16 Nov, ’21


by Cal

I've been thinking a lot lately about my last year with Lyn. Not the past year, because... she was in the hospital, and we'd had a huge fight, and she wanted to be out of the hospital and recovered enough before we put the time and energy into working out where we were. But the last year we had together.

It was rough. Sometimes it was like normal, like we always had been, but more often than not, it was just... falling apart. And I know why. I knew why, or at least part of me (ha) did. And I felt like shit for being an asshole at the very end. I still do. But now, looking back at it, and I'm just like... it sucks, but I think it was inevitable.

We'd known for literal years that we both poked each others issues all the wrong ways when we were low spoons or in bad mental health places. I mean, since 2016 at the latest, that's how many years. And then there was the pandemic. And Lyn's health. And I had gotten so deep into angry depression that I couldn't even recognize I was there anymore. I think the only thing which would have prevented that particular train wreck is if we had a third mutual friend who we both opened up to enough who could have sat on me and said "no, you need to stop sabotaging yourself by setting your friendship on fire".

I've never managed to open up to any other friends as much as I would Lyn. B is a close second, but a lot of the time, I hold back because I know she has so many issues of her own and I don't want to stress or burden her further. And she would go on long internet hiatuses where I didn't get to talk to her much at all. And stuff. Lyn talked to her a lot, too, and I think, maybe if I'd been more open with B, she could've had the context to recognize why I was so pissed off and hurting and knocked some sense into me before I blew everything up.

It's stupid to think "how could I have done this differently" - I don't think that's what I'm doing. I did, for a bit, but now I'm just... recognizing these things. Things like, how do I avoid closing myself off from everyone? And how come I managed to stay close to Lyn for so long, but nobody else? And I've figured out a lot of it, looking back through all of our things from the past decade, I think. The main thing that I don't have yet is how - if - I can manage to do it again. Learn how to really be open with someone, I mean.

I wonder if I'll ever be able to tell the difference between accepting what happened and depressive apathy. I guess I'll have to wait and see. The first one is probably when I stop crying when I poke at it too hard? Which... I'm definitely not there yet. I keep thinking I am, and then I poke harder to see, and I'm not.

I don't think I'll ever stop missing her. I haven't decided if it makes it easier or harder that I already was.

I think, if we'd been able to have another chance, that it could've been okay, if she'd been willing to try. Because I'd figured that out, that when I started getting hurt and upset, what I needed was to talk to someone else about it, someone who could kick me out of my own issues enough and tell me "hey you're being irrational, go chill out". I had planned out what I was going to tell Lyn, all the apologies, explanations if she wanted them but more importantly solutions that I was going to take, like talking to B about being that third person because B is always willing to tell me when I'm being stupid. But she wanted to wait until she was out, which I thought was fair, and it was her call anyway, but....

I'm glad I sent that last email, even though I don't think she wanted it yet.

I feel like a liar, saying "I" instead of "we", but I'm - we're - too tired to deal with identity these days. So, I dunno. Whatever.