I had to end a 17 year relationship with a friend whose friendship transcended and overlapped some very significant phases of my life. Our friendship started back in my rehab days...we were learning to live clean and sober unaided by our addictions, to get our lives back to some semblance of normal, connecting on a very deep and intimate level, passing time by hiking the trails I now run. As we struggled up hills, our babies in slings around our neck, she helped me with my stuggle of AA concepts, God, emotions run amok, and a job I felt ill suited to, and a husband that was like a kind but remote rommate. She helped me through some really dark days. We went through some hard times together, but even though we mutually agreed it wasn't working anymore, I'll still always remember her. I tried to help her too, in practical ways that I knew, but I failed each time.
She was the one who got me running, after all, she was the one who initially planted the seed in my brain that I could run again. Once I started running, I started a process that would change me from the outside-in, to slowly become the person I always knew myself to be locked up inside but too afraid to come out. This once dear friend introduced me to the running club which has become a treasure trove of special people that I've connected to and consider practically family. Once I became a runner, I finally had the confidence to get what I wanted, to build back a self-esteem shattered by soul gripping addiction that almost stole my life away.
She stopped running due to injuries. She struggles now with a plethora of disorders, physical and mental, which I pray she finds help. I do not take for granted a minute the supreme level of fitness I have discovered and will do what I can to maintain it, although I know it can all change on a dime. All we have is today, after all. My friend planted a seed in my brain that I nurtured and for that I'll always be grateful. I worked to become a runner. I found, by far, the most effective weapon for coping with life's difficulties. I count on friends, as well, and believe in God, to keep up my daily fight to deal with my innate emotional nature. I really wish friendship could last forever, but I think it's best that people go separate ways when it's not working anymore. Why drag out the torture, you know? It's OK to say good-bye, but gosh, is it very sad.