Life is all about change. We can either resist it or we can flow with it. Change also shows you who your true friends are. That’s a hard lesson I’ve unfortunately had to learn over and over again with my new lifestyle. This last week, I had to sever a friendship that lasted 8 solid years but became toxic. He’s become spiteful, unsupportive, and just plain mean. I’m still a little taken back that he’s turned out this way. I never saw it coming…
Once upon a time, I met a very funny, intelligent, and sincere boy. We quickly became great friends and he made me laugh like no one else could. We spent a lot of time together, talking for hours about anything and everything. He convinced me to try Track in high school, and I just went for it. Even though I was insanely out of shape, could barely jog half a block, he stayed with me, cheering me on. I felt comfortable enough to confide in him about hard times growing up, he shared the same. I was able to rely on him that he would keep my secrets private. He was wonderful at cheering me up, telling a story, and giving advice. He became one of my best friends. Naturally, I grew feelings for him. Feelings much deeper than just friendship.
We attended school together, dated other people, shared our stories of past and current girlfriends/boyfriends. We saw each other at our best and worst moments, but faithfully, he stood by.
Then one day, this boy grew up and served a mission for his church. He was still that teenage boy I met, with a very well-tailored suit on and glossy dress shoes. I was eager to see where this mission would take him, how he would continue to grow, what new directions his life would take him.
I wrote to this boy every week while he was halfway around the world. The moment I’d receive a new letter, I was ecstatic! Whatever else was happening at that moment could wait, because I had to “hear” from him. He would share stories of his adventures in South America, the amazing locals he was meeting and getting to know, the experiences he was having. We kept in touch for all 24 months. Around month 4 is when my transformation began to happen. I told him that I was on my way to becoming fitter, becoming a faster runner, the works.
He arrived back from his mission and couldn’t believe the full change that’d happened with my life when he saw me for the first time. He was impressed and couldn’t recognize me at first.
Time started to move on and I wanted to get back to “normal” and have this best friend back in my life like before…
For whatever reason, he wasn’t interested. Days became weeks, weeks became months without any conversation. He was taking in the fact that fitness, nutrition, and wellness had become my life. Every once in a while, he’d leave a rude comment on my Facebook pictures (of my current stats) or when I’d check in with my workout for the day. He suddenly wasn’t the guy I knew. His comments pierced right through me, so hurtful. I was still appauled that they were from this familiar, wonderful best friend I had.
I never knew that this transformation would show me who my real friends were. Whether through jealousy, or confusion, or whatever else he might’ve felt, I had my last straw and gave up the fight. I severed all contact with him.
One click of the delete button and his phone number, his address, his Facebook page… everything was gone. He was gone. The good feelings I had were gone.
As much as it hurt me to remove him and his toxic comments from my life, I had to remember that I only deserve to be with those who love and support me. Those are the people that I should give my time and attention to.
How do you deal with toxic relationships like that, especially ones you’ve given so much time to?