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  • Roshan Dhanasekar

High Tides and Lost Friendships

I have always questioned why I was never able to hold on to a relationship, especially friendships. I remember making promises that I would stay in touch and would be best friends with them. But in retrospect, they only remain hidden in my memories.

I grew up with this immense need to please people. I often would ask my folks whether they liked me because I convinced myself that the reason for my father's departure one afternoon was because he did not like me. After all, what can a 10-year-old understand? All of this gave way to a grave sense of insecurity that made me believe that I was unlikeable. This thought then grew within me, built an immense amount of pressure that I should do anything and everything in my power to make the people in my life stay. And this was my first innocent mistake.

As I went about pleasing people to stay in my life, I fell short of the ability to foresee the kind of people I attracted. Being the attention whore I was, I went about making my way through anyone and everyone who validated me. A smile, a few pretty words and a hug were enough for me to fall head over heels for the stranger that I just met. However, the people I pleased were sharp enough to understand the naivety and decided to take advantage of that. After all, a person hurts you because they love you, right? And this was my second innocent mistake.

The foundation that I laid for myself was flawed, but I never acknowledged it in the first place to understand it. The people whom I befriended did not bring the best in me. I tried to live a life that was comfortable for them. I believed that I was flawed because of my sexuality. I prioritised my friends and other relationships, but not the people at my home. At one point, I hated my family for having given me the not-so-perfect life. Which ultimately led me to settle for a few pegs of brandy, smoke-filled lungs and headbanging to loud music in a room filled with sweaty people. And this was my third innocent mistake.

But then life took a u-turn out of the blue. The cloudy morning tried to convey something to me which the bright sunny days could not. That morning, I did not want to please anyone. That morning, I did not fancy a life where the key to my existence was with someone else. That morning, I did not seek attention or validation. A sonic sound rang in my ears that made the voice in my head louder than the others. My thoughts were clear, and the clouds no longer fogged them. I felt liberated. I felt free.

As the solace liberated me, I lost those friendships which I considered important. After all, I no longer believed in the foundation that constituted me as a person.

The newfound freedom felt like I was tripping on ecstasy, and I loved the feeling. I led my life in a symphony that I composed, and the notes hit perfectly, that there was no going back. As a result, the seeds of friendships that I sowed never saw the daylight again. The comfort which I looked for in others always remained nested within me. It just took a few years for me to realise this. It just took a few years for me to prioritise myself first before anyone else.


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