In discussing what I should write today, Diego suggested that I write about the things I take for granted. At first, I was offended, but that just means I’m apart of the problem; that I do indeed take things for granted. It wasn’t until I soul searched and dug to find out that I take a lot of people, not as precious, finite humans, but as people who will do my dirty work. I have lied and I have cheated because my personal agenda was more important than whose heart I was breaking.
Even though I am not an alcoholic, I go to AA meetings with my mom on occasion and a couple of the 12 steps stand out to me for this topic:
4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves
8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
I am not sure if any of you have looked at the 12 steps of AA lately, but I think that fourth step; admitting your faults and creating a real live moral inventory of yourself is the hardest one you can do. If I admit my wrongs to myself, then it becomes real. I can no longer hide it from anyone, no matter how hard I try to forget. This blog post is going to be my best representation of a moral inventory and an amends to those whom I have taken for granted.
First off… My Parents
Although I tell my parents that I love and care for them dearly every day, there are still things they do that I take for granted. If I ask for $20, it’s mine. My dad puts gas in my car every week, if not twice a week if I have to commute a long ways. My sister gets gas in her car too and she’s MARRIED AND LIVES WITH HER HUSBAND. I have my parents’ insurance and any medical bill that comes my way goes to my dad and he puts a check in the mail. I had a phone bill and then he didn’t like me using my own money, so we have a shared plan again. I don’t pay for the insurance on my car, the gas, the tabs, the license plates. I didn’t have to pay to replace the 3 tires I blew within 2 months of each other. I didn’t have to pay for my last speeding ticket. My dad paid tuition and some of my books for college up until I flunked my last quarter. I live rent free, without a job and without the support of unemployment due to COVID-19 overload, so when it comes time to pay my $1,000 worth of bills, my parents have my back.
This is the reason why I made this post. Diego is a first generation immigrant, and although the US is all he knows, he was raised in a very independent, Spanish speaking, Catholic household. He grew up in severe poverty and worked all throughout his childhood and throughout his teens and now twenties. He bought his first car out of pocket with no help at 14 years old, even before he could drive it. He started working at the store when he was 18 1/2 years old and has been there for just over 8 years now. He worked his way up to management in his first two years and now can run virtually any department of the store.
My reason for mentioning Diego’s story is that we got into an argument over privilege. I have tried to have my dad not pay for my insurance and my phone, but he insists on paying it. I’m not sure if Diego is jealous in a way because I do have such privilege while he did not. Because when he has his own children, he wanted them to have more than what he grew up with. I think there is a fine line between spoiling a kid, like me, and making a kid work for every thing that they have, like Diego. I am also coming to conclude that if Diego’s parents had money like mine, Diego would be privileged and wouldn’t have to work half as hard for what he had growing up.
To my parents: I am sorry I have taken your kindness for granted. Although I will never be able to repay you for all of the money you have invested into my life, I will die trying to make it up to you. I will and hopefully have made you proud.
To my friends…
I take my friendships for granted and I am not sure, but I think it has to due with my bipolar. You see, I am a shy, quiet, and reserved person by nature. I don’t reach out to people, even when I need them or even to check in on them. I can’t blame my bipolar but that’s what contributes to my behavior. When I am depressed, emotionally I am shut down and will not reach out to anyone to talk to or ask for help if need be. When I am manic, I am usually doing things that my friends wouldn’t approve of, such as gambling a lot, smoking, drinking, sleeping around, etc. When I participate in these activities, I don’t tell anyone or reach out to my friends because I ultimately don’t want them to worry or know when I am manic and depressed. With that being said, I don’t have that many true friends. Because who wants to be friends with someone who doesn’t text or call or want to hang out, or if I do want those things, it always has to be on my terms? Not many people need that drama in their lives.
Honestly, I can be a really good friend to people… if I try. I could always say if I didn’t have bipolar, my life would be easier and I would have more fulfilling friendships, but I don’t have the luxury of not having a mental illness. With covid-19, it’s hard for me to say to a friend, “Hey, let’s grab coffee or drinks.” But I am trying to reach out to people and if they don’t respond, then I did all I could. It’s my own fault that I haven’t performed “relationship maintenance” as I like to call it. When you don’t check in with friends regularly, they forget about you. Well, maybe not forget, but they stop reaching out and no longer are around if and when you decide you want to hang out.
To Brent, my one friend who always reads my blog posts, I am sorry for being a utter shit friend to you. I know I push you away and it’s not fair to you. You are always there for me when I need it; ride or die 24/7/365 whereas I am there only every couple of days. I am going to work on making myself more available so I can have meaningful conversations with you rather than send you one word answers.
To Cassie, the one person I deemed as my best friend. I guess we aren’t best friends anymore considering I wasn’t even a bridesmaid at your wedding and you made my sister the maid of honor. I know you didn’t like my actions when I was out partying all the time and was super flaky, and I can understand that. But I have changed a lot in the past two years since we stopped talking last. It hurts me a lot when I reach out to you and you don’t respond. I get how it feels to be neglected now. It sucks. But give me another chance and you won’t regret it.
To Alex, my sister. You have taught me the fragility of relationships considering how fragile and intricate our relationship is. It constantly feels like one step forward, three steps back due to our strong personalities. I think we have become pretty good friends in this past year or so since your old counselor suggested that we have coffee regularly. Although we don’t do that due to covid, we started to social distance work out i.e. walk the track together. You are trying to help me get back into a shape that isn’t a potato. Whereas I am trying to be a good student and walk with you, even when I don’t want to. We have fought, but usually I have been good about apologizing first, even when I think I’m in the right. I apologize more because our relationship is so fragile and I don’t want a stupid fight to get in the way of what we are improving and working so hard for.
To all my other friends, I am sorry that you didn’t get a shout out or a specific apology but like I said previously, I am trying to do better if you just give me the chance. I know when my elated mood fails me, it will be easier said than done but I am honestly trying to be a better friend.
I know I definitely take you for granted. During this time with me not having a job, I rely heavily on you, especially financially. I rely on you when you are running on empty because of your 50-60 hour work weeks ever since February. Why rely on an empty well? Because a well never runs dry; you always have so much love to give, even when it seems like you have nothing left. But from our relationship, I have learned how sacred what we have is. Sometimes I take that for granted, like I can find our love anywhere and it is simply not true. For years, I pushed you away and ran towards others, thinking I could find better but that’s not how that works.
You accept the love you think you deserve and I always thought I deserved no love, no romance, just abuse, emotional and physical. But I am learning or have learned that you are supposed to accept the love that is unconditional and fulfilling and everything else can be worked out. That is exactly what we have, so why run away from it? I thought I could find better. I thought I could find better and I settled for much worse than what I had with you. But now I know it’s you. It’s you and it’s always been you and I am doing my best not to take you for granted.
Yes, I probably have taken advantage of you and taken you for granted. I can’t just say it’s in my nature or it’s bipolar, although it is probably both. All I know is that I am striving to be better and do better, and that’s all that matters. That and I am sorry for my past actions and words. I can’t change them now, but I can do better which is all anyone could ask.
Til next time,