As I said in an earlier post, my close friends (you know who you are!) were absolutely vital for me in dealing with the break-up. As one of them said, sometimes it’s utterly crucial to have people whom you can turn to and ask for an outside opinion:
“I know I’d get really lost without outside neutral (insofar as friends can be) witnesses if I were in your position. Sometimes it all sounds so crazy you wonder if you’re the one who’s the nutter. But let me reassure you, you are not a nutter!”
When you lose your own anchoring self-esteem in the face of a storm of personal criticism, it is so useful to be able to raft up with someone who knows you well enough to be able to say with confidence that the criticism is wrong. For example, my ex said that I was too dependent on him – he seemed to take the view that any reliance on other people was a weakness. And for a while I almost believed this was true. So it was an incredible comfort to read this:
“From having been your friend for the last 14 years (!) I would say the biggest change I have noticed in you is the development of your ability to rely on others, and to talk to others when you have problems, rather than keep it all inside as you did. I see that as a sign of huge strength, to be able to talk to others, to hear what they say and to make yourself vulnerable by opening up to the possibility of rejection.
As the months have passed I have regained my strength, my confidence, and enough anger to protect myself and define my own boundaries. But there were a few months where I really did need support, and I am profoundly grateful to my friends for the way they helped me through that time.
So for them, I have written this – another text for the series “Songs to heal a broken heart” (see earlier posts here).
The hugs, the tea, the sympathy
The warmth, the anger for me,
The insights and the confidence
These gifts my friends give to me.
I long to see my lover
And my heart is slow to mend –
But my life is far from empty
While I have the love of my friends
The certainty of long familiarity
A faith that is not blind,
The tissues, the food, the company –
My friends are wise and kind
I long to see my lover…
The comfort and the distractions
The patience and the time
The wisdom and the sharing
I receive from these friends of mine
I long to see my lover…