yesterday i was having a conversation about people who used to be very active and important in my life. and it dawned on me this question: where do you draw the line between your happiness and being a good friend? how far do you sacrifice yourself for someone before it becomes a toxic relationship?
these are conflicts i’m sure everyone has had and we struggle between the line of humbling or respecting ourselves. my therapist has a phrase that she’s drilled into me session after session, and i thought i would share it with you, self-advocating and socially considerate. that is the balance with which i have tried to live my life for the past two years, and my life has changed immensely since i first started living by those words.
i have found that, like most people, i kept unpleasant and selfish relationships with certain people because i felt some sort of obligation to. be it history, blood, another’s request, or my own rose-colored glasses, i have maintained relationships at the cost of my own happiness. this past year i decided to look introspectively and weigh the value of these relationships against my own efforts. was i trying harder in the relationship? did this person give back to me as much if not more than i gave to them? if the relationship was unfair now, had it always been that way? what had i done, or could i do, to shift the imbalance? i also had to look critically at my own behavior- was i being a bad friend in any situation, too? if so, would i be willing to be better, or out of courtesy of that person, should i end the relationship altogether?
with all those questions swirling around in my head, and with every situation being different in a multitude of ways, i had to be honest with myself and respect myself enough to walk away from the people that no longer brought me happiness. no matter how much i loved or desired them in my life.
i’ve realized that there are people who are there for me, one hundred percent. despite some of their shortcomings, dramatics, or issues, these people make me happy and are worth the stress that comes with being in their life. i still childishly wish for a vast roster of friends, being well liked, and being number one for everyone i know, but i know this is not realistic – nor is it healthy. having a select few people i keep close makes life easier to handle and gives better quality to maintain those very important bonds. sometimes i do look back on people i’ve let go, and think, what a shame. i can no longer associate with them in a healthy manner, and i have to remind myself that if i did my best, then that’s all i can do.
mental health is so important, and in the way that the food you eat affects your body, the relationships you grow can alter your perceptions of yourself. it is important to always consider exactly how much a person does for you, and in what way. part of recovery and mental maintenance is accountability. you are the most responsible for your happiness and if you are not willing to leave people who don’t respect you, you can never respect yourself.
remember to take care,