Self Expression Magazine


Posted on the 22 October 2018 by Littleredbek

tBefore i delve too far, I’ve actually been writing a fork tonne (Good Place reference) lately, because I had an epiphany one night, probably in the shower, about my ‘time’ on the earth.  I was thinking about what I do for me – what I do to better myself, or to treat myself.  I used to lose so much time because of alcohol – the time it takes to get ready, drink, talk down your anxieties, give in to your depressive thoughts, drunkenly dance like a white Beyonce wanna be, abuse and hurt people I love or don’t even know, call exes or best friends and cry, tell my boyfriend he doesn’t love me… and deal with a credit card hangover, emotional hangover and phsyical hangover and spend hours and days and weeks apologising constantly to everyone I had hurt, offended, called etc.

One thing I realised since I stopped drinking, was that I had all this spare time.  I started binge watching TV, eating my weight in pastries and not really doing much else.  One thing sober people usually do, is jump into exercise or just generally becoming a better person.  I didn’t.  I was like, “I have given up alcohol – so I am now a good enough person.”

Until I realised, everything I was doing to ‘treat’ myself was so short term, it meant nothing existentially to me.  So I came back to that question, “what do I do for me?”.  Then I realised, I need to write – that is what I owe myself.  I never feel as relaxed, clarified or purposeful as when I’m writing.  So I bought a little book before our Honeymoon (yes it’s pink and sparkly) and wrote a fork tonne while I was over there an a bit since I’ve been back, but it’s also meant I’m not blogging as much as I intend to publish it one day and I’m sure there’s some rule about not ‘blogging’ what you’re going to ask people to pay for, or some copywrite shit…

However, this blog was something I wanted other people to read now, so here it is.

x B


I saw the above quote a few weeks ago and thought it was one of the best things I had read in a very long time (and if you know me, I forking love inspirational quotes like your Grandma who has just discovered pinterest).   It coincided with a conversation I had with one of my best friends the other day, when I admitted that I did miss particular people in my life, who were driven out by not only my rampant self sabotage or alcohol abuse, but also because I was just a genuinely toxic person.  It has taken me a long time to realize this – longer than it should have when you look at how many people I have hurt over the years.

The catalyst?  Having someone I considered a best friend/big sister for the past 10 years, pull out of, not only our wedding, but being a bridesmaid, only two weeks before the event.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I’d rather be heartbroken any day by a lover than by a friend – it is one of the most painful things to experience emotionally, when you hold your friends as closely as I do.

The conversation we had, involved a lot of me asking, “but why me? what have I done?” and her responding, “it’s nothing you have done, but I can’t be the person you deserve.  i’m the bad friend, and I don’t deserve to be given the honor of being at your wedding or your bridesmaid.”  There had been mention of being a mother meaning priorities changing and a feeling that I didn’t understand this, but I think the thing that stands out, is this persons ownership of their ‘shitness’ as a friend.  The thing is, earlier in the year, another one of my best friends exited my life and while the circumstances were entirely different, my now husband often remarked how toxic that person was, and that it was a blessing in disguise.

Regardless of the reasons behind relationship loss of any kind, it sucks, it hurts and you need time to grieve and then to heal.  Part of that process for me is trying to figure out or justify the hurt, while also looking for the positive in the situation.  Here is what I learnt, after the tears stopped:

One: You can’t form a friendship or continue a friendship based on expectations of giving someone something, and expecting in return when it’s your turn

I am so forking bad at this.  I am one of those people who literally goes above and beyond for my friends/partners/random co workers I’ve only known for a month.  I will fly up to every event possible, I will spend hundreds or thousands on making someones birthday or special event memorable, I won’t say ‘no’ when physically my body is broken and my mind is overworked.  I will do these grand gestures and then when it’s not returned, I lash out and lose my shit at the person and feel like I’ve wasted time, energy and money that has not been appreciated.  I’ll brand that person a bad friend while also ensuring my self-fulfilling prophecy, of ‘no one loves me’ or ‘i’m not worthy’, is satisfied.

