There comes a time in everyone’s life when they need to decide if it is worth it to have certain people in your life. Some people are toxic for your recovery, whatever it is that you are recovering from or possibly in life in general. How to spot them, eliminate them from your life, and be okay with the network that gives you the most support even if it is only a handful. If you are no longer in High School, you no longer need or have the time to keep up with two hundred of your closest friends. If you have a real life with family, children, and co-workers, now might be the right time to cut the fat!
Evaluate who in your life is most important to you. If you are married, obviously your spouse should be at the top of the list, remembering to put yourself first. Your children are always going to come in second, even if they are grown, they will always be close to your heart, and although you may not support them in the way they would like, you still love them with all of your heart and hope they will come around if they are experiencing problems. Even with your adult children there does come a time that you show them unconditional love, listen to them, and respect them for who they really are. There also comes a time when you need to close your wallet, and just keep your heart open. This may sound harsh, but the reality is they will benefit from standing on their own two feet! The feeling of independence is a great thing, and all of us have to learn to find our own way in this world.
Natural GIVERS BEWARE! If you are like me, and the type of person that is there for everyone, has a soft heart and always wants to try to help others at a certain age a DANGER flag should start waving! Neglecting yourself is the worst possible thing you can do for yourself. Your own health, stress levels, appearance, and everything you really care most about will suffer. I was recently given some GREAT advice by a physician I really trust. I had told him that I was eliminating toxic people from my life, and only focusing on myself and those that I value the most. He immediately smiled at me, clapped his hands and said, “GOOD!” I think he was shocked to hear me say such a thing, and he was delighted to hear it! He then said, “During this time of navigating through your blood disease and getting your health in TOP order, live in a bubble and take care of yourself and your family with such care that the bubble doesn’t burst!” Obviously, my reply was that I am writing a book and that makes this task fairly hard, it seems if some people suffer from big fish little pond syndrome and everything I write is questioned! Many of the people in my life have texted, emailed, called, and sent smoke signals asking if this blog was about them! (I do have to laugh at this because you could read any article and pull out certain things that MAY apply to you. Many people who suffer from medical illness will pour over the web with symptoms and convince themselves that they have a certain disorder because five out of the ten symptoms match up!) My physician’s response was shocking and freeing at the same time. He replied, “Without YOU, none of the other things in your life will work. Can you see that?”
I came home and really evaluated what I had been told. What he said was really true and I had suffered through too much stress brought on by people who had made me they’re dumping ground, and somehow responsible for fixing their problems! There is a huge difference in a friendship that goes both ways, and a friend who gets angry when you do not do exactly as they want you to do. If certain people cannot value you as a friend without making you their personal problem solver, then as I have said before, “This is a YOU problem and does not involve me!” I don’t know when I lost sight of that phrase, but I am taking my power back and will start using this again!
If someone does genuinely owe you a debt. It could be money or it could just be owning a promise – DO hold that person’s feet to the fire! Accountability is huge in any relationship and letting it slide may cost more than the debt, it could cost your self-worth.
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If ALL else fails, remember Carly Simon and listen to this song –
-Mask of the Doctor’s Wife