Yesterday, I met with my therapist and before I continue, I have to shout out to Black women who are therapists! Your work is necessary and you are needed. Anyways, I met with my therapist to talk to her about why I've been losing friends and to figure out if there was something wrong with me. I spoke to her about two situations: one that ended a friendship and one that almost ended a friendship. Listen y'all, I love my therapist because she does not sugarcoat anything! These were her exact words:
"So, you are suffering to protect other people's feelings and mental health, apologizing when you shouldn't have to...just to come to therapy and spend your money to talk about what YOU KNOW you should have done?" We both laughed, but she told me the God-honest truth.
Friends, you are not responsible for other people's happiness and how they choose to react to a particular situation! And if these so-called friendships are ending so abruptly, then maybe you should re-evaluate your choice of friends. I have learned that when you are on the road to healing, the unhealthy part of you lets go of unhealthy relationships, both platonic and romantic...and that's okay!! It's part of growing. And I knew I was growing when I decided to choose me first and remove toxic people from my life, even the ones I loved dearly and felt like I could not live without. Stop apologizing for saying what you feel or for doing what you think is beneficial for you. Stop trying to explain yourself to people who refuse to listen to you. There is absolutely nothing wrong with you. You can't stop folks from bad-mouthing you, so let them talk gracefully. It is time for you to assess what makes you happy. What makes you smile? What puts you at peace? It is important to be selfish when your mental health is on the line.
Today, I challenge you to take an hour or two out of your day to do something that makes you happy, makes you smile, and puts you at peace. I also challenge you to think of your friends who value you, uplift you, and root for your success and send them a text message of gratitude and appreciation. Friendships are important, of course, but choosing and maintaining the right friends will feel like an application and interview process. And if you end up with one friend, it's better than having 500 friends who intentionally hurts and belittles you. Trust me, 15-20 years from now, it'll all be worth it.