I spent the vast majority of my life desperately trying to make excuses for others. There comes a point in time where you are damaging yourself instead of possessing an ability to look at things from an even-keeled perspective. It’s hard to know exactly when that time comes, but there is certainly a point in time where you stand back and survey the wreckage from those people and shudder. Often the realization comes far too late, and other people have been screaming it at you for a long time (you know, the good people in your life). After spending way too much time believing that all people are inherently good, here is what I’ve come up with: some people are just not good for you. They aren’t bad people, but they are people that are looking for an opportunity to use you. These opportunists have watched you and understood that you are wielding your love and support as though everyone is like that. Believe me, I was shocked when I found out that some people are just out for themselves. This isn’t me saying that I am an awesome person that has always been selfless and amazing, either; if any of you knew me in my early twenties, you knew an incredibly selfish version of me. I lied to friends and family to be the person that they always confided in, and would sell out a co-worker to look good to the right people. These two things (and so much more) inevitably led me to a rock bottom of sorts. After losing my father to cancer at twenty, I lost this ability to truly care for others. I kept living my life as though I wouldn’t wake up to the messy aftermath the next day, and I was incredibly destructive to the people that were around me.
My rock bottom left me broke, jobless, and friendless. I deserved every bit of it and at twenty-three, I really had to start over in a lot of ways. The knowledge that quite a few people that I cared about didn’t even want to be in the same room as me was sobering, and made me face the hardest truth of all: I was a broken person. I couldn’t ever talk about my father, and I blunted the sharpness of that pain with alcohol and a lack of connection to the people in my life. If it wasn’t for the people that did stick around, I doubt that I would have made it out the way that I did. I pushed through the pain that I had been ignoring for years, and confided in the people that wanted to be there for me. I began to gain perspective on my life again, and slowly I started to love the people around me again. The big thing to remember here is that everyone is at a different point in recovering from their own issues. Some are clinging to their selfishness, others are recovering from their actions, and some people are ready to take out their shiny new love for people. Just remember that some people aren’t ready for the support you have to offer, and that doesn’t reflect poorly on you. For every person that hurts you, there are so many people out there that not only need you, but will give you the same love back. And this is the thing that makes it all worth it; that idea that someone could love you with all of your imperfections intact after so many years of pretending that they don’t exist.