All, Relationships

Reevaluate the Relationships in Your Life: If You Don’t Put Yourself First, Who Will?

Recently, my friendship with a really close friend of mine was tested, and I went through a period of depression that brought on anxiety and panic attacks without notice. It sounds overdramatic, but I’m just being 100% transparent. I was left with a decision of whether or not to lose one of my closest friends, and if you’ve read my blog post about my experience with PTSD, then you understand how difficult it is for me to trust people or even make friends. It is a decision that I did not take lightly, as I knew that I might lose someone who I love and care for dearly. Let me walk you through my decision and my inner-battle with my thoughts, and I hope you all stick around for the lesson at the end.

To put it bluntly, I had to reevaluate our friendship because I was started to feel used. For quite some time now, I was the shoulder for her to cry on, the person she went to for advice, and the person to just listen when she needed a listening ear. However, I felt that I wasn’t getting the same thing in return.

Everything just started to feel very one-sided in our friendship. I felt that I was devoting all of my time, money, energy, and resources to her, but I was let down every single time. For example, all summer, she would say that she wants to come over to my house, and I would go out and buy all of her favorite things to prepare — I would buy daiquiri mix and alcohol because she loves drinking daiquiris. I would buy her favorite cereal and everything that I know she loves in order to make sure she enjoyed herself and felt comfortable. Each and every time, she canceled on me.

Last month, she asked to come over for her birthday because she didn’t really know what to do, and not many people were going to do anything to celebrate. I told her she can come but that I was very apprehensive about doing all of this planning and buying just for her not to show. She assured me that she was coming, and I took her word. I went out and bought a cake, candles, balloons, liquor, and food — she canceled the night before she was supposed to come. Needless to say, I felt hurt, used, confused, and just tired of it all.

I knew that I was forced to make a tough decision. To lose her would mean to lose a large piece of myself because she was like a sister to me, but to stay in this one-sided friendship meant that I was giving away a lot of pieces of myself and would have none left for anything else. It felt like either way, there would be pieces of me missing no matter what I decided to do.

Much to my surprise, I received a call from her a few days later, and we had a heart-to-heart moment. She apologized for everything and was accepting of my feelings. She made sure to let me know that whatever choice I made regarding whether to stay in the friendship or not, she would respect it. I appreciated what she said, and I sat with it for a few days to figure out what I should do. But pretty soon, it became obvious what my next move should be.

I knew I had to forgive her and try to give our friendship another try. Think about it — she apologized on her own because she understood how much all of this was hurting me. I also apologized for not being as communicative about my feelings as I should have been. That shows there was genuine love and care in the friendship, and that’s not something we should just throw away.

This entire experience was very stressful for me, and I cried more times than I want to admit. However, it was an experience that taught me a lot about myself and what I will and will not allow. So, I hope that you all learn from my experience. Go into the new year of 2021 with the goal of putting yourself first because if you don’t do it, you can’t expect anyone else to do it either. Reevaluate your friendships and relationships to figure out what is no longer working for you — don’t lose pieces of yourself in a one-sided relationship. If you feel like it’s starting to become one-sided, say something in a respectful and non-confrontation way, and try to work to a peaceful resolution. If there’s a willingness to change, there will be growth, happiness, and love in the relationship 🙂 .

“An apology offered and, equally important, received is a step towards reconciliation and, sometimes, recompense. Without that process, hurts can rankle and fester and erupt into their own hatreds and wrongdoings.”

– Margaret MacMillan

15 thoughts on “Reevaluate the Relationships in Your Life: If You Don’t Put Yourself First, Who Will?”

  1. It’s a big challenge to push yourself out of the comfort zone, at the same time, it’s fun to take a challenge once in a while in your life. Great job for self-reflection and thanks for sharing your experience with us. – Knycx Journeying

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  2. lol, I felt like I wrote this post myself, I definitely have relationship and friendship PTSD. I had similar experiences with a lot of my past girl friends and I think you and I just have huge hearts and we love hard.

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  3. Exactly! It’s also important for us to learn how to express our feelings because other people might not know when we feel hurt or offended. Wishing you and your friend will be okay!

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  4. So many comments are about how you need to put yourself first and walk away. Don’t get me wrong, I agree but like you quoted “An apology offered and, equally important, received is a step towards reconciliation and, sometimes, recompense.”
    I bring that up because a decade ago or so, I was struggling in life. During that time of strife, I was the toxic one who harmed many whom I love. Now, I got through that fire and built myself back up but in that rebuild, I realized I hurt many. Thus, I have been trying to apologize and reconcile. However, I think often in this “cancel culture” we condone walking away rather than understanding and allowing hard times to happen somewhat. I have rode it out with many people who were in trouble and when we got through, we grew together.

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    1. You’re exactly right, which is why I chose what was best for me and chose to forgive my friend and forgive myself. It’s not cancel culture if you’re walking away from something that is bad for you. However, in my situation, I rode it out as well because I saw that we could grow together. But we shouldn’t encourage people to stay in toxic relationships out of fear that we are condoning ‘cancel culture’. If a relationship is causing you physical or mental harm and you can’t get past it, then we should encourage people to make a decision that is best for them… Whether that means waking away and “cancelling them” or staying in the relationship and riding it out.

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