Be a Level Seven Friend
Find people who have confidence in themselves and then copy that.
There is something to be said about friendship. It comes in all shapes and sizes. It also comes with different expectations and levels. Depending on the level of friend, the expectations are different.
I have a friend who is very dear to me as we have been through a lot together. I love telling about our first meeting and first impressions because it wasn’t the usual pleasantries. Well at least on my side. I honestly can’t remember her side of our meeting.
My friend has been a roommate of mine for a long time. I remember the first time I walked into my new apartment at the beginning of my junior year of college. She was one of the first of my five other roommates that I met. She was laying on the living room couch, watching a TV show on her laptop because she was sicker than a dog with a nasty head cold. She looked like death with a high fever, flushed stoplight red cheeks, and a delightfully stuffy nose.
I introduced myself per usual greetings and this was her response. (Her name has been changed.)
Hello, I’m Rose and just so you know, you have to be a level seven friend to unlock my tragic back story.”
I am not going to lie, but I was a little taken a back because that wasn’t what I was expecting at all. I can’t remember what I replied, but I remember thinking,
“Okay, challenge accepted.”
So I studied her. I wasn’t creepy, all in her face, sitting and staring her down trying to discern and piece together her secrets.
No, I spent time with her. I figured out that she wasn’t one for small talk and is very blunt and not afraid of sharing her opinion. She doesn’t care to say anything unless she finds it worth commenting on. She has come to a place in her head that no matter what anyone says about anything, she is awesome and as she puts it a “BZ”. She is queen.
I found her so interesting because she was nothing like anyone I had ever met. I can say without any hesitation that she has the confident level 100. I look up to her.
As time went on and I spent more time with her (in the apartment as she is more of a homebody), she started to open up and I noticed that I did too. She listed to me and I listened to her. She stops whatever she is doing and focuses on our conversations, even if that means putting the movie on pause for more than an hour.
When we talk, we both give 100% attention as we share views and advice as we go through hard things. We have asked each other the hard questions that we didn’t want to ask let alone answer ourselves out loud. We have cried and ranted.
We can sit in silence and enjoy life. We often spend the evenings together as everyone else is out doing what only the cosmos knows. We have a true relationship of give and take. We respect space, which is more on my part as I always ask if I can give her a hug.
Having lived with her for a year now, not too long ago while playing our favorite video game, I turned to her and asked.
“Rose, do you remember what you said to me when we first met? You said that to unlock your tragic back story I had to be a level seven friend. What level of friend would you say I am now?”
She paused the game and just looked at me. She isn’t one to smile easy, so I was ready for the bluntness and impact of her answer.
“Kajsa, you are a level nine friend. You know a lot about me and the longer we have lived together the more I have told you about my back story. You know a lot more than a lot of other people.”
With that said, she turned back to the game and started playing again. I was a level nine, and it shines brightly with happiness.
The reason I am writing about Rose is to provide an example of a healthy relationship. Obviously, she and I are very different in some ways, but similar in others. We respect each other and trust the other. Friends literally can make or break you mentally.
When struggling with mental illness, surround yourself with good people and understand that they might not be the kind of people you expect. I don’t lean on her for anything or demand anything from her. She doesn’t really like to be hugged as she says, “It’s too toasty.” It always makes me laugh when she says that.
Mental illness is best fought with people even though every internal instinct is telling you that you want to be alone. You DON’T want to be alone really and you should be alone as little as possible.
Find people who have confidence in themselves and then copy that. Find strong role models and make their ways of coping with everyday life your own. This is not becoming a person you aren’t, but this is teaching you coping mechanisms to help you heal and improve your life. Rose is definitely a person who has set an example to me of how you can go through hell and come out the other side freaking fabulous.
Find those who boost you up and hold on tight! Thanks for reading and clapping! Have a wonderful day!