An Open Letter of Thanks to my Friends

Dear friends,

I want to start this off by saying that I am a handful. There are times that I honestly can’t even imagine being friends with myself. I am aware that I am far from the easiest person to be in a friendship with, and I wanted to explain how thankful I am for the friendships you all give me.

I am blessed with some truly amazing people in my life. I want to tell you all why I’m thankful for you, and I what it means to me to have you all be the people you are.

Thank you for tough love. Seriously. Thank you for being strong enough to tell me the things I need to hear even at the times I don’t want to hear it. This may sound trivial, but it honestly makes such a difference in my life. I have a tendency to build things up in my life and put myself in a sense of denial. I tell myself, and the people around me that I am okay and that my life is okay; even though I am drowning. You all notice this, and you tell me when I am not okay. You show concern, and you tell me. The fact that I know I can count on you all to be honest and give genuine advice and help, it means more to me than you know.

Thank you for letting me be vulnerable. I have a lot of baggage (it’s all designer though…) and a lot of emotions. There are times when I feel like I’m falling apart, where I cry so hard that I can’t see or where snot is just pouring out of my nose, but you never turn me away. You let me have those moments where I wallow and where I just need to be sad. This ties back into the giving of tough love, and it’s crucial. You know when to give tough love, and when to be soft and gentle. You can distinguish between scenarios and you give me what I need. Sometimes I just need to cry, and I can do that with you. You all accept me even when I’m messy; it means a lot.

Thank you for listening and hearing. When I tell you anything, from he big stuff to the small, I always feel heard. Genuinely and truly heard. What I mean by this is that I always get more than a generic response from you guys, more than a “I’m so sorry you’re going through that” or “I’m always here for you.” I always get a response that is thought out and meaningful. The way that you can show me that you are taking in what I say and really appreciating it, and then giving me a well thought out response, it’s just priceless. I feel worthy, validated, and meaningful.

Thank you for understanding that I can’t aways be “on.” I’m constantly working on myself, and how to deal and cope with my issues. I process things differently and I go through a lot of trial and error. Sometimes it all just gets to be too much and (despite my best efforts) I just shut down. Now, I can understand that this would be frustrating in a friendship. You guys just get this. You let me take my time to recharge, you put up with the times I’m high strung and needy. Basically, you ride the ups and downs that comes with my living with both anxiety & depression. You understand that sometimes it’s all too much and I just need to be “off.” The understanding you all display to me means more to me than you can ever know.

Thank you for teaching me. You are all so brilliant. I learn so much from all of you each and every day. You bring such unique gifts to the world and I am so thankful for the wisdom I have gained from all of you.

Thank you for laughing at my lame jokes. This one doesn’t need much of an explanation. But basically, I’m ninety percent sure that I’m never half as funny as I think I am, but you guys always laugh anyways. It’s just nice. You’re good people.

Thank you for always being my cheerleaders. No matter what it is I may be doing, you always support me. Thank you for believing that I can do anything even at the times when I don’t believe in myself and for always reminding me that I’m stronger than I think I am.

Thank you for learning with me. In the years you’ve all been in my life, I think I’ve been thrown some curve balls. There have been many times where I am just completely at a loss of how to handle things. There have been many learning curves and you’ve all been willing to learn with me. You have all taken a seat  on the crazy train that has been my life and you’ve never once asked to get off the ride. Your willingness to learn, understand and adapt is probably one of the most comforting things I’ve ever experienced.

Thank you for reminding me what I deserve. In the past, when my self esteem was basically non-existent, you have all never failed to remind me just how amazing I am and in turn remind me what I deserve in life. Whether it’s been in relation to romantic relationships, bad work situations, school or anything, you all have always been there to pick me up when I’m too low to do it myself. I can’t say thank you enough for that.

Thank you for showing me that friends don’t care how you look. At a time when my appearance has changed drastically, and so did my mindset that my value was dependent on how I looked, you always reminded me that I am more. You showed me that I am more than a dress size, or a number on a scale. Recovery wouldn’t be the same without you.

I like to think that I’ve got one of the best #squads around. I also like to think that people should take pointers from you guys, not only when it comes to being a good friend who lives with mental health concerns, but just in general. You’re all the best people I know, and I’m so happy to know you. You all make me better. I can only hope that in some ways I repay your goodness.

All my love,
Emma

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