Imagine someone you deeply care about suffering. You want to improve circumstances for this person, but you feel helpless, and even vulnerable to going down the same path as he or she by doing so.
Most of us have been in the situation where we've had to decide whether it was time to move on from someone we loved, or stick it out to see if we could influence him or her to return to health and reality.
The feeling of giving up on someone you have a deep emotional connection with is incredibly hard, and if he or she overcomes personal obstacles on his or her own after you leave, you might feel horrible for doing so.
I have left people at the wrong time and watched them overcome their struggles. I have felt that pain of being wrong, of being a friend who gave up too early.
I could despise myself for doing so, but I chose to use these mistakes to fuel my future decisions to do things differently the next time.
To be wrong about leaving someone you care about is turmoil, and the resulting emotional toll can be very hard with which to cope. What's worse is that when you leave the people who need you, you secretly hope they fail, simply to justify your decision.
Don't be surprised that if you chose to leave, the next time you need their help, they aren't there to offer you a hand, even if they overcome their obstacles. Next time you think about walking away, remember why you shouldn't.
These are the 9 reasons I never gave up on you:
1. You made me a better person
You may have done horrible things, but you pushed me harder to succeed than anyone else, even when you couldn't push yourself. You sacrificed for me at the expense of yourself.
When you couldn't even accept the idea of becoming better, you still told me I had an incredible future. Even when you told me to leave, you did it because you thought you were a negative influence.
Never leaving you -- not knowing you would make it through your experience -- made me emotionally stronger. By not leaving, I never have to live with regret, and if you overcame your obstacles, our bond would only be tighter.
2. You let me see the world through your eyes
You let me see you for who you truly are when you were feeling down and completely vulnerable. I saw your journey and your willingness to let me in to how you perceived yourself, friends and family.
When I saw the world through your eyes, I realized everything I was thankful for in my own life. It was through your eyes that I began to appreciate the strength I had to face my own demons.
3. I knew you were trying
Just because you failed repeatedly doesn't mean you were giving up. What it told me was that you weren't willing to give up, even if it meant never succeeding. You weren't going to leave without a fight, and I respected that.
4. I remember when I needed you the most and you were there
The time I felt lost and alone, and I needed someone to be there to tell me everything would be alright, you came when no one else did. You knew something was wrong, even though no one else did.
You could see the emotions I hid, and you didn't just pretend that they weren't there. You hugged me, saw me for who I was and helped me take my next step. For that, I will always be grateful.
5. I wouldn't have been able to live with myself
If I gave up on you, what does that say about me? It sounds selfish, and maybe it is, but regret is not easy to overcome. With someone as special as you, I knew there would be plenty of regret if I chose to walk away.
If you came out alright, what would you think of me for not being there for you? I couldn't bear the idea of you ever having to face that question.
6. You told me I was the only one who could save you
We were so close to each other; you and I knew that I was the only one who could truly understand what you were going through. It may have seemed like the worst of times, but I knew that no else could be your rock to help you overcome your obstacles.
I knew it would take a lot of responsibility to be the person you needed, but if I was the only one, then it wasn't even a question.
7. I feared life without you
You had been such a big part of my life, not having you there would just never be the same. You gave me everything, from life to the feeling of finally being understood. I didn't know if I would ever find someone to replace you.
You helped me mature into the person I am now; you taught me to treasure the little things in life.
8. You admitted your mistakes
You knew you were wrong, and you weren't afraid to admit it. You had made many of the mistakes that led you down one of the most difficult roads you would ever face.
Because you didn't blame anyone but yourself, I knew that I just had to have the courage to believe that you could also be the one to change your life for the better.
9. You had a kind heart
Even through all the wrongs, I knew your heart that was still beautiful and would never change. All those times you wanted me to leave so you could stop inflicting your negative emotions on me, helped me realize you were still the person I cared endlessly for and would never give up on.
PS: I love you, Mom.
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