When you’re struggling and maybe even hard to deal with, that doesn’t make you a burden. It doesn’t make you unlovable or undesirable or undeserving of care. It doesn’t make you too much or too sensitive or too needy. It makes you human. Everyone struggles. Everyone has a difficult time coping, and at times, we all fall apart. During these times, we aren’t always easy to be around — and that’s okay. No one is easy to be around one hundred percent of the time. Yes, you may sometimes be unpleasant or difficult. And yes, you may sometimes do or say things that make the people around you feel helpless or sad. But those things aren’t all of who you are and they certainly don’t discount your worth as a human being. The truth is that you can be struggling and still be loved. You can be difficult and still be cared for. You can be less than perfect, and still be deserving of compassion and kindness. And if you have the right people in your life, they will know your heart and they will understand.
I wouldn’t say I’ve changed, but I’ve matured, I’ve learned. My experiences over time have molded me into a different person. I’m not as nice as I used to be. I won’t allow anyone myself to be put in any position to be taken advantage of. I don’t trust everyone and tell them my secrets because most of them can’t wait to hold it against me. I distance myself from negative people because, in the end, they’re only going to leave when I’m no longer of any use to them. If I have changed, it’s because I’ve realized that I’m the only person I can depend on. Learn not to expect much from anyone. It’s better to be surprised than disappointed.
Don’t put the only keys to your growth and happiness in someone else’s pocket. Relationships are not about authority and obedience; they are agreements of love and respect. You simply can’t live your entire life through someone else’s fantasies. There must be compromise and the space to do what’s right for you, even if someone you care about disagrees. Give, but don’t allow yourself to be used. Listen to loved ones, but don’t lose track of your inner voice in the process. Never apologize for what you feel and what you don’t feel; that’s a betrayal of your truth. No matter how much advice people give you, sometimes you have to feel things out for yourself, make decisions on your own, experience things first hand, and build your own conclusions from the ground up the old fashioned way.