(I wrote this letter over the course of a few days to my friend whom I’ll refer to as S. -for privacy reasons- and delivered it to her on Wed, the 16th of March 2017)
Dear Beloved S.,
I’m writing this to you after almost 2 days of trying to respect your desire for me to leave you alone as much as possible. It has been very difficult for me, but if you are really happy, I’ll use all my power to bare the loneliness and the pain of being away from you when I want to be close, just for your sake and your happiness.
They say Einstein once said: “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we faced them.” I think there is a recurring problem in our friendship and I’m writing this to try and explain, in some detail, why I think there are better ways of dealing with bad times other than the way we’re currently choosing. I hope you read this carefully, put yourself in my place, and, at least, reconsider, for my sake, please.
First of all, I need to tell you something I rarely say when you ask to be left alone. I truly understand and see your precious love whenever you say that. I understand that you’re not asking it for own as much as you’re trying to protect me from yourself when you’re not in the best of moods. I see that you you’re doing it because you love me so much and think that by staying away you’re hurting me less. I have to say that as much as this hurts me, the love in it is still obvious and really touches my heart. For this, I truly appreciate what you’re trying to do -despite disagreeing with it.
My disagreement, however, is never about the intention, but about the way you try not to hurt me. I too understand how painful it is to see myself hurting someone I love and not being able to protect them from myself. I told you before that I can try to isolate you from my bad side to avoid hurting you, but you refused. Now the opposite is happening and I’m the one who’s refusing, so I’m asking you try and see things from my eyes. From your perspective, I’m hurt more when I’m with you when you’re not feeling good. But from my perspective, it’s much more painful to stay away from you and feel you suffer alone than being by your side (and you by my side) and experience the pleasure of sharing your pain. I’m writing this to you to explain why.
Before I explain why leaving you alone is more painful to me than most pains I’ve ever experienced in my life, I need to be very clear about something: pain is inevitable. There’s absolutely nothing without pain. There’s nothing worth having that can be acquired without pain. There’s no success without pain, no relationships without pain, no love without pain, not even fun without pain. In fact, pain is a primary driver in our lives that keeps us alive and going. For instance, you’ll starve to death if you don’t have a pain in your stomach called ‘hunger’. You’ll freeze to death if you don’t have a pain your chest called ‘cold’ and etc. So it’s ok to feel pain and get hurt. Sometimes it’s even the only way to survive and/or move forward. In our friendship, I always find pain to be a catalyst to know each other better, for me to improve and learn, to make us stronger and more mature, and to make us closer than ever before. Since pain is unavoidable and can be good, why not make the best out of it instead of trying to escape it? especially that it can’t be escaped anyway?!
One reason leaving you alone is very painful to me is that it creates a block between us. Some kind of transparent block through which I can see and feel you, but am unable to cross to hold your hand and whisper in your ears “I’m here for you”. What makes it worse is that it seems to be like tinted glass, from which I can see you but you can’t seem to see the enormous efforts I’m doing from the other side to break through and try to reach you, which makes you seem more isolated and lonely 🙁. It’s a very bad feeling of helplessness and restrain that I wish no one ever has to experience. This to me is a million times worse than all of your bad moods combined. I’ll chose to hear the harshest of words (to be more accurate: what sound like the harshest words) anytime over a single moment of that bitter feeling that I experience when you’re trying to be alone.
Another reason, that I don’t think you realize, is that there’s no way the pleasure and the pain can be separated. Meaning that there’s no way to get only one of them without the other. And close friendship is not a like a hotel that we can leave whenever the service doesn’t seem good enough. It’s a full human package, with all of its beauty and all of its imperfections.
Every time you’re not around, not only is the “hurtful” stuff being taken away, but I’m also being deniedALL of the good stuff! And even if you do realize that, I don’t think you realize how much is the good stuff that you bring to my life. I’m going to list only some of the wonderful moments we shared together. Please note that this is not meant to be a list of every single thing, it’s just a list of lots of what comes to mind now and I’m sure I’m forgetting much more. Also, please don’t go over it like a grocery list; instead, as you read each memory, allow yourself a moment to remember its details and how it made you feel as if you’re reliving it (close your eyes if needed please):
– Remember when we watched the Snow Queen musical in Smock Alley Theatre?
