Have you ever gone on a long trip, or away somewhere for a semi-extended period of time, or just kinda dropped off the face of the planet however briefly? Kay, then welcome to my world. I am apparently persona non grata these days, since I've "disappeared" from life and the social radars of the people I once referred to as best friends only a few short months ago. It's not a pleasant feeling, believe me.
It's not that I don't understand, mind you. I imagine it's hard to be friends with a crazy, suicidal person who can't really deal with reality. I'm sure that when I left, "went home and got help" that several people breathed sighs of sure relief, glad to be done with the surely daunting task of taking care of me. After living with someone as unstable as me, I'm sure being able to get on with their lives and focus on simpler, easier-to-solve problems like studying for finals, going abroad and finding a date for Saturday night was thrilling - relieving. It's doubtless a lot more peaceful to self-delude that that one high-maintenance friend is now "getting what she needs" rather than continuing to worry. I don't blame them. At all.
But I am surprised.
The trouble is, I was never high-maintenance before all this happened. I was always the one getting others out of their drama, not dragging them deeper into it. I was the person holding them up, never the other way around. But then the tables turned, rather drastically, and I was the one hiding under her bed crying all the time, not going to class or doing schoolwork, unmotivated, and generally falling to pieces. When I finally made the decision to leave school (meaning my friends [family, more like], my entire support system, my doctors, my HOME, the only place that was really safe), it was as if I had stepped into 2 weeks of peace. I had two weeks to tell the people I meant to tell, to tie up lose ends, to pack, to make arrangements for when I went home, to try to figure out a plan to return. Two weeks of no class, no expectations, nothing but last lunches with friends, last meetings with "babies", last days as the Free Hugs Girl.
Two months later, I realized what a huge mistake I was making.
See, after I "went home to get help" I wound up stuck in the hospital for a week. It was unpleasant. It made it all too easy for certain people to just forget I was ever around and just make their lives easier. I'm learning something, though.
I'm learning that none of the people who "supported" my decision to leave and then forgot about me matter. The people who haven't reached out in the last 6 months aren't important. They left me hanging, and now they don't get me back. I'm better than them, I deserve better, and while my circle of friends is basically decimated, the ones I have left are the ones that matter. When I go back to school, I'll be able to look right past the people that forgot about me and keep on walking without flinching, without sagging my shoulders, and without reaching out to them in need.
It's so easy to let someone leave and forget that they're gone or the reasons they left. But it won't be easy to ignore me when I'm busy not needing you anymore.