“If you love somebody, let them go, for if they return, they were always yours. If they don’t, they never were.”

– Kahlil Gibran

Am I naïve for thinking that this applies to me right now?

As I wrote a while ago, my boyfriend and I broke up. I knew I cared about him a huge amount, but never quite realised just how much until people asked how I was and I had to find a million and one different ways to reiterate ‘I’m fine’ and make it sound believable. I assume I did a good job of it because after a while people would nod and smile and say how pleased they were that I was taking it so well. I’d smile back and nod too, managing to keep up the façade long enough for them to genuinely believe that I really was as fine as I said I was.

On the outside I was openly fine about it all because we’d remained friends, and could laugh along with my friends about how bad the relationship had really been and I’d just been too infatuated to see that. The thing is, I really could see how the relationship had been, and it really hadn’t been all sunshine and roses because there were some really shitty bits. It just took that separation to realise that the shitty bits were me – my anxiety had morphed to became a lethal form of paranoia that, it turns out, was shared by my boyfriend.

We’ve had many a conversation since splitting up that has gone along the lines of ‘we’re so stupid, if only we’d said this stuff before’ and ended with ‘we can’t focus on the what ifs because we’ll drive ourselves mad’.

Anyway, having broken up and gone with the ‘I’m fine’ thing and the ‘it’s for the best anyway’ thing I realised, and properly acknowledged and accepted, that I really bloody love that boy. He’s ridiculous in all the right ways, adorable, funny, intelligent, an amazing artist, kind as anything and has possibly the most heartwarming smile on the planet. I know full well just how sappy that sounds, but in the absolutely cheesiest way possible… It’s true.

We’re friends now, strangely, because I honestly didn’t think we would be be. But lo and behold here we are, nearly two months later, probably closer even than we were before we got together. I love that.

We are also, agains strangely, acting almost as if we were back together. Effectively we are, in all but name. And that’s ok – it really is; I’m happy and so is he, and I think that’s the main thing. I never wanted a ‘friends with benefits’ situation, but in all honesty if that’s what works best for us then so be it; as long as I know he only does this stuff with me then that’s ok.

But we’re happy, actually happy, now. And that is amazing.

I’m not saying it’s some mutual romantic love and he ‘came back to me’ because of that, just that there must be something there, right? And whatever that something is, I hope it stays.

So today was one of those days where I’m uncharacteristically emotional. I hate that, because I’ve always had the mentality that crying is a sign of weakness, that emotions in general are a sign of weakness. Only in myself, though, because when other people show how they feel I think it’s pretty cool – they’re proving themselves to be alive and human and real. When it’s me, however, I hate it. As does everyone, I think.

I have exams next week, that I’m oh-so ridiculously stressed about, that don’t even really count for anything and result in grades that won’t ever make it to any official records. Because of that worry, however, I haven’t been sleeping properly and I’ve pretty much stopped eating. It’s been like this for about four days, and I feel so awful. I don’t want to go back to how I used to be, and yet all these food-related thoughts powered by extreme sleep deprivation have infiltrated my mind, or at least become more noticeable than usual.

All of that anxiety has then made it horribly easy for other unwelcome, supressed thoughts to make themselves known (again): your boyfriend doesn’t really like you; your boyfriend’s friends hate you; your boyfriend doesn’t love you (and here come all the reasons why); your friends are only there because they pity you; your grades are slipping and your school will reassess your scholarship and kick you out… I could go on but I think at this point the list would go on for far too many pages.

I should note that I know that a few of these things aren’t actually true, but on days like this the rational side of my mind manages to disappear for a few hours and leave me alone with the other side, the one that mocks and taunts and points out everything that is, and could possinly be, wrong.

I think I mentioned in a previous post that on days like this I hurt the people closest to me, and it’s true; my lovely boyfriend who I like and love and care about so much, who is also the kindest, most thoughtful, funniest and most cleverly intelligent person I’ve ever met, saw me on the stairs at the end of the day, a few very short minutes after I’d ended up crying into my friend’s shoulder in the toilets, gave me a hug and goodbye kiss and I was so close to crying again so I turned away and hot-footed it down the stairs. He laughed from behind me, at what I have no idea, but I’m so terrified that I hurt him and that was a laugh of incredulity at my awfulness. He’s honestly so amazing, and I know that if I keep doing this he’s going to leave. I’m so scared about that.

Hastily pushing that painful topic aside, I was also supposed to have dinner at a close family friend’s house this evening. I went round after school and told both them and my mum that I’d had a horrible day so couldn’t stay to eat as I needed to get to my room and calm down. I should mention that a few tears made their hated appearance around about then because, as well as the nastiness of my day, I knew that I was being rude. Something my mum’s just come home and told me in greatly exagerated detail, having left a few hours after me.

The reason I take issue with my mother sometimes is something I should probably mention and explain here; whenever I’m having a day like this, and even when I’m not, one of her seemingly favourite things to do is mimic me, putting on a ridiculous voice and flapping her arms about while twisting the things I say and intentionally making me feel guilty. She’s even admitted to the fact that emotional blackmail is something she knowingly uses on me, which is horrible because she knows exactly how bad that makes me feel.

Anyway, I’m well aware that this post has become something akin to the content found on an angsty teenager’s blog, so I should end it before it gets worse.

I’ll finish by saying that I hope no one else feels like this, but as it’s inevitable that one or a few of you do please feel more than free to leave an emoji in the comments and I’ll find a way to contact you and try and help.

Dear Nina,

I mentioned in my previous post that I was looking through some old notes I made on my phone and I found a record of some messages that my best friend, who incidentally lives in a different country to me, sent me when I was going through a particularly rough patch.

I want to paraphrase them a little so that they are suitable for anyone and everyone who might need them, because they helped me and I believe that everyone deserves to be made to feel better when they’re having a bad day.

It’s okay.

I will always be here for you and I won’t be mad at you for hurting yourself. I just want to help you to get happier, so whenever you feel like hurting yourself you can always write to me. I will never be dissapointed if you hurt yourself again, because it happens, and sometimes you just break your Wall (the one you put up to try and keep the bad things away). I will always love you, no matter what you do to yourself. You will always be my best friend and I will always be there for you.

If you get sad over small things, I won’t laugh and make fun of you – I will cheer you up and try to help you. If you are scared, and if you feel your anxiety, I will try to calm you down and just help you in any and every way that I can. No matter what is making you sad or scared, I will help you (even if you are too scared to ask for small things, even a sachet of ketchup, I will ask for you). I will always help you and I want you to know that you can ask me anything.

You are my best friend and I find you so beautiful even with your scars. Your scars and past don’t define you as a person. It’s the way you treat others that defines you.

I want you to know that even if it’s 4am and you are feeling sad, call me or write to me! I will just apply cold water to my face and stay up until you are feeling better. I love you.

Please remember that I will always love you and you will always be the same amazing girl that I call my best friend.

No matter what you do and no matter how much you hurt yourself, you will always be you in my eyes.

I am not mad at you for hurting yourself and I will not be dissapointed at you for hurting yourself.

I will always love you. Please remember that.

I know that her message was personal to me and fitted my situation, but I think that most of it could be applied to any situation where someone feels bad.

I also want to add that if anyone is reading this and is in need of someone to talk to then comment on this post and I will find a way to get into contact with you, whatever the time, because no one should feel like they have no one.