Where do you draw the line? When everyone keeps taking from you, when do you make it stop? When do you decide enough is enough? I have become a life guard, there to help people who are drowning. Recently, I have noticed all those I try to help are flailing too much and are pushing me under the tide in order for them to rise up. Of course, it isn’t purposeful, but it doesn’t dismiss the fact that is happening. As they catch their breath, my lungs fill with water. I’ve learned to swim, and I am pretty damn good at it, so why am I drowning? I have given people pieces of my foundation in order for them to build up their stability. I learned to build my home, quite strong, so why is it crumbling? I realized, I was giving away pieces of myself hoping that if I gave enough away I would disappear. Turns out, you don’t disappear. You just become used and exhausted. That’s right. They used me. I wasn’t being generous, they were being selfish. I made excuses for people because I believed all they needed was a little help and I thought I could be that help. But they didn’t want help, they wanted someone to hold them above the water. And I realized the more exhausted I became that I was spending my strength to spare someone else’s heart ache. I was carrying their baggage on my back on top of my own and I apologized every time it slipped. Can you imagine? Apologizing when you were already carrying their load. I built myself up and I chose not to be the victim of my life but the hero of my own story. It’s time for everyone else to do the same. My whole body is shaking. Anger is seeping through my skin. Anger for all of the people who have used me and then blamed me for their short comings. Anger for the people I supported but smothered me in their own disappointment when I wasn’t looking. I cannot keep hurting myself for people who want to soak in the stench of the parts of life that didn’t work for them. And I WILL NOT be angry anymore. I have had enough anger and I refuse to hold it any longer. I don’t have room in my heart for it. My heart will forever overflow with love but I will not distribute it to the people who throw it in the backseat leaving myself with nothing. My love does not come with conditions but there is no warranty. When you break it, it is gone. But when you accept it, it can grow flowers. I would know. I can see it in myself sometimes. I used to think it was others planting them. The ones I thought loved me as much as I loved them, but it wasn’t. It was me all along. Of course they died quickly because I wouldn’t water them. I’ve never been good at keeping plants alive. I never could agree with someone when they said that you can’t love someone else until you love yourself. I always believed that was a lie and I still believe it is partially a lie because I haven’t loved myself in a very long time but I have so much love to offer. So I gave it to others. While giving away so much of my love, even to those who didn’t deserve it, I learned to love parts of myself. The happiest parts, the most selfless parts, the most open parts, the parts that saw the best in people when everyone else refused to. That has gotten me hurt quite a few times, but it is the part of me I love the most because if no one else can see beyond the flaws to the most beautiful parts of someone, at least I could and hopefully I helped others see it too. Wanting to fix people. such a problem. A large reason behind of the aforementioned. Something I should to learn to do more sparingly, but for some reason I really don’t want to. My empathy makes me, me and if it is the part I love most about me, even if it hurts so, I cannot change it. It’s the only part of me where I can keep the flowers alive. Taking care of yourself is important and there are so many different ways to water your plants. My way might hurt sometimes, but its filled with love and will never again be overshadowed with anger.