lifestyle

The best friends are the ones who make you feel loved even at the darkest times.

By NATALIA HAWK

We’ve all experienced at least one of them. Those earth-shattering moments that turn your world upside down in less time than it takes to say, “hey, that was unexpected.”

Sometimes, the changes that come from these moments are good. And at other times, they’re bad. The kind of bad that leaves you struggling to get out of bed in the morning, because you can’t quite find a single reason to get through the day anymore.

I had one of those moments not so long ago. And while I tried to stay composed on the outside, I was all kinds of broken on the inside.

It takes a special kind of friend to recognise exactly when you’re in that sort of slump, and to grab you by the shoulders and pull you out of it. To give you a (gentle) slap around the face and tell you that together, you’re going to move on with life and have a good time, even though it might seem impossible.

Just as an FYI, you should know that this post is sponsored by Dove. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100 per cent authentic and written in their own words.

For me, that was my friend Fiona, who is the kind of adventurous and yet organised spirit that brings fun into every possible moment.

She decided a trip away was on the cards. Just a quick trip – a weekend spent in another state, with the company of lots of wine and lots of cheese. We planned a visit to a museum, but that was the only solid scheduling we did for the entire weekend.

Lots of wine and lots of cheese.

We flew in to the city, checked into our hotel and walked into the first pub we found. There was no one in there except ourselves and the bartender, who quickly started up a tab for us so that we could just keep ordering endless cocktails in those hipster jars that are all the rage now. Add a cheese platter, and we were in heaven.

Cheese. Cocktail. Cheese. Cocktail. Repeat. There was a bottle of wine thrown in there too. A live band started playing, and about four more people filtered in, and the bartender declared that the night was officially a success.

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We laughed a lot. We sang along to all the songs. We followed a bunch of people to another pub and stayed there until our feet could take no more. And then we did it all again the next day.

It was the perfect way to spend 48 hours. I needed nothing more than to be pulled out of my sad little world and into a holiday world where I had nothing to worry about beyond which type of cheese I was going to sample next.

I needed to forget about the big moments, and embrace the small moments. Admiring the hills that rolled away from a beautiful winery in the middle of nowhere. Driving along empty highways with awesome music playing on the stereo. Laughing over stupid jokes with people that we’d only just met and would probably never see again.

Just as we were heading home, my body decided to give up and pack it all in – incredibly unhelpful, but understandable, considering the misery it had been put through. My stomach started churning and a fever kicked in, just in time for our flight back to Sydney.

Fiona drove all the way to the airport and let me pass out in the passenger seat – she kept herself awake by eating small slices of cheese from the stash we’d bought to bring home. She got us to the airport, dragged me onto the plane, and then took me home and put me to bed. And it was in bed that I stayed for the next week, too sick to comprehend getting out of it.

So although that was a sad ending, I was still happy. Happy because I knew that I had at least one person in my life who would go above and beyond to care for me, to make sure that I was happy and healthy and okay. To make sure I felt loved, even at the darkest times.

Thank you, Fi. You’re such a big part of my world and I hope that never changes.

Speaking of such friends, here are some celebrities with their non-celebrity besties:

Is there a woman in your life who you’d like to thank? 

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