Expectations suck, period.  Expectations suck even more when you place them on other people or friendships and use them to justify someone else’s worth.  How people treat you, how people show their friendship and love to you, is unique and it’s not a competition.   Putting unrealistic expectations of what another person has to do or be, for you to feel your love or friendship reciprocated, is not healthy at all.  Life circumstances change all the time, and this impacts what love and friendship may look like.  For someone like me who had a bunch of friends married younger and now have kids, it was hard for me to accept that they couldn’t afford to come to my hens, when I’ve flown up for theirs.  Or to accept that they couldn’t have their partners/husbands/kids at our wedding, when I’ve always brought Peter to every wedding including a few overseas ones.

I took these actions as insults – rather than just genuinely accepting them as being indicative of where people are at in their life and how that impacts how much they can give of their heart or time.   All you should expect friends to do, is to treat you with respect and dignity, and how they choose to do that, is their choice entirely.

Two: At some point or another, everyone has been a shit person and has been the toxic person that people need to ‘exit’ out of their lives

Just last night, I messaged a friend and asked her if I had done anything to upset her or offend her, because she seemed distant since the wedding.  She was quite confused and upset at my question – she didn’t understand at all where I was coming from as we actually are talking everyday on several mediums, and if anything we have been closer now than in a long time.

My anxiety and expectations I place on other people/friendships/relationships, is such a negative or toxic trait of my being.  The thing is, I know I am hard work – as a friend, sibling, daughter and wife.  My anxiety gets the  better of me most days, and my shit self esteem means I am quite often sure that at any given point someone I care about is going to exit my life because i’m a shit person.  But I have never done much to change these toxic traits – if anything I let it manifest in other forms.

However, I’m quick to note other people’s toxcitiy and bade traits and am not afraid to tell them.  For instance, the two friends who recently left my life, had me thinking on a daily basis, “I wonder when or if they’ll ever apologize for how much they hurt me!”  I had this expectation that they needed to repent for their sins and accept fault for the loss of our friendship.  Then it hit me, the pain and hurt I was feeling was not that different to exactly what I did 4 years ago to a group of people who I considered some of my closest friends at the time.

Without going into too much detail,  I used my own insecurities and alcohol abuse as a reason to belittle, critisice and severely hurt people who really didn’t deserve it.  Yet, I have never apologised for my actions.  Up until recently, I laid the blame 50/50 and thought stubbornly, “well I’m not apologising until they apologize. ” The problem with the whole situation is not only have I not apologised, but three of my friends who have since forgiven me or were not privy to my apocolyptic explosion, are still incredibly close to these other people. The issue that we’re all aware of is that I’m the common denominator here – so it’d be MUCH easier for these people to just let me go, rather than trying to juggle two friendship groups.  They could easily cut me off, instead of walking on egg shells around the whole situation.

I began thinking, why does this situation still exist?  It’s been 4 years now, what is going on ! Then the epiphany occured: I have never once apologised for what I said and did to anyone during that time.  The reality is, I was the toxic person those people HAD to remove from their life. During this time, I believed that I knew the best way to live life and anyone living life or making choices contrary to mine, were idiots, or failures, regardless of their values and personality.  I let down one of my best friends during the hardest time in her life, because I was so angry at her for things that happened so long ago I’m sure she doesn’t even remember; I lived on an ‘eye for an eye’ philosophy.  I was incredibly selfish and self righteous and surrounded myself with people who agreed that the other people were at fault and I was the victim. .  So for the past 4 years, I took no blame, no responsibility and felt it was their fault, not mine, that things had not progressed.

A few months ago, this realisation would have kept me in hospital because I wouldn’t be able to handle this truth.  My depression would have led me to hurt myself in some way or another for being a horrible, worthless and useless bitch.  Today, it actually feels really liberating to accept this truth and finally start apologising to the people who I severely hurt.  Not because I am expecting forgiveness or even a response, but because it really is time that I own my faults and flaws and I own my incredibly horrible words and actions, regardless of how long ago they were.  I can never repair the bridges i have burned, or re-build anything resembling the friendships I once had with these people, but I can try to move forward and learn from this and the consequences that followed.

After all, you can’t move forward into the future until you accept that flaws of your past.

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