An Open Letter from Someone Who Gives Too Much
'The Giving Tree' has got nothing on me.
"It's better to give than to receive" is something that has been engrained in us since we were young, but is that really true? I know for a fact that helping others does in fact help me feel good, but there is a limit.
Some may say that in this world there are two types of people: Givers and Takers. However, that is not the case. There is no such thing as someone who is a giver or someone who is a taker. There are people who have a tendency to give and a tendency to take, but to specifically label them as a "Giver" or a "Taker" would be inaccurate. Everyone has the ability to give or to take. It is the situation and disposition of the person that causes them to be more likely to give or to take.
As a giver, I have found that, because I like to give, I surround myself with people who generally need something. This creates the perfect situation for me to start giving little pieces of my time, my effort, and essentially myself to these people for them to take and use to help themselves. What happens, then, when I eventually run out of things to give? Well, they either move on to someone else who has the capability and means to give them what they need, or I somehow try to come up with more to give them. However, something cannot be created from nothing, thus causing me to find someone I can take just a little bit from in order to repurpose it into something I could give. An exchange of sorts, I guess, prompting the cycle to continue.
This cycle is exhausting and stressful. If I focus on everyone else all the time then I forget to focus on myself, leaving me to neglect to do things that make me happy since I am so busy trying to make other people happy. However, it is up to me to break my own cycle. It can be hard, and sometimes it hurts, but being able to escape from that situation that causes me such anxiety is something I must do in order to not lose myself.
Therefore, if a person who has given you so much suddenly walks away from you, do not get mad at them. It is hard enough for them to have come to that decision and proceed to act on it. If you wish to get angry or annoyed at anyone, look at yourself. Look at how you say you may care about that person, but your actions do not match since you do not give anything back to that person. "Relationships are a two-way street" is something you may have heard. That is why, if you have taken way more than you have given, then you probably do not deserve to have me or someone like me in your corner right now. This decision to leave is what is currently best for me, because I need to be around people who give as much as they take and make me feel as though I am appreciated and important. Maybe some day I will come back into your life, and if I do, be ready to have it be with the terms that you try to give back enough that you don't bleed me dry.
To the people who acknowledge my giving and offer me things to take as well, thank you for being in my life. I love you and the support you have given me. Thank you for always being there for me when I am left empty and alone. Thank you for being willing to give me something to sustain myself while I rebuild. You are the reason I do not cease to exist entirely.