There is a harsh reality that none of us want to face but we have to come to understand, and that is sometimes being a good friend is not good enough to save someone that you love. Sometimes going to the ends of the world for someone will not keep them from returning to the thing that is killing them time and time again. Sometimes staying up night listening to them cry and trying your best to piece together their broken pieces isn’t enough to make them see how truly beautiful they are and how badly they deserve so much more out of life than the life that they have chosen for themselves. Sometimes always being there for them when they call isn’t what’s helping them, like we think it is. Sometimes it’s simply enabling them to continue on the path that they’re on into infinity. What did they say the definition of insanity is again?
Some people will never see themselves the way that you do through your own eyes. No matter how many times you tell them how intelligent and beautiful they are, they will never understand how deeply you truly mean it because they’re blinded by whatever it is that is keeping them in this cycle. Some people will never ever admit that you were right about the destruction that is their lives because they don’t want to admit that they are doing things wrong. Some people will hold on to their faults and bury them so deep inside themselves that they believe they don’t even exist and maybe never have. They will use you for all that you’re worth and never make a single attempt to do better for themselves because this is working out pretty well for them since they always have someone onto whom they can fall back. (I’m looking at you.)
So how do we know that we are no longer being a good friend to them? When we realize that they are no longer benefiting from our kindness. When we realize that this friendship is no longer a two-way street. When this friendship starts to feel like a chore. When this friendship starts to make you feel guilty or unfit. When this friendship starts to make you hurt. Don’t get me wrong- friends can have disagreements. That’s not what I’m talking about here. I mean, when you are suffering because you’re doing all that you can for your friend, and you aren’t getting that same respect and effort back. It begins to make you wonder, “What more could I have done for them?” The answer is nothing. Sometimes your absolute best isn’t enough because that’s not what they need right now.
There is a fine line between being a good friend and being an enabler. It’s so hard to differentiate between the two that you don’t realize what’s happening until you’ve done it for so long that you begin to see that you’re the one being hurt by this. Walking away from a friendship that is no longer good for either of you is not giving up on that person. It is simply letting them go so that they can find what they need to realize in order to better themselves because everything that you’re giving just isn’t working. It’s harming them more than helping them, and that’s just something that you can’t let go on like this. It takes a strong person to realize that what you’re doing isn’t good for them, and you need to step back in order to help them grow on their own. It is a painful task, to say the least, but it is necessary in order for them to realize that they have a problem that even you can’t fix.
If I have ever loved you, then please know that I still do. You can never form such strong bonds with people and walk away from them without a glance back at the friendship that you had or the memories that you made together. If I have ever ghosted on you, then please know that it is not because I don’t care about you or what you’re going through. If I ever made you feel as if I no longer want to be involved in your life, then please know that that is not so. I am patiently waiting for your triumph over these hurdles in your life from afar and wishing you the best. The best that I could give wasn’t enough for you right now, and I know that you can make it through these tough times in which I can’t be your guide. You will make it out of this. You just can’t make it through them with me.