RETRO RELAPSE is a series of older articles from various places where I used to write before Talking Pulp.
*Written in 2014.
The last few years have been a strange time. Granted, I can’t think of any era in my life that didn’t come with some strangeness. However, what sets the last few years apart, is the fact that many people who were a part of my life for several years prior are no longer there. This isn’t due to my becoming an asshole and scaring my friends off, it is due to me choosing what I am going to put up with and what I won’t put up with. In essence, I have chosen to not continue down the path of friendship with certain people.
Why have I done this? Well, when someone is, for lack of a better term, a psychic vampire that thrives on sucking out your life force at every turn, it is time for that person to go. Unfortunately, I have known a lot of these types. For some reason, maybe because I’m a nice guy and not as big of an asshole as my writing might make me sound at times, these types of people are attracted to me like I’m some sort of energy conduit for their massive vampire hunger. I really don’t know what quality I have that makes people want to befriend me pretty quickly but I’m about quality over quantity because quantity brings in a lot of bullshit.
Yes, I have become incredibly selective with my friends. This is for my own sanity and for me to continue to spend time focusing on my goals and how I can move forward in life. Constantly being the ear for those who want to bitch about their problems but have no will to actually change anything, is taxing, frustrating and a waste of time. Sorry, but I am my number one priority and I don’t have time for people who aren’t going to actively work at improving or bettering their situations.
Now I have been in some pretty shitty places in my personal life and without certain people being there to encourage me and lift me up at times, I don’t know where I would be now but I’m sure it’d be in an unpleasant scenario. You see, what I did with that encouragement, help and love from my friends, was to turn it not just into motivation but I let it be my fuel to push forward. I let that energy work for good, I didn’t waste it wallowing in my own shit. Yes, I wanted to give up and wallow in my own shit but I couldn’t. I had to keep pushing forward, I had to better myself and my situation. I could listen to others and my internal self and understand why I was in a place I didn’t want to be and as hard as it was, I moved forward and persevered through it.
I don’t mind giving back; in fact, I love it. What I mean by that, is that I have always tried to be a good friend and the person to help my struggling buddies out of bad situations. The thing is, you can’t help someone that doesn’t want to help themselves. I’ve always known that but it took me awhile to truly understand it. I think most people know it but it doesn’t really click until it’s too late.
I can no longer get so emotionally invested in someone else’s problems that they become my problems. A lot of my issues in the past actually came from trying to be too good of a friend and getting pulled into the drama and bullshit of friends with horrible lives that only continued to pull everyone else down with them.
Some people may use the excuse of depression crippling them to the point of not being able to better themselves. That’s a bullshit crutch. I have had serious depression problems my entire life. Sometimes I don’t handle shit well but ultimately, I have still pushed forward, gotten past awful shit and put myself in a better place overall. I have to learn from my mistakes, I have to embrace the lessons of bad decisions and I have to move on from it all because what’s the other option?
No one likes a downer, not even other downers. Don’t be a downer. Yes, you will have hard shit to face in life because that’s life. We all have difficulties. It is how you respond to those difficulties that makes you. This doesn’t mean that talking to your friends is an inconvenience to them, it just means talk about your problems, get feedback and move forward. I keep saying “move forward” a lot because that’s the key here. Move fucking forward.
There’s an old adage that says “Life is only as hard as you make it.” While I don’t necessarily agree with that in a literal sense, I agree with the sentiment of it. Life is much harder if you respond to your troubles poorly. The better you respond and the more quickly you can move forward, the better off you will be.
Don’t bring others down with you because those people, the good ones, will only stay around for so long before you drain them of any shred of giving a shit.