It’s so much easier to write about what you know.
That’s why this blog isn’t about knitting, or beauty, or scrapbooking.
That’s why this blog is about struggle. That’s why this blog is about overcoming.
These are the things that I know. Not just in myself, but the people who surround me.
Now I understand why they say “like attracts like”. I know a lot of people who are engaged in mental struggles. This is no coincidence. I know my energy has brought those people to me. Like most people, I find that these friends and acquaintances seem to come and go with time, but a small circle of ‘strugglers’ around me always remains. None the less, I am blessed by their presence. They show me what it means to be truly strong.
Amidst the transients, one person always remains.
She has anxiety, and depression, and she’s an alcoholic.
She’s also my best friend.
From the outside, we might look like opposites. I am the routine-loving, health conscious, gym-going, middle class almost-27-year-old.
She is in and out of recovery.
They are two different worlds. Worlds that seem to collide. And when they collide: sometimes they mesh, sometimes they explode.
I want to share with you guys about my best friend, because she is what I know.
If you’ve never met an alcoholic, you might be so inclined to first picture in your mind an older man, bearded, worn, leathery skin, homeless, sad eyes.
My best friend couldn’t be further from that. She is the epitome of energy. When I show up at a gathering, people always ask me, “is she coming?”. They anticipate her arrival like a beautiful spring after a long winter.
She is also highly intelligent. Existential and philosophical conversations are a breeze for her. She is boundless potential. She is smart energy. She is so freaking beautiful.
She is also very sensitive. This has manifested itself into making her somewhat of a people-pleaser. She want’s everyone to be happy. If I asked her to, she would drink lava. She would do it just because I asked, and she wouldn’t flinch question or hesitate she would just do it, sometimes to the point where it’s annoying, it annoys me even when she puts me before herself.
Because I know what her priority should be.
My best friend’s life is a minefield. I never know if the next step she takes is going to be a good effort forward, or blow her leg off. I don’t think she knows either.
She’s had anxiety since she was five.
She used to being afraid and has worried about her future ever since.
I don’t struggle with alcohol addiction but I know all about it. I’ve seen the highs and the lows. I know the process isn’t an easy or a straight road. I know that it’s hard for non-addicts to remain sober, so I can’t imagine what it’s like for her.
I have often described myself as “ever the optimist”. This is a gift that my best friend has given me. I’ve progressed to a place where I couldn’t go on always assuming the worst with her (of course, I have my moments). I choose to believe. In my heart I think she will overcome this. Years down the road, I see her helping people just like her younger self. I see her strength, intelligence, and tenacity being put to good use in the community. I look forward to watching her grow.
I could focus on the bad. I could maintain my attention on all the horrible shit we’ve been through. I choose not to,
because she chooses not to.
Her soul is resilient. She takes every down in life in delicate stride. She’s taught me so much.
In the most insane way I can explain, I am grateful for her struggle. It set me on the path on which I embark upon today.
If you ever wonder why I chose this life, it’s because she chose me.