This I Believe

Jennifer - Decatur, Georgia
Entered on March 5, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50

The Healing Power of Friendship

I am an only child, but I am lucky to have found a sister in this life, a kindred spirit.

Mya, who is also an only child, and I became fast friends our freshman year of college. We shared many laughs together, bonding over dining hall meals and gabbing late into the night. It was only natural that we would become roommates and inseparable for the next three years.

During my senior year of college, I fell into a deep depression. I suffered from insomnia and found it impossible to concentrate in class. My grades slipped and I decided to take time off from school, retreating to my parents’ home in New Jersey.

A cloud hung over me and my future. In my heart, I believed that life would never feel carefree or fun again.

Mya called me everyday that semester. Even when I did not feel like talking, she would tell me about her day, even mundane details like walking around campus and eating a black and white cookie, once our favorite. I could almost picture what life used to be like.

In time, aided by medication, I recovered from my depression and returned to school. The transition was made easier by having a friend by my side, one who supported me unconditionally.

After graduation Mya and I moved to New York City and had great fun hosting dinner parties in our apartment. Two years later, when she moved to Boston, I decided to join her.

That year, Mya suffered a health crisis that led to a hellish roller coaster of doctor’s visits and hospital ERs. Depression ensued. It is absolutely heartbreaking to watch a close friend suffer.

But when I told her that things would get better, she believed me. She knew that I understood.

That time was painful for everyone close to Mya. But thankfully, she fought her way back to health and recovered.

Depression is difficult to put into words but you feel as if you are drowning while the world carries on around you. For me, I wanted to forget my blackest days, put a lid on my past.

But it is our experiences that define us. And I learned how friendship can help you heal.

Some friends are forever. A friend who says without words, “I’m here for you. I care.” Someone who believes in your future even when you don’t.

True friends stick with us through thick and thin—and we are made better for that. There is a saying that sums it up well: “A best friend is a sister that destiny forgot to give you.”

This I believe.