During this time of COVID-19 many of us are isolating to protect our own health or the health of a loved one. This has given me time to think, and appreciate those I have in my life. I hope that we all have friends and family that we can connect with in these times. But what sets a friend apart from others? Well… let me tell you about my BEST friend.
To my Best Friend,
We have known each other our whole lives but I wouldn’t say our friendship began until a couple years ago. I still remember hanging out that day, we went to breakfast. I still am not sure why, but I told you everything. At that time, I hated myself and what I had been apart of. I had recently completed nine years of service in the United States Marine Corps and was struggling with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) from my first deployment. I remember feeling safe and un-judged. You truly listened as I word vomited my entire story. I can only imagine what that was like for you but you toughed it out for me.
I don’t know how or why, but you saw something in me that day. Something that I couldn’t see. I don’t know why, but you hung out with me again and again. I was in a dark place, but you held the hope for me. You showed me kindness when I couldn’t do it to myself. You helped me grown, and provided a safe haven I could escape to. Because of you, I began to feel comfortable with myself. You encouraged me to be authentic, and accept who I was.
You created an environment that I felt safe and okay with who I was. You accepted me for me. In short you saved me. Years ago, I wouldn’t have believed it possible but I am enjoying my life. I would not have recognized who I would become and that’s a good thing. You helped me grow into the person I am today and now I have the ability to pay it forward.
Who would have thought that I would become the Vice President of the United Peers Of Washington? I am just me, but there is power in that. I have the choice each day and so do you. I can stay in bed all day or I can say not today. I can live my life instead of just surviving. My life is still a mess but that’s just life. You have to play the cards you were dealt but it’s how you play them that matters.
Enough with my story. I just want to remind you to check on those you love and care about during this time. Don’t let social distancing stop your friendships. Appreciate those you have in your life and don’t shy away from new friendships. You never know. You might just save a life.
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