A recent article claimed the world is sadder and angrier than ever. I don’t know if this is true or not. I don’t know if people are sadder and angrier. I just know that I don’t really care. I’ve reached a point of being beyond wanting to deal with everyone else’s issues.
I am not an unsympathetic person. I really and truly am not that. Really. I’m just not about the drama anymore. Not at all.
I care about the larger society too much to deal in the petty any longer. I care about my small corner of the universe too much to deal in the repetitive stupidity any longer. I am not about any of that any longer.
What I am is tired. Really tired, and it’s my own fault.
I was once the person you called if you needed a sympathetic ear. The person to wrap you in her arms and tell you how great you are and you got a raw deal. The person to remind you that you can do anything.
Yes, I was once that person to everyone. Now I am that person to a select few (very select few). As i’ve said here before, I no longer make time for what I’ve in the past referred to as the hand-wringers. It’s the truth. I can no longer give the kind of emotional support I once did.
I simply can’t.
Because it’s exhausting.
I think of The Godfather III scene when Michael Corleone says, ‘just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in’. I feel the same way about the emotional leaches that show up in my life every single time I try to focus on Me.
I have made myself available as a well for enough people in my life to draw from and I earnestly believe I am almost empty. Thankfully, my sense of self-preservation has finally taken control of the pulley before the rope snapped.
I am being intentionally selfish and focusing on myself. I know this is the right thing to do because now I see just how much I have allowed myself to be used. Not in an over-the-top dramatic sense, but in the small and mundane. I know it is the right thing to do because it has upset all of the right people. I think of them as my squeaky wheels.
My sudden unavailability has not gone unnoticed. It also has not brought concern from those accustomed to my past willingness to be there for them. It has, instead, brought irritation and anger. A few who once swore I walked on water are now sending the side-eye in my direction. Others have turned on their heels in search of another soft place to land.
One person in particular made a point of telling me off via text because I did not immediately respond to a message. Although she knew I had a few things of considerable importance on my plate, she decided her need was of greater importance and I should have known that. How dare I not snap to attention at her command and give her what she wanted.
So I was told off in very definite terms. I mean pure venom. Ok, good. I am more than pleased with this development. It should have happened sooner. The passion with which people demonstrate their proposed love is equal in measure to how much they will hate.
My need for self-care has clarified what I’ve long suspected to be true. There were people who kept me near as a source of support. I was the the well they constantly drank from whenever their egos needed a shot of courage.
Of course, this all occurred with my participation. I was willing to act as wise sage who could make sense of all their troubles and give them perspective. All they had to do is tell me how wonderful I am and wonder out loud what they would do without me. I thrived on my ability to seem strong compared to their apparent weakness.
There have been too many damaged people in my life and the well was about to go dry. I can’t pour from an empty cup. Everything I was so quick to offer everyone else, I now offer first to myself.
But still, I wish them well.