices at the time were impacting her negatively and she could not bare to watch it or let it affect her any longer.
Nearly 20 years have since passed and I no longer participate in that type of behavior. That relationship was mended and we have talked a few times since, but it was never the same as it was before. For a long time I didn’t understand why she “deserted” me when I thought I needed her most. I’ve come to learn that she had to let me go so she could grow herself. Our values at that time were not in alignment and it was causing pain for us both.
I’ve recently had to let a friend of 10 years go, who is going through their own challenges with this similar type of behavior that I had in the past. It’s caused a lot of guilt on my end. In order for my own personal growth and serenity to flourish, this relationship has to go for now. I thank God for my best friend who let me go all those years ago. Without that experience, I may have never changed into the person I am now, and may not have ever understood that it was an act of love.