Maybe this has happened to all of you at some point, but I think it happened to me for the first time recently: I had someone unfriend me on Facebook.
It’s been a few days since I noticed my recent unfriendship status, and I have to say that I’m still processing a number of emotions. I’m feeling perplexed and angry and confused and anxious all at once. For me, this was not just the severing of a digital relationship but a very real break to a physical friendship. If I’m honest with myself, I would say that I can’t be entirely surprised as the relationship in question has seen its fair share of bumps over the past year. I truly believed that we were just going through a rough time and eventually, we’d hit that reset button and be back where we were before.
The bigger issue for me is that this break triggers a very deep fear that eventually all of my friends will do the same and one by one, fall away from my life. I worry over this endlessly. If I think about it too much, I lose countless hours and sometimes days of sleep. I understand that that’s not rational or healthy nor necessarily logical, but my head and my heart start down this path that I can’t pull back from.
I also know where this began. A few years ago, one of my closest friends from college just stopped speaking to me. For once I decided I wasn’t going to be the one to reach out first or make contact or try and apologize for some unknown slight. And I lost her. We never spoke again, were never friends again. I thought that this person would be in my life forever; I would have put money down that we would be there for each other at every major event in each other’s lives. How wrong I was. What shakes me still to this day is that if I was so wrong about that friendship, how could I trust any other friendship to be fast and true, to last?
I still don’t know the answer but I’m giving myself permission to let this notion go and to accept friendships for however long they enlighten my life. I’m giving myself permission to let friendships end, and I give myself permission to miss them but to let them be. I’m not there yet with my recent un-friending, but I soon hope to be.