From Stairs To Ramps: Learning From Failed Friendships And Forging New Ones


In the past, I had listened to stories told by people who had gone through tough breaks in their lives and they always spoke about how their friends had abandoned them at a time when they needed them the most. As I went through my own tough break, I wondered if my account would be different. I wanted my story to be different, I wanted to say that all my buddies stuck with me through it all.

What I failed to account for, was the fact that my situation was as new and confusing to me just as it was for them. I am sure they genuinely wanted to stand by my side but at the same time, life had to move on and part of moving on means leaving behind the things that are tying you down. So, we grew more and more apart from each other, connected only by the distant memories we once shared.

I fell into a psychological crisis because I felt like I was being shunned by those I still held so dearly. I noticed that it was I who always texted and called, if I didn’t text, my absence went unnoticed. It became a bitter pill to swallow because my depression was at its peak. Some nights, all I needed was a goodnight text to make me feel like I still mattered to someone. That text never came, and it would be yet another night of fatigue, insomnia and cruel mental voices telling me that I wasn’t enough.

Losing friends at a vulnerable phase of your life can be devastating to your self-esteem. You will question the entire relationship and wonder if it was ever genuine in the first place. The worst part is that when you are still stuck in the same spot trying to figure things out, old friends creep back into your life in an attempt to convince themselves that they are still decent human beings but it’s never long before you are standing alone, settings restored to default.

The few times I talked to my old buddies they would enthusiastically make promises about how they were going to visit so we can hang out like old times. Each time they said this to me, I put trust in them because in my mind, they were true friends. Since all I did was stay in bed and watch tv, I would anticipate their visit and most times they let me down. Worse still, they never gave me the decency to cancel plans, I didn’t mean that much to them.

The more this happened, the less I trusted people. I became a pessimist and traded all the faith I had for doubt. I lived a difficult and joyless life because I couldn’t allow myself to get excited at anything that was being promised to me. It felt like I had been bitten enough times. It’s funny how experiences can mould you into someone so different from who you are.

Once I rediscovered my worth and dug myself out of the past, I began to open my heart and mind to new things, new people. I quickly noticed that the further I got from my bitter experiences the freer I got. I was free to get excited about a new friendship. I was free to trust the nice ladies who said I looked handsome. I was slowly turning into a happy person; I had restored the faith in myself.

It seems like my story stayed the same after all. Some of my friends left too but them being absent is just a tip of the iceberg. The real story is about those that stuck by me and the new friends who I have made on the way. I am overwhelmed by the love I receive sometimes; I don’t feel worthy of it, but I take it anyway because that love is what keeps me alive and gives me strength. People write to me and they say that I inspire them. It always feels wrong to take all the credit because who I am today is a culmination of the love and support that I receive every day. Alone, I am just a man, with you by my side, I become all the great things that you perceive me to be.

Why then would I still cry about the heartaches of yesterday when I have all the love I can ever need right here. Life demands progression, we must keep moving forward, always forward. The journey will be rough, but we will learn and grow from its roughness. Stay positive!

From Stairs To Ramps: The Gift Of Hope & From One Disabled Man To Another

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