Gah. I am about to break one of my own personal rules. The rule that says, “don’t hang your dirty relationship laundry out for the world to see.” I’m a big believer that you should air that crap out in private. Publicly deriding anyone is usually not cool. But this time I feel that it is warranted for the greater discussion.

You see, I have this friend. Well, had this friend.

But I’ll get to him. First I want to talk about me.

This is me.


My life has evolved in such amazing ways. It has become almost ridiculously easy for me to push all drama and negativity out of my life in my eternal quest to be happy. When I look in the mirror, I see a strong person. I see a devoted person. I see a faithful person. And more than anything, I see a happy person. I like the person I see in the mirror, and I think I like him most because for the first 32 years or so of my life, I never got to see that person looking back at me.

Part of the road to get here involved leaving behind certain people in my life who were never anything but hindrances to my progression. Some I cut completely out of my life; others I limited my interaction with so that they couldn’t have the same negative effect they once had. I believe the only way anyone can be truly happy is to make these tough choices, fill his life with only the people who are healthy happy parts of that life, and learn how not to fear those separations of ties when they come.

Yes, I believe that with all of my heart.

I also haven’t lived it fully. Until now.

You see, this other friend, who I will call Peter, was the one friend I couldn’t give up on. He was the one friend who I did not want to let go of. He was also the one friend who did more to damage my ability to be happy than anyone else ever has.

Let me tell you about Peter.

This is Peter.


I know many of you knew him when he and I spent so much time together. Many of you loved him. Many of you will think it horrible of me to write this today. But I have to do it.

You see, Peter is a sad and lonely man. But he wasn’t always that way.

I’ve known Peter since I was a small child, and back then he was different. He was light-hearted and happy. He had so much energy. We used to run through fields finding snakes together. We used to plot our ridiculous treasure hunts together. We used to play together, and laugh together, and we really lived life together.

Then things changed. For both of us. Late elementary school and junior high were not kind to us. Both of us experienced heavy bullying and persecution. Both of us seemed to lose all of our confidence. Both of us longed for validation and affirmation in our lives. Both of us longed to belong. Both of us, with time, really started to hate ourselves. And we remained friends. Best friends. Through the tough times of our youth, I believe we became co-dependent on one another in so many ways. I could not make any decisions without his input. He could not make any decisions without mine.

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Dan Pearce is an American born writer, photographer, and artist. His books include "The All-Important, Well-Fed, Giant White Man" and "The Real Dad Rules." He is best known for his blog (and supporting Facebook page) "Single Dad Laughing," with 2 million followers as of 2018.