So it’s motherfucking Spring bitches and as I do every Spring, I celebrated the occasion by pulling a Hotline Bling: wearing less and going out more.
One of these outings included a brunch with some friends over the weekend. While I was sipping on my Shirley Temple, one of my girlfriends told me how her boyfriend decided that he wanted to limit the amount of time they spent together. Of course, we all had the same reaction: dump him, leave him, kick his A-S-S to the C-U-R-B! (I don’t know why I’m acting like my friends are sassy Black women from the ’80s but I’m feeling that vibe right now). Anyway, as we attempted to yelled some sense into my friend, she simply shrank into herself and firmly whispered: “you don’t know what he’s been through.”
It was then that my heart sank. Because I understood what she was going through.
Back When I Watered His Garden
For about three years I was attached to a man who had been through hell and back. His mother died at a young age, his father wasn’t in his life, and he was in and out of jail. This man was the living definition of “a hard ass life.” This hard ass life made him almost emotionally impenetrable. But for some reason, I was able to see past his tough exterior and to his deep core. I saw through his pain and to his fear: I saw his love. He had a kind and beautiful soul.
Over the three years of our tumultuous “relationship” (relationship is in quotation marks because he refused to put a label on it) I helped him grow and take steps to break down the cement that encapsulated his warm heart. He went from calling once a month to once a week, from quick fucks to passionate love making, from telling me his day was “fine” to painting the most elaborate tales of his day. It was beautiful. I was so proud.
I watched him find his smile, thinking that that was enough for me.
So what if he never got me anything for my birthday? So what if he told me he’d never commit to me? So what is he refused to tell me he loved me, no matter how many times I cried those three words to him?
I was so obsessed with his growth and his progress and his gains that I forgot about me. Yes, this man lived a traumatic life that rendered him nearly incapable of loving and trusting another human being the way they deserved, but it was not my place to play the guinea pig. I am not a therapist. I was not getting paid for this. Yet I allowed myself to be sucked dry as I breathed life into this other human being.
Loving him almost cost me my life and I didn’t even realize it until it was almost too late.
But thank God I did. And as I sat at that brunch spot sipping on my Shirley Temple, I stared deep into the eyes of my friend and saw the same pain that lived in my own eyes for so long.
I think that some people in this world are empathizers: we look at someone and completely understand everything that they are going through and then feel like it’s our job to save them. Well I’m here to tell you it’s not your fucking job: unless you are a therapist getting paid mad bank, it is not your fucking job to save anyone.
Stop treating people or relationships like projects.
Stop watering someone else’s garden thinking that one day they will grow to water yours back.
Do you know what happens when you water a garden? They become pretty little flowers that give your sweaty, dirty ass allergies. That’s what happens. You’re left tired, aching, and with no one to support you.
Now this is not to say don’t ever help someone you love through a difficult time, not at all. This is to say don’t forget about YOU. Don’t forget that in any relationship there are two people growing together to become a we. Not two people working towards the growth of one person. That’s not fair and it’s not your job. Does someone with a severely fucked up past deserve love? Hell the fuck yes.
But so do you: and if they are not in a place to provide you with the love you deserve, then stop settling for anything less. Love yourself enough to let that person go.
SLIGHT DISCLAIMER: Now, it took me three years to hear that message so I honestly wouldn’t feel right ending this without saying this: YES you have to love yourself enough to let that person go, but also love yourself enough to forgive yourself if you aren’t quite there yet.
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The Power of Our Minds
I think it’s important for us to start off by discussing the power of our mind.
So I don’t know how tv savvy you are but there’s this old Simpsons episode and although I’m a TV guru I can’t for the life of me remember which episode this is from. But anyway, somehow we end up in Lisa’s mind and she’s having this conversation with herselves. And no, that’s not a typo-like for instance writing be instead of been- she was actually having a conversation with multiple Lisas. I believe in this episode the different Lisas were representative of the ID, the Ego and the Super Ego, a Freudian model of the psych. This model basically showcases how there are three versions of you: the you who wants to just do whatever whenever, the you who is organized and thinks realistically, and the you who focuses on the good vs the bad and trying to get you to do good. Now I got my definitions from a skim of Wikipedia so please go there if you’re expecting this to be an in-depth explanation of Freud’s theory. I’m out here using that as a jumping off point.
I think there’s more than just three versions of us: three Lisas of the brain arguing over what decision real life Lisa is going to make. I think that there’s at least five or six versions of us that live up in our mind waiting for their time in the sun. Now, I’m not talking United States of Tara where one version of us takes over our whole body but I’m talking more of a dinner party. Yes here comes another analogy (high me loves these things).
The Dinner Party
Ok so imagine you’re at a dinner party filled with different versions of you: there’s the critical you, the angry you, the lonely you, the happy you, the horny you, and all of the other dwarves. Now just like at a real dinner party there’s going to those one or two people that love to talk and when you give them enough attention, they will take over the whole conversation not leaving anyone room to speak.
So here you are at your dinner party with these different versions of you. Like any dinner party, it’s awkward at first: everyone is just acquaintances, their only real connection being you. So they smile awkwardly at each other, making small talk, waiting for the waiter to finally bring those bread sticks he promised fifteen minutes ago. It’s up to you to break the ice and to start the conversation. So you turn to one of those versions: let’s say the critical you, and Critical You is far from nice. You guys talk and as you talk and give Critical You attention, they take up more and more airtime to the point where you forget the other players are there. Happy You tries to interject: “hey, that’s harsh! You’re great, don’t listen to them!” But it’s too late because you’ve been listening to Critical You for so long that that’s the only voice you can really hear.
Now in actuality the point of this dinner party is so that all voices get equal airtime and can influence you in a way that will only be positive and growth driven but because you are giving Critical You or Emotional You or Horny You more airtime, the rest kind of dwindle away and when you have your next dinner party, maybe Introspective You doesn’t show up, you never pay them much mind anyway. Then Political You “can’t find a baby sitter” and Confident You is “working late” and before you know it, your latest dinner party has become an intimate dinner for two: for you and Critical You-how lovely.
Essentially, we feed into our own thoughts. You think you’re not good enough because you’re only listening to the version of you who thinks you’re not good enough. Maybe this version of you spent a lot of time hanging out with your parents and seventh grade bully so their opinion is warped so technically you shouldn’t be listening to them anyway, but here you are.
What does this have to do with being high?
So in our introduction to the site we discuss how conversations can go to different levels and how being high takes you through these levels quicker and before you know it you’re on a level where you’re discussing your place in this multi-verse.
These conversations can be had with others but they start with yourself. If you’re having a conversation with yourself while high and going through the levels it definitely steers the conversation a certain way and effects if you even make it to in depth levels. If you’re having a conversation with Horny You and you ask them, why am I on this earth? They’re going to say, to procreate! God never intended for man to be tied down let’s give Him what he wanted and go fuck. And just like that you’re that person who goes around saying, “I get so horny when I’m high”
Of course you get horny when you’re high if y’all have a table for two at the restaurant! It’s the only voice you’re hearing and you won’t make it far with them.
Tip for the future:
At your next dinner party (whether it’s high or sober), turn to someone you haven’t heard from in a while and say what’s up. If you look around and you’re at a table for two, quietly excuse yourself and slip out the back door, texting Happy You to see how they’ve been.