When I realized that I would be in Myrtle Beach for one of the two weeks that he is actually in NC for the holidays, I may or may not have had a mini freakout thinking we weren't going to see each other and that I was going to have to go even longer than a year without hugging my very best friend.
Well, thankfully, with a bit of coordination and help from Mommom, I got to meet him in Warsaw (which is about halfway between our two hometowns) for lunch today. And after this week with losing Jim and everything that went along with that, it was so very needed.
We actually spent a lot of time talking about one pretty serious and personal topic in particular that I've been struggling with. It's way too personal for me to put out on this blog, largely because it involves someone else who I know has found and read this blog before, but just know that it was something that I really needed to discuss with Clayton, and doing it in person did wonders.
I am so, so lucky to have that boy, I swear. His determination to look out for my best interest even when I don't know that I need him to but still being kind and loving when I'm being an idiot is something I don't know how to describe. I wish everyone could have someone like him in their lives. With this particular situation, I'm pretty sure I'd decide to essentially drive myself off a cliff if it weren't for him calling me out.
I remember at one point he was looking at me and I said, "You've never looked at me like that before." He replied, "This is fear. I'm seriously concerned and afraid that you're considering driving yourself off a cliff, and there's nothing I'll be able to do to help you." The look he had on his face is something that's stuck in my head and a big part of the reason that I decided he was right and I wouldn't do what I was considering doing if the opportunity arose. One other thing that he said that really stood out to me was "I know you. I know how deeply you feel things. If you do this, it will not end well for you. It will make you spiral." He knows my past, he knows my history with depression, and he knows how I see people, so I knew that if he really believed doing it would make me spiral, I needed to listen. He saves me from myself.
But mostly, it was just so comforting to be able to see him and touch him and HUG HIM. I practically mauled him in the parking lot when he got out of his car, not even realizing initially that we were standing in the drive-through lane. Ha! And this kid, someone who said he never really liked to hug people before he met me, must have given me like 15 hugs when we were walking out to leave. That's something FaceTime cannot replace. It got to the point where I finally had to say, "Okay, I have to leave now, or I'm never going to stop hugging you." I'm lucky to have a best friend who gives me love the ways that I receive it best - words of affirmation and physical touch.
He also gave me an extra gift and let me record him doing this impression of some guy from The Walking Dead because it's by far my favorite impression of his, but I promised him that I wouldn't put it anywhere online. Some things really must be kept between friends. ;)
I don't know where I'd be right now, how I would have made it through 2015, without Clayton. I'm not even kidding. When my depression got so bad this summer with all the seizures, he was the one who was always there to help me keep my head above the water, no matter when or how often I needed to talk to him. He makes me laugh harder than just about anyone I've ever met and is the best at lifting my spirits when I need it. He's my sensei, always teaching me things and has helped me grow so much closer to God this year.
He is more than I could ever have asked for in a friend. He's my absolute best friend in the world, and I know that I don't have to worry about this friendship, because no matter where we are or how long it takes us to see each other again, we're in this for good.
We could be the greatest team that the world has ever seen.