An Open Letter To The Toxic Friend I Must Let Go Of

Shutterstock / Michal Plachy
Shutterstock / Michal Plachy

I learned how to cut people out of my life for the better from a young age, how to rip things apart with reckless abandon and never look back. Yet despite years of experience, this hasn’t grown any easier on my sentimental heart that clings to the crevices of long gone friendships. Still, there are friendships so utterly toxic and detrimental to the fiber of one’s being that one cannot do anything other than amputate it from one’s life.

It pains every neuron in my body to say that our friendship is one of those. The hours of deliberation haven’t made this any easier and the pain of letting you go won’t subside any time in the near future, but the fact of the matter remains that if I want to live my life to the fullest you cannot be a part of it.

How did we get here so quickly when just a few months ago I felt like you understood me inside and out? How did we burn out in catastrophic arson? I honestly would tell you if I knew.

But I don’t.

All I know is where we used to be and how it’s so distant from where we are now. Meeting you two months into college and finding a home in you was one of the most relieving and joyous experiences I’ve been privileged to explore here. In my mind you were worth more than all the parties, free vodka, and crush-worthy professors in the world. We’d joke about how our friendship was a pseudo-relationship, because that’s how close we felt.

I’d spend nights in your room, talking the night away as you played your music that was far too eccentric for my taste. We knew each other’s schedules like the backs of our hands. Being apart for more than 12 hours was utter insanity. We felt like two halves of a whole. The thing I liked most about you? You were different from all my other best friends, the ones I had before college. You kept me in check. You walked the straight and narrow path that allowed you to look at things with a discerning eye.

You knew how to keep things chill and never grow overly anxious. I admired these traits so much, but over time overexposure to these wonderful attributes made me see the caveats.

Don’t get me wrong. I love being challenged. Yet the thing is when you constantly have to tone yourself down just to be around someone, it drains you. I’m a naturally energetic and bubbly person. While I do appreciate being told to smell the roses and calm down every once in a while, I can’t help but want to bask in rays of sunshine and happiness most of the time. After all, those roses wouldn’t even exist if it weren’t for sunlight.

It got to a point where I felt like being around you entailed being less me, being less vibrant, shining a little less, and dimming my glow. Furthermore, while your discernment was great when I did morally ambiguous things and needed someone to keep from hurting those around me like the potentially catastrophic human bomb I am, it isn’t great when I need someone to support me. A good friendship always comes with the ability to challenge each other as individuals, but a great one requires unconditional support and love to underlie the confrontation, otherwise it’s just waiting to become pent up animosity.

Ultimately you made me less me and honestly, I felt like I took too much of a toll on you. You are an amazing person who shines in every way possible. Your self-assured nature is one of the things I will always admire about you. I hope to take your sense of morality with me wherever I go and I will always look back upon our friendship fondly, remembering someone whom once touched me deeply.

I cannot stress enough how beautiful of a person you are, inside and out. You’re just not my person and I’m not yours. As much as we wanted to at one point, the fact of the matter is that we’ll never work. So this is my farewell. Thank you for everything. TC mark

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