My friend, Tristin.
Let me tell you about my friend Tristin. She has been a close friend of mine for as long as I can remember. She has been there with me through everything. She was the first person I told about my self-harm. She was there with open arms when I moved and tried to console me. Her hug like a warm blanket – comfortable and consuming. She was the first person to know about the eating disorder I had when I was in high school. She was the first to know about all the heartbreaks. She was the first person to know about the suicide attempts. Simultaneously, she was the first person to know I got my first job. She was the first person to know that the guy I dated in high school told me he loved me. She was the first person to know that I made the decision to get tattooed. She was the first person to know that I got accepted into the university of my dreams and when I chose to attend elsewhere. She was the first person to know that I had made the decision to move out on my own. She truly has been there through the good and bad times of my life.
But more on Tristin as a person. She is beautiful and powerful. She looks similar to me actually, dark hair and curvy features. However, she has “Leo” energy, which can be a lot sometimes. She knows what she wants, most of the time, and will do what she can to get it. She’s loud and seeks my attention a lot of the time She has a lot of constructive criticism, which can be helpful, but it is not always invited. She is very spontaneous and can show up whenever and wherever she feels like it with no agenda and I am normally not ready for her presence, so it throws me off a lot of the time.
I have spent so many nights staying up late to talk to her and give her attention. Sometimes it will be us just sitting in silence and sometimes it is ugly crying, side by side. I have tried to tell her that I need sleep in order to focus on work the next day or to be present at a social gathering, but she just reminds me that I can drink coffee or go to bed early the next night. These are two things that she tells me almost every night, trying to seem helpful and empathetic towards my growing fatigue. I have gone on late night drives with her a lot, we normally just listen to lo-fi or sad music, just getting lost in our world.
The one thing that I wanted to share about my friend Tristin are the things that Tristin has told me throughout our years of being friends. When I do not want to give her attention when she wants it, she will scream at me. She will be in my ear, throwing a fit about how I need to drop everything and pay attention to her. She tells me that there is no point to put effort into anything because someone is always going to do it better, no matter how hard I try. She tells me that I am not loved by the people in my life. She tells me that no one in my life actually needs me, and that I only need her. She reminds me that I will never be as beautiful as the other woman on this planet. She tells me that men will never be attracted to me because of how I look or act. And if they do, I should walk away because if I walk away, then she will be there for me no matter what. She “promises” to treat me better and that she will be a better friend. However, I have fallen to her promises in the past and I usually just feel worse at the end of it all.
The one thing that she has told me, I will never forget is this – she told me that I am worthless and that I will never be enough. And that is a narrative that I have told myself, because my close friend engrained it in me for as long as I can remember. She does not tell me this as much, but there are days where she is thinking it and will act out on it. And let me remind you, actions speak louder than words.
I have tried to justify Tristin to a lot of people in my life, but it gets exhausting sometimes. People always wonder why I would keep someone like this around and saying I should cut ties with someone who is this harmful to me.
“Why would you spend time with someone who puts you down so much?” or “Why would you let someone treat you like that?” or my ultimate favorite question “Why don’t you just walk away?”
Well here is the thing. I cannot walk away from this complex relationship.
Tristin is my depression.