The end of a friendship can hit you like a ton of bricks. When you’ve consciously decided to remove yourself from a toxic friendship, it’s not easy. And it can be even more devastating when you weren’t the one making the call to end the friendship, when friends disappear with no indication that it’s coming.
When you’re working through mental health struggles, a situation like this can send you into dark places. You wonder what happened, what it was that you did wrong. What possible situations or interactions did you have with this person that would lead them to suddenly cut ties, stop talking to you, even block you on social media?
In Oola, we talk about eliminating toxic friends – unfollow, block, delete. We ask ourselves, who is the toxic friend in our lives, who do we need to cut out of our inner friend circle to be able to grow and live our true Oola life? And as part of that deep dive into OolaFriends, we have to ask ourselves, truly – are we the toxic friend?
This is something I’ve thought long and hard about, over the last year, especially.
As I’ve been on my own Oola journey, I’ve thought a lot about the people in my inner circle of friends. I’ve identified toxic friends that I tried to repair a relationship with, or that I’ve had to move on from altogether.
I’ve also been cut off from some friends where I didn’t expect that to happen.
This made me think long and hard about whether I’m the toxic friend or not. And this is not a self-conversation that is easy to have. So, it can be even more of a nasty inner experience when your anxiety and depression constantly lie to your brain.
As I’ve worked through a lot of this inner questioning the last few months, and as I’ve worked to put the lies my anxiety tells me to one side as I worked through this process, I’ve realized that, overall, maybe the situation that occurred was something that needed to happen.
Maybe I knew it was coming, but that I was avoiding it. I know I struggled with communicating with those friends for a while, as I went through a difficult season of my life. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized I wasn’t the toxic friend in that situation.
So, what do we do when we find ourselves cut off from a friend that we had relied on? How do we break through our anxiety and depression to come out the other side, keeping our OolaFriends goals in check, staying in balance on solid ground?
Give yourself grace and time to grieve the friendship. Shrugging it off and ignoring the pain and hurt you feel doesn’t help the situation; it only feeds your anxiety. Take the time to grieve and feel sad.
As I talked about above, take the time to assess who, if anyone, was the toxic friend in the situation. Be honest with yourself. Was there a toxicity involved that you’ll be better off without – whether on your part or theirs?
Write a letter to this person. You don’t have to send it, but just writing out how you feel and what you’re thinking can help you process the emotions and anxiety you’re experiencing and work through it.
Friendship is an ever-evolving relationship. Sometimes it helps to work through these issues with someone. Find a safe person who you can talk through these types of situations with, someone you know will stick by you.
Losing friends is never easy, but it’s something we can find our way through, with a little bit of time.
If you need an outside ear to listen and help walk you through, reach out. I’m always here when you need me, and I’d love to help you figure out your OolaFriends goals, and find your OolaLife.