As a precursor I feel I must mention that this is not the original post I had planned to put up on friendship. In fact, I had written an entirely different sort of post and felt it to be completely disingenuous. I was doing my best to avoid some personally painful memories, but in doing so I failed to truly express what friendship means to me. This post is a bit heavy in places, but I assure you that it is not intended to garner sympathy or get you to buy balloons for my pity party. I am quite overwhelmingly happy in my life. I did, however, feel that I needed to be honest.
I have led a wonderful life. My parents love me unconditionally and I have never once doubted they were there for me. But a parents love can not counteract one of the hardest things I have ever dealt with. Depression. It started out small in high school, back before I even knew what depression was, then built into a fever pitch later in life. There was no real reason for me to be depressed. My life was great, I had the love of family, I made good grades, I had friends. But sometimes depression makes absolutely no sense. Sometimes it rolls in like a fog and settles in for a good long while.
What does this have to do with friendship you might ask, well we are getting there. I have had three very close friends since I was in high school. I am still extremely close to them in fact. If I were asked to define friendship I would just give their names. They pulled me out of the darkness when I could not help myself. I went through something extremely difficult about five years ago. It is not something I talk about often, and it is not something that I let define my entire life. But with my predisposition for depression, it quite possibly could have pulled me completely under. If it weren't for my friends, I am certain it would have. About five years ago I miscarried.
Like always in a military relationship, my husband was gone at the time doing a training exercise. He and I could talk on the phone and we had finally both dealt with the holy crap I am pregnant issues when it happened. I lost the baby. I was at breakfast with one of my best friends when I realized it was happening. That day is a blur of tears and doctor visits but the thing I remember most is my friends. They were there for me. They showed up in force and sat out in the waiting room with my mom. They came to my apartment and packed up all of the things that we had started collecting for the baby and safely stored them for a later time. They quietly stayed by me and let me mourn. They gave me space to be sad, they gave me space to grieve that loss that I felt so keenly.
They allowed me to bask in the sadness but only for a while. Before I knew it, they were taking me to the movies, or planning shopping trips. My empty schedule was suddenly filled with days with my friends. We spent nights trying to make lists of all of the people we have kissed while reminiscing over years of ridiculousness. Without ever knowing what they had done, I was brought back to myself. I look back now and I realize it could have gone very differently. These girls, well they saved my life.
I won't end the friendship story on such a heavy note though. I have met some incredible people along the way. While my three best friends from high school remain and are still just as important to me, I have also been blessed enough to add to them. I have friends to drink wine with and laugh over ridiculous things from True Blood viewing nights to burlesque shows. I have friends that always come through for me in a last minute pinch. Though our lives as Army wives are transient I know that no matter the distance I will always have them in my life. (Whether they like it or not).
Then there are the friends that might be just as important to you dear reader. Without a certain group of friends I would never have had the courage to continue writing the story. There very well may not even have been a second book if it weren't for them. So to the women that have listened to me endlessly and obnoxiously prattle away about fictional characters, to the women that read my completely unedited mess of a story, and to the women that were honest when I needed it, THANK YOU! I am so indebted to you. You know who you are, and you know I will never forget you. (Regina... ehem.)
To the group of women that have endlessly supported me so far on this journey, you have made a HUGE difference in my life. I love all of your faces! Seriously, this is a scary and uncertain journey, without ya'll I know I probably would have given up a long time ago. Between my author friends, my blogger friends, and my fun fb group friends I feel almost invincible.
So, what is the life lesson here, well friendship can change a life, it might even save one. I hope that I did not get too heavy.
Sometimes Izzy needs a heavy handed reminder to pull herself together as well. That is where Ian comes in. He is the friend she never knew she needed. Enjoy the excerpt from See How She Runs.
“I don’t know how.” I admitted weakly. It felt strange admitting to Ian something I could not even tell Kennan. I was struck with the rightness of my mother sending him once more. She might have not been a fighter, but her love shaped me even now.
“Yeah you do. Don’t get all emo baby on me. Suck it up, set an objective and figure your shit out. No one can do it for you.” Ian said with finality. How about that for a vote of confidence? But I knew he was right. I had to stop worrying about how to do it and just start working at it.