Five short years ago, I had never heard of you. You were kind of, but not really, seeing a friend of a friend at community college.
There was never a moment, in the beginning at least, that made me say, “Oh my God, you’re my best friend.”
Our friendship simply was. Like it had always been there. There was no definitive “start,” but I think I started noticing it when I was single on Valentine’s Day and you bought me chocolates.
I remember the day you told me how your dad died, because it was the day I told you I lost my mom.
The never had to say I had depression after that point. We were so similar in every conceivable way, I think you immediately could sense the darkness that sat in my stomach like anchors.
Because I recognized it in you, too. It killed me to see how a girl as beautiful and vibrant as you could hit the same low points as me.
We’ve been best friends now for years.
Those years have been paved with 4 a.m. text messages and phone calls, crying about nothing but also about everything. They’ve been paved with moments of silence, simply needing to be near someone, because once the words started, the tears and feelings of hopelessness would follow.
Our coffee runs did more for me than any counseling session I ever went to.
You showed me depression doesn’t need to be fought alone. You showed me I could be strong, and that no matter what happens there’s at least one person on this Earth who knows exactly how my heart hurts.
There were days before I met you where waking up made me feel like a bathtub full of concrete trying to drain itself. Days would go by where I don’t think I spoke a single word. My phone would never ring; it felt like no one cared. Sometimes I wondered if I actually existed, or if I had died somewhere along the way and no one thought to tell me.
But then you came into my life. You, beautiful you. With you came texts every single day and conversations that didn’t feel forced. You actively remind me I’m important to you, and more importantly, taught me to do the same. I know how hard your life is, love. I know how lonely it feels and how hopeless things can seem, but I swear I”ll continue to show up with your iced coffee sweetened with cream and sugar. I’ll continue to find you quick and easy recipes because I know how hard it is to take care of yourself when darkness settles in your mind. I’ll always tell the voice in the back of your head it’s wrong, and remind you how beautiful you are.
Our friendship isn’t just strong because we both have depression, babe. Our friendship is strong because we hold each other up when one of us can’t get off the floor. Our friendship is strong because we are strong together. I told you once we are women of storms. That our seas have never been calm. The rough waves that wore us down and eroded our hearts are the same waves that brought us together.
Thank you for the nights I didn’t want to be alone, and you drove over an hour to be with me. Thank you for being my only friend who went to my community college graduation. Thank you for making my accomplishments feel valid, from getting an associate’s degree to simply remembering to take a shower that day. I promise to always do the same for you.
You are my best friend in the world, and I hope I’m yours, too.