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I Know I Will Always Be Too Much for Some People

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The words “I will always be there for you” sound beautiful when they spill from well-meaning lips.

The truth is those words tend to rearrange themselves when life shifts me into an episode I didn’t subscribe to.

Some of the closest people in my life have vowed to never leave my side. Even after my thorough explanations about how challenging my depression, anxiety, mood swings and frequent mind pit moments can be. Nope. I’ll be there for you. The reassurance seems to be real as it finds a place in my memory bank and continues to deposit itself into my thoughts. So much so that I actually believe it and define it as truth. In comes the self-assurance — I have real friends, ones who get me and still say that they’ve got me. Expression turns into elation as I start to feel the ease of early friendship and the joys the newness brings.

Several episodes in, toggling between days followed by weeks of high highs and euphoric energy, and low lows and underlying sorrow… I feel the seesaw becoming a little more unbalanced. But what happened to the comforting words that promised to soothe me despite myself? Fading fast are the warm tones and understanding attitudes that once paved our pattern of friendship. I don’t understand. Adding to my confusion are the pangs of guilt I feel for being me. If only I were more stable, had more clarity about myself, could keep my emotions in check. These thoughts took their sweet time torturing me for years… until I decided to view them through a different lens.

What if my friend’s inabilities to get in the trenches with me had absolutely nothing to do with me? What if the unwillingness to cry with me was a result of not wanting to travel down the path lined with the tracks of my tears? What if the frequency with which I swing and the shakiness with which my moods shifted was a direct linkage to previous earthquakes unknown to me. What if my friends simply could not do me and them? What if they held just enough internal energy to care for themselves, and caring for me too was simply too much work? These questions seemed to calm me more than excite me, as I found myself seriously considering the possibility that I may always be too much for some people. Convincing myself of this was another story. Until I broke my thoughts up into smaller fragments for easier digestion. My friends love me, but it takes a lot of work to love some of my complexities

Some don’t have the capacity for so much work, mainly because the work on themselves is more extensive than I know. My behaviors and patterns may be triggering buttons for some that they don’t know how to deactivate yet. Being too much for some does not mean I’m unbearable and too hard to love, it means my understanding must be stronger than my emotions when they fail to live up to the love standards I hold so dearly.

Facing my reality has helped me deal with the rejection I feel when others leave or are unable to offer me the love I need. Accepting that reality allows me to excuse those ones from my life without harboring bitterness and nursing my wounds. Living within this reality helps me center myself around those who are in it for the long haul with me. Focusing on the fact that my circle will only grow as those meant to matter in my life will not move when the tides frequently change.

The hard truth comes down to one simple phrase: I will be too much for some people… and that’s OK… because those are not my people.

Photo by Spencer Quast on Unsplash

Originally published: December 23, 2020
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