Wednesday, October 2, 2013

You Are Not Responsible For Anyone Else's Crazy

Everyone has their own brand of crazy. If you think you don't, yours is probably worse than your store-brand neuroses. I can think through my friends and family members and come up with a list of what about them makes them the best kinds of crazy.

That being said, there are people who bring the insanity in to your life, but what they bring is not the good stuff. It's the angry, divisive, whirlwind of crazy that makes you wonder if there is something wrong with you because everyone around you doesn't understand just how crazy this is. It happens to everyone at some point.

And if it hasn't happened to you, then you may be the whirlwind. Sorry to be that guy.

Good crazy means you're funny and probably a little fearless. It means you may say offensive things, but they don't actually offend people because your friends and family know that it's just your crazy.

Bad crazy is when someone enters your life like a tornado through a trailer park.



But I digress.

Yes, these people will show up in your life. They may disguise themselves as family, in-laws, friends or neighbors. They may seem warm and inviting before ramping up the drama. They may even be someone that you feel obligated to assist because of their relation to you.

You are not responsible for their crazy.

Of course, you should assist friends and family in need if it is within your means... to a point. You are required to help your minor children when they are struggling. You may have elderly or disabled family who are beyond their own ability to help themselves. Everyone else? They better earn it.

You can only help someone who is self-destructive so many times before you are part of the problem.

You are only responsible to let someone who you did not create from your loins or legally adopt turn your life upside down and inside out to a point, and you probably passed that point months ago.

If you can look at your life and find the anxiety and stress coming out of an independent adult who is capable of taking care of his or herself, then no matter what you think your requirement to care of them is, it probably isn't.

If you're worried about your screw up brother who cannot get his life in control, but every time he shows up to yours he takes it down the tubes with him, then it's time to let him make his own mistakes and hope for the best. Similar situations can follow suit.

You can detach for the sake of your own life while still loving them regardless. Sometimes the biggest obstacle to people getting their shit together is knowing that there will be someone there for them when they screw up again.

We put up with too much. We allow people to take our lives too far off track in the name of "blood" or "obligation" that few others would recognize. If you wouldn't do it to someone else, don't let them do it to you.

I know this seems harsh and heartless, and maybe it is, but I have been at this place. It sucks. The ony way to reclaim my life was to finally put my foot down and invite those people to return only when they had gotten it together. One of them did, and our relationship is incredible now. The other didn't and probably won't. And even though that sucks, my day-to-day is so much better for it. I recently talked to a good friend who was right in the middle of a similar situation, and I hated how anxious she was just by being enveloped in someone else's bullshit.

You are only responsible for your crazy. If someone else tries to get you to adopt theirs, DO NOT SIGN. Send that shit return to sender back to Crazytown, and go back to living and enjoying your own [good] crazy life.

I'll leave you with the best advice I've ever gotten. When a family member was doing his damndest to make my universe way more complicated than necessary, my mother-in-law gave me the words that I repeat to myself daily:

"It's easier for them to be crazy than it is for you to be sane, but you have to do it anyway."

And even on days where I just don't fucking wanna, I have to find a way to not let anyone else's crazy turn my good crazy into the kind of crazy that is a padded cell's wet dream.

As always, it's hip to be square (and good crazy!), kids.

EDIT: I want to clarify what I mean by "being the whirlwind". If you have things going on in your life and you need help, I'm in NO WAY saying you're a problem. People need help sometimes. I'm talking about people who don't care what they do to other people's lives or people who know they're causing problems for someone else and don't look for a way to stop or make it better. If you need help, reach out to your friends and family. Reach out to me. I'm always around to help. If you consider someone else's thoughts and feelings before bringing them in to your own needs, then you ARE NOT the whirlwind.

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