one of the hardest things to express for me, as someone who comes with a mind full of darkness and a body trapped in itself: we are not excused our behaviors. we are not allowed to drain others so that we may, by extension, survive.
it is hard. of course, of course. lean on others when you can, know that you are not alone, be unafraid of being alive and suffering. it is hard; our brains programmed into believing us burdens, and here, a voice telling you: well, you might be too much to handle and you must not allow yourself the honor.
but what i mean. what i’m trying to say. is that we cannot hold ourselves more important than another. it is a fine line between asking for help and demanding it, between looking for the honest attention and salvation of another’s advice, and simply taking up their time.
i’m speaking as someone who has been in both boats, and still drowning. as someone who has been a burden, over and over and over again, appealing only to the gentle nature of others to provide for the absence of one in myself. and i speak as someone who has been irretrievably wounded by the needs of others; taken advantage of; used for my patience and understanding to such an extent i was bled dry by it.
toxic natures are not forgiven because they come from a valid space. is my father’s fist only a prayer because he learned how to fight from his mother, and now i forgive him the cycle, turn it to halo? i must, after all, carry the burden of the circle too, to revise and overthink every possibly abusive thing i might do.
and i’m telling you. sometimes you need to realize others are taking you for your bones. they know you are like them, they know that you’re hurting and would never allow another to suffer too: and they use it. they use it to drain every last drop out of you; to steal you from sleep, from peace, from a good friendship where all affections are returned.
what i mean is that it is okay to use a crutch. we are all in need of one. but it is not okay to refuse to remember that you put your weight on someone. that you must return the weight, that you must be there for them, in the same capacity as they are every moment. i mean a balance.
there is a girl i have a joke about who only ever gets as far as one inquiry into my life, as far as “hey how’s it going” before i am left to carefully attend to her every problems. when my grandfather died, i turned off my phone. she called me selfish for leaving her alone. her illness does not excuse this; because my illness would not excuse it. i’m telling you two people can be sick, and i’m telling you bad people can be sick; and i’m telling you that sickness does not forgive evil.
please understand. there are those who will appeal to others with the real and valid purpose of getting help, who aspire to get better, who follow diligently the advice of others, who - even if it takes them time - are committed to recovery. who have emergency lapses which take up all space and time and concern, but who you know - would do the same for you in return.
and there are those who think that they are entitled to your time and energy and patience. and i’m telling you if you are one of them, if you tell others: “i’ll hurt myself without you,” “i’d kill myself if it wasn’t for you,” if you tell others that it is their fault that you would succumb to things: you are the problem. luckily, it is a solvable one. it is one we can fix. remind yourself they are not a professional therapist, and even if they are, they want only your friendship. if you are taking more than you can give, know you can undo it. it’s very simple. thank them, and in the future, be better to them. i know many of you will see this as some vague permission for harmful behaviors; rather instead it’s a command. be better. be good for them. you cannot be there for them if you are not there at all, and you owe it to them.
and to those of you out there who are not ill: it is okay to take time for your own health. to shut the phone off. to rest, to turn off the stress. and it is okay to leave if you must, all of you, any of you: friendship is about equality, not about a strange sense that if you leave you will destroy them. if you must, leave. if you are stressed and overwhelmed and it’s too much: your life matters, too. take the time that belongs to you. talk to them about it. a friend will accept it. a toxic person will resent it.
it’s okay. if you’re trying to help others, i’m proud of you. if you’re trying to get help, i’m proud of you. but remember there exists a line. remember there exists a balance. remember you’re not a doctor, remember you’re just a person, remember that it’s okay, and whatever you do: i love you. it’s okay. i believe in you.