– Remember when you used to think it was the best thing you did in Ireland so far?
– Remember when we went to the movies together and watched “Passengers”?
– Remember when I bored you with my weird talks about free will on our way to the cinema?
– Remember when you invited me to your flat for the first time and took a huge risk?
– Remember when you were with me when my heart was broken from my break up and you told me that your door was always open?
– Remember the first time I watched you watch the old Arabic movies at your place and made fun of them?
– Remember the first time you showed me your coloring book and we played some of the games in it?
– Remember when we juiced the last oranges you had with our bare hands?
– Remember when you caught a cold from me?
– Remember when we went to that weird Winter Solstice Festival I found on the Internet?
– Remember that night, when we sat at Fresh and I talked to you for the first time about my beliefs and views, and you listened carefully and non-judgmentally?
– Remember when I took you to Molly Malone (el tahra)?
– Remember when we went to Howth and had dinner there during X-mas?
– Remember when you first invited me to dinner to try your cooking for the first time?
– Remember when you surprised me at your home with the little birthday party -the only celebration of my birthday I had this year?
– Remember when I made you watch The Snow Queen Cartoon then The Wizard of Oz on your laptop at your place?
– Remember when you told me that you missed me “like hell” when you were in Egypt?
– Remember when we spoke over the phone when you were there and you asked whether Egyptian S. sounded different than Irish S.?
– Remember when I came to pick you up from the airport?
– Remember when I took you to your home (1/2 home) that night and was with you while you unpacked?
– Remember when we played the acting mirror game at Gino’s and looked as if we had just escaped a mental hospital?
– Remember when I opened my heart to you and told you about my painful childhood memories as my eyes filled up with tears?
– Remember when you held my wrist that night and rubbed my arm with your thumb very gently until all my sadness went away and my “Dementors” fled in fear?
– Remember when we first went for running, at Central Park, and then discovered that it was neither a park nor “central”?
– Remember when we jumped over that fence and trespassed into that place for the elderly? Remember when we ran from the Luas due to running on the side of its track?
– Remember when we ran in Herbert Park and I showed you around?
– Remember when we played trust and you taught me how to do it right?
– Remember when I took you into my room and showed you my collections of magnets and keychains?
– Remember when we went to Odeon together for the first time?
– Remember when we saw the rat on our way to the canal?
– Remember when we went to the Grand Canal Dock and saw a rat there too?(could it have been the same rat?)
– Remember when I showed you Google’s office and when we talked about going back to Egypt while we were looking at the Grand Canal Dock from a distance?
– Remember the first postcard I wrote to you on International Friend’s day?
– Remember when I surprised you on your birthday at Friday’s? Remember how you pinched me in my knee?
– Remember when we went to the National Concert Hall?
– Remember how we were surrounded by old people and the lady next to you complained about you using your phone?
– Remember when I gave you your birthday gift in front of Odeon?
– Remember when you hugged me for the first time?
– Remember that hug???
– Remember when I told you that it felt like “home”, in Grafton st while an old man was brilliantly playing the violin in the background?
– Remember when I first went with you to the hospital and was inspired by your courage? Remember when you rested your head on my shoulder for the first time?
– Remember when we first held hands while crossing the roads?
– Remember when you first put your fingers between mine when yours were so cold?
– Remember when we colored together in your coloring book and I made a huge mess?
– Remember when we went to Cork?
– Remember the games we played on the way there and the conversations we had on the way back?
– Remember when I shared with you my annual review feedback?
– Remember when we visited several pubs in one night to try to find a decent dance floor, with people actually dancing on it?
– Remember when we watched The Fault in Our Stars at your place?
– Remember when I was unable to breathe in your flat and you were by my side till I got better?
– Remember when you let me take a nap on your couch that night until I was ok?
– Remember when I brought you flowers?
– Remember when you fell asleep on your couch and I didn’t want to wake you up?
– Remember when I covered you with my hoodie and tried to sleep on the chair next to you?
– Remember when we went to hospital again and you were strong again?
– Remember when we walked by the Dodder river for the first time?
– Remember the chapel we entered that had the papers hanging about what “LENT” meant to the children?
– Remember climbing up the hill at Milltown to try and reach the Luas?
