Wednesday, 2 June 2010

A letter to a dear friend

Dear Friend,

Do you remember the time we first properly met? It was at that party that someone in my year had for his birthday, I was 15. His parents thought he was having a few friends round and he’d actually invited the whole year round. I ended up being sick in his kitchen sink, and various other people were vomiting in the toilets, bedrooms and garden respectively. His Mum and Dad went mental when they came back home.

Despite this not brilliant beginning we became firm friends and you’ve stuck by me through every single momentous occasion in my life. In fact you’ve been a staple of every single momentous occasion in my life.

Remember the time I went minesweeping at my brother’s wedding because I didn’t have much money? I didn’t spend a penny all night and was so hungover I couldn’t get up to wish them farewell on their honeymoon in the morning. And do you remember the time of the absinthe cocktails in Sheffield where I lost the ability to move or speak and just sat on a speaker all night? And the time I decided it would be a good idea to walk back to Salford barefoot and sliced the bottom of my foot open on a beer bottle? There are almost too many fun times to remember.

And what’s been brilliant about our friendship is that I can go for weeks without seeing you and then when we meet up on a night out I revel and bask in your company and can’t get enough of you and it’s like we’ve never been apart.

I think the reason that you’ve made me so happy in the past is that you’ve boosted my confidence a million-fold. I’ve come to rely on you so much when I’m out with friends – I might start off feeling pretty shy, but a couple of hours in your company and I’m feeling wonderful about myself. You’ve become my emotional crutch and I think I’ve been taking you for granted.

Who knows why I don’t have the confidence myself? Maybe it’s because of the first boyfriend who told me I was no good. Maybe it’s because I’m the product of a broken home. Maybe it’s because I was best friends with the undisputably prettiest and most talented girl in school and I got used to never coming in first. Maybe it’s because of a million things or maybe it’s just that some people are wired to be confident and some people are wired to be consumed with doubt and self-consciousness. Either way, I’ve come to rely on you so much that I never stopped to consider going out without you by my side.

Until now.

I hope you understand that it wasn’t my decision to remove you from my life, if I had my way we’d always be friends. But Dr’s orders are Dr’s orders and whilst I’m on the warfarin I’m not allowed any alcohol. There’s just nothing I can do.

When I first heard the news I laughed about it and thought “Oh no what a nightmare” but as time has gone on I realised that I wasn’t finding it so funny. The thought of having to go out on a night out and be stone cold sober was not sitting well with me. And the more I realised how scared I was by the prospect of facing a night out without you, the more I came realise that we possibly don’t have a very healthy friendship. I shouldn’t need to consume vast quantities of you just to feel ok, I shouldn’t have to have a couple of glasses before I go out so I can face walking in to a bar to meet up with people.

I need to somehow dredge some confidence up from down in my boots and learn to stand on my own two feet. I shouldn’t need you to have a good night out, you should just be a bonus.
And so I face my first occasion without you on Friday. And what an occasion it is. A 30th birthday party. And even better, a fancy dress party. Those three words strike fear into my very soul whenever I hear them. They are an un-confident person’s worst nightmare. As someone who strives to go unnoticed on a night out (I don’t use you to make me the life and soul of the party, I just use you to make me stop thinking that everyone’s looking at me) the idea of going out to be purposely noticed makes me tremble. The last time I did fancy dress I got dressed up as a policewoman and had to drink most of the contents of a gin bottle before I stepped foot out of the door.

The idea of walking into that hall, dressed up, without you by my side, telling me it’s ok, actually makes me feel physically sick. I have honestly thought about pulling out but that thought was a sobering one (if you’ll excuse the pun). If you’re not wanting to go out because you can’t drink then you need to sort your life out.

So sort it out I will. I will march into that place with confidence. I will find it somewhere.

And I wanted to thank you for your friendship over these past years. If anyone has abused the relationship it’s been me, and for that I apologise. And it’s not goodbye forever, I’m allowed a small peck of you now and then so I’m sure we’ll meet up in the future. And who knows, in 6 months time we could be back to being best friends, although after facing these home truths I don’t think we’ll ever be the same again.

So for now it’s goodbye.

Lots of love

The Girl

PS One good thing about you not being in my life is that my propensity to fall off ridiculous shoes will be greatly reduced. Which is good news because the Shoes of Death, as they have become known, are coming out to play on Friday night.


Anonymous said...

A *sadface* for losing a friendship. But a *happyface* for building confidence!

Hopefully you'll have fun on your night out!

Jill said...

You just be careful on those humongous high heels lady. I don't want to be reading another 'accident' blog post by you next Monday.
Have fun at the party.

mooncalf said...

Good luck.

It is a brave new world this alcohol-free-ness.

It takes a bit of getting used to.

Anonymous said...

You're wearing the shoes again?!

Anonymous said...

I am sure that loads of people can relate to this! I am not a drinker myself but I know a lot of people who found they used it as a crutch in social situations!

So hope you are feeling better :) said...

Now listen, I know I am an old fart, but This is so me! I relate totally. Just like me, and with age I have got more confidence, but I still like my old friend Al now and then! But seriously though, every word rang a bell. Wild I have been! Suzie xxx

The Curious Cat said...

I think we all drink a bit too much from time to time...I don't even mean to but sometimes the amount I drink in one week is absurd... At least you don't use drugs for confidence...that is an even more slippery slope for some! Although many would argue that alcohol is a drug too...and chocolate...maybe...ah...yeah everything in moderation and all that jazz...this will be a good learning experience though surely? And it will save money no?! Good luck with the fancy dress! Let us know how it goes! You can do it!!! xxx