break ups, dating, friendships, healing

Depleted

I get it.

I finally get why people become angry and spiteful when they were seemingly joyful and light. As much as I am trying to resist what feels like the inevitable, it is a losing battle that I’m not sure I care to win anymore.

I am a giver. Not at the expense of my personal finances or health – I’m not a saint. But when I see people who are in need, I do what I can to help them. And 2018 demonstrated that my generosity, my willingness to extend myself, needs to be curbed, at a minimum.

Someone with whom I’d had a checkered friendship with took advantage of me. Even after forgiving her for several instances of abandoning me during the only times I ever needed anything, I continued to extend myself. And so, when she desperately needed help and had literally no one, not even her own family to turn to, I offered to let her live with me for an extremely modest fee. And when I asked for the money a month later, she refused, stating that because she never asked for help, and I offered, she didn’t owe me anything.

I’ve had to deal with the knowledge that someone who I invited into my space and my life would do something so callous, so selfish, that it’s hard to believe I was ever considered a friend in the first place.

This breakdown came on the heels of what I can only call the most emotionally draining and intense relationship I’ve been in. By my ex’s own admission, I poured everything into a relationship while ignoring my own major issues. He’s acknowledged multiple times that I am responsible for his newfound healing and reignited passion and focus.

Good for him. But where does that leave me?

The amount of times I’ve laid myself on the line for others only to be stabbed in the back or disregarded is embarrassing for someone who considers herself a self-care queen. Self-care isn’t painful. Self-care doesn’t leave you empty and barely willing to entertain men because you feel like the best parts of you are with someone who didn’t deserve it. Self-care doesn’t ignore a chaotic person’s habits and invites them in your home, anyway. Self-care is an act of rebellion. As black women, we need more than manicures and facials. We need to protect our peace by any means necessary. Aggressively.

As someone with depression, disappointing events, betrayals, and the like can have devastating consequences. I take ownership of my mental health and do what I can to ensure that I’m always in alignment with what’s best for me. For a long time, helping those close to me was an integral part of my healing. Not so much, these days.

As much as my family and friends associate me with my heart and my love for helping others, I have to hold what little bit of light I have left closely.

fv

I just don’t have any more to spare.

Adri

2 thoughts on “Depleted”

  1. Self care isn’t just necessary for women of color. But as neither, and as a partner of a woman of color, I recognize the truth in your statement. I support the self care of the people in my life. I have begun to break not only with those who who take advantage of my willingness to help, and with those who do not practice self care whose lack thereof harms me. I suffer depression also; it took a long way to get here. I’ll probably still do crazy stuff like drive cross country to help help Houston after Hurricane Harvey. But that’s on me. Allowing others to take advantage of that good nature is over, that’s on them and their time. There are enough others who will appreciate you for you without trying take from you more than you can give or to force you to be their caretaker. Thank you for sharing your difficult story.

  2. Girl! I stumbled upon you while researching the illustration at the top, and your post is so relatable, it hurts. My friends used to joke that I had a ‘savior complex’, because I ended up dating (mostly) people who needed a therapist. And LOTS of unconditional love, and help, and sometimes medication. And I hurt myself trying to give that level of support.
    It wasn’t like I went looking for them! Just, when someone needed love and attention, I’d give it–and sometimes it was a guy, who kept being needy until suddenly we were dating…
    Luckily I married a guy who didn’t need saving, and who checks me when I’m giving too much, so I have a functioning boundary system in place now; but I remember in one of my darkest times thinking, ‘I gave (some ex boyfriends) everything light and good in my soul, and now there’s just dregs left. If I can find whoever needs this last little bit, they can have it, and I’ll disappear; just stop existing.’
    Anyway, I feel for you ❤ The best parts of us that we give do grow back eventually, and we learn to give them to people who will be careful with us.
    Thank you for coming to my TED talk haha

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