– Remember the biking lessons?
– Remember when we played with the seesaw and watched the super cute you-poked-my-hawt video and couldn’t stop imitating it all night long?
I’m going to stop here just because I don’t want to make this overlong , and not because that’s everything. There are loads more of lovely memories, and it’s only been a few months! (I think the letter’s already pretty long by now =D. I’d be lucky if you made it so far and haven’t fallen asleep yet. You should only blame yourself for this, because you’re the one who asked me to write what I feel last time. Too late to take that back, sorry! =D )
Every time you want to be alone, you leave me alone too.
I see all of that in that list being taken away from us. And for what reason? Just to avoid some bad mood and some stupid fights?
Isn’t ALL of what we shared worth much more than some disagreements? Isn’t the good much more than the bad? Aren’t those memories worth fighting for till the last breaths in our bodies?
To me the answers to those last 3 questions are: Yes, yup, and HELL YEAH!
On the other hand, even though I only mentioned the best moments in that previous list, I’d like to suggest an interesting thought: superimposing the bad and the fights on the good, to see how closer the fights brought us together and how stronger they made us.
For example, the first time you invited me to dinner was after our very first fight -the fight about you joking about being upset at the office. It was when I first learned to taste the love in the food you made me.
The fight about hugging and and drinking together was right before Iopened my heart to you and cried in front of you for the first time. It was when I first learned about being hugged by your eyes.
The fight when I hung up on you was before I shared with you my annual review, played chess with you, tried to find a dance club with you, bought you flowers, and before you let me come with you for the Barium test and everything else we did that day. It’s when I experienced your forgiveness and got another chance to earn more of your trust.
If anything, we should be seeking more and more of these fights to make us stronger and know each other better. We should be trying to provide the right conditions for them instead of avoiding them! They are the flames that bring out the beautiful odors of our friendship, S.
Actually now that I think about it, I changed my mind: S., ask me to be alone more! Yes, you read that right =D
I know the whole purpose of this letter was to ask you not to do that, but now I realize that it creates more fights, which is good as I explained. Also, it opens my eyes to realize how precious our time together is! I don’t know why we’re like this, but we, humans, only appreciate things when we’re missing them, and every time we spend time away from each other, I miss you more and I love you more! Forget that I told you to change anything! Forget about Einstein (who never met you)! Keep doing what you’re doing more and make me love you more, because I love you for who you are regardless of anything!
I probably sound like a crazy person now, but in my defense:
A- I really am officially crazy (ask my doctor if you don’t believe) and Einstein is also reported to have said “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”, so what else would you expect from a crazy person? =D Plus who says I’m not happy with the current results?
B- I have some minor suggestions that may make things better. Yes, tell me you want to be alone, but don’t really want it in your heart to be lonely. Ask me to stay away, but don’t shut me away, because there’s a huge difference. Instead of asking me to be alone (period), you can ask for a very limited amount of time (preferably a day), and then ask me to renew as needed. You know I’m in love with ETAs, and the ETA of you returning back to me is the most important ETA I could think of =)
And even if you just want to be alone and not do any of the above, don’t stay away for so long. Please, S., if not for my sake, then for the sake of everything and everyone dear to your heart.
I hope all of those beautiful memories help by improving your mood a little.
S., please keep me around more. Please spend more time with me during the difficult times than the good ones. Please allow our friendship to grow stronger and be more meaningful. Please fight with me more and more: Fight ME very fiercely, and also fight the world by my side with your usual bravery. Please make more memories with me. Please let me have more and more of this amazing and weird (in the best way possible 😊) friendship that’s full of immense pleasure and sweet pain!
Finally, if I may suggest one more thing: every time you want to be alone think about the following “what if someone I love needs me and I’m not there for them?”
This is not only for them, but I personally think it’s very helpful for people in pain to utilize their pain in relating to other people, which helps a person get out of their inner-self and turn their focus to others, even if for a little time.
S, have you ever experienced loving someone so much that it hurts in an ultra super lovely way? If not, I strongly recommend it. If it’s not the true definition of the word “priceless” then nothing is ♡♡
Warning, though, It’s very highly addictive 😊
The person who’s so proud to have you as his best friend and his next of kin here.