So the past few months have been interesting for me. I didn’t realize I had reached such infamy by just trying to live my life.
I figured out a few years ago that when I do open my mouth, people listen, but as someone who spent most of his life in solitude it’s hard to comprehend how much of an effect my words can have. It doesn’t help when the vast majority of friends and acquaintances have substance abuse and trust issues. Those who have known me over the past few years think I am no different. We are heathens one and all.
When I found a way out, some semblance of happiness… I knew I would be leaving that lifestyle, leaving them behind, no longer enabling or feeding their egos.
There was a ‘pop-psych’ article I read in my formative years that said you end up being like the three people you spend the most time with. When you think about that with your head on straight in does make sense and its backed by other theories and thinkers.
‘Social learning’ is what it’s called.
Observation, imitation, and modeling are the ways we mimic those we are closest to. Those whom we associate with are a reflection of us. “Choose your friends wisely” as the old adage goes, makes a lot more sense now, doesn’t it? What’s worse is that you can’t really recognize it. The change is so slow and gradual, we don’t even know its happening. These however are lessons learnt in time and its taken a lifetime to decide I am no longer a child.
It took a new friend for this epiphany, for this friend I broke a habit (and I truly did). A friend that I had been waiting my whole life to meet. Unfortunately, it’s hard to paint a picture of a life time of struggle, still remain desirable and be honest all in the same breath. Then there is always the expectation that things should keep going from high to high in leaps and bounds… at some point you realize you have replaced one vice with another.
My personality type is not geared towards social learning (although I am in no way immune to it, it just happens slower) and sometimes I confuse the phenomenon as the lack of original thought. My ‘new’ friend (lets call em Newie from now on for the sake of ease) knew this, only they couldn’t express it in a way the made sense to a thinker such as myself. To Newie, an outsider, it was so blatantly obvious that there was venom in the intent of those I kept closest, but how would they convince someone who has a distorted idea of loyalty?
After-all, over the years these broken people (although for their own selfish needs) were the ones that were there to stave away my darkest hours. I want to help them as well but I never thought this would be the price I pay.