Growing Pains

By Avery RosickaNovember 15, 2022

Change has always been a loaded concept to me. Oftentimes, I find myself daydreaming about the idea of it; similar to a neat box wrapped up in a big bow. There’s something about romanticizing a new city or a new job that brings a specific kind of ambiance. Maybe it’s the bright lights or the potential for something more that draws me in.

But what happens when change comes, and it’s nothing like you anticipated or even wanted?

Outgrowing relationships is maybe one of the biggest things I have ever grieved in my life. There is so much discomfort and anxiety that comes with introspection, and thoughts of self-worth and identity always manage to creep in. Questions like, “Who am I without this person?” and “What will life look like without them?” are on repeat these days. It feels uncomfortable and looks messy to experience change, which is magnified when what you are letting go of is a friend. Something that is so vital, necessary, and typically joy-bringing. It makes the transition that much more difficult.

There’s so much left unsettled, and I’m finding myself attempting to drown out the noise with mindless tasks to distract from the discomfort of it all. There were days when I felt so anxious to reach out to anyone out of fear that my feelings about the situation were too much. I mean, there aren’t many songs about best-friend break-ups, are there?

But leaning into moments of self-reflection has brought a great amount of clarity. I am more than the people I surround myself with. I am not responsible for the actions of others. I remain to have people in my life who love and appreciate me. I have a roof over my head, good health, and food on the table. Throughout this, I have quickly learned how life-giving an authentic community is for my spirit. Knowing who I am, my worth, and my boundaries has made me a better friend to others. It has made me appreciate the little things—“how are you” texts, spontaneous walks along the coast, jam sessions to the latest pop-punk album. Taking each one as a flower, so that I have a bouquet of gratitude at the end of each day. 

Yes, being secure in ourselves as individuals holds merit. But life can be far too heavy of a weight to carry without the support and presence of others. The kind where belly laughs and smile lines are abundant. And the corners are sacred with honesty and hard conversations. Being intentional and holding space for the good, bad, and heavy is both complicated and essential. And maybe that is the biggest lesson: growing pains are inevitable, but it’s all just a season. Accepting the both/and instead of the either/or.

The anxiety that comes with change is not my forever nor my destination. Being honest about where I am at with my anxiety will always be an area in which I am growing. It is a journey that has humbled me. One that I cannot turn away from because hope for better is my wide-eyed, wonder-filled destination.

People need other people. You are not weak for wanting or needing support. If you’re seeking professional help, we encourage you to use TWLOHA’s FIND HELP Tool. If you reside outside of the US, please browse our growing International Resources database. You can also text TWLOHA to 741741 to be connected for free, 24/7 to a trained Crisis Text Line counselor. If it’s encouragement or a listening ear that you need, email our team at [email protected].

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Comments (2)

  1. Leonie

    Due to my sickness, my best-friend and I outgrew each other. We simply don’t understand each other anymore. I found Linkin Park – Invisible comforting. It helps me to keep dreaming. Still I have hope that maybe one day we can laugh again like old times.
    And yes, it hurthurthurts to make such decisions where you choose for your own health instead of having fun with friends. Its important to choose for yourself above all other things #SelfCareIsntEgoistic

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  2. Pingback: “I’m Not Just Sad or Stressed”: How Women’s Struggle with Mental Health is Discarded – Stuck in Between

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