The topic of friendship fascinates me. Through the years I’ve learned what lifelines friends can truly be, but I’ve also (humbly) learned how to let go of friendships that aren’t working and how, sometimes, I’ve let go too swiftly.
Six months ago, I was thrilled when editors Jessica Smock and Stephanie Spengler published an incredible work of heart titled, The HerStories PROJECT: Women Explore the Joy, Pain, and Power of Female Friendship which included an essay I wrote that I was ridiculously proud of.
Women devoured and gifted the book in droves and many wrote to Smock and Spengler sharing their own friendship stories. What the editors quickly learned is that the topic of friendship breakups was hot, and that their work with it wasn’t done yet.
Smock wrote, “Stephanie and I found that we couldn’t stop thinking about this aspect of friendship: Why is it so painful for a friendship to end and why is it so hard for women to talk about? Again and again, other women — friends, readers, relatives, acquaintances — have told us stories of their own friendship breakups and dissolutions. In their stories, we heard their pain, their shame, their confusion, and their continued sense of deep loss.”
So this duo did the only thing there was to do: They created another book, this time focusing on the bold topic of friendship breakups.
I’m beyond thrilled to have an essay included in this daring look at friendship titled, My Other Ex: Women’s True Stories of Leaving and Losing Friendships. While my essay in Smock and Spengler’s first book was easy to love writing, focusing on my conscious effort to upkeep friendships as an adult, this one was harder for me to write, submit, and own.
It starts in the only place I could think of: At the end of the most defining friendship breakup I’ve ever had and, for the first time, explores the humbling learning curve that came with understanding my own role in abandoning that friendship.
My Other Ex includes an introduction by Nicole Knepper of the wildly popular blog, Moms Who Drink and Swear, who is also a licensed mental health counselor with years of experience and expertise in understanding human relationships. And cover-to-cover, each of the book’s 35 essays thread together to tell the tale of friendship breakups — some have happy endings and many, like mine, don’t.
Smock says, “There are so many ways that friendships can end, and our book describes 35 of them, from each of our 35 contributors. At the heart of each essay is the recognition from each writer that she has lost something very real and very personal, a connection that will never be forgotten.”
I’m over the moon to be a part of this gutsy, bravely written book and I’m thrilled to announce that it’s officially available today!
The intricacies of female friendship is such an important conversation, thank you (so much) for being a part of it with me.
Have you had a friendship breakup? How do you feel about it today?