[This entry is fictional!]
After several years of giving everything that I possibly could to anyone that was needy enough to ask, I decided suddenly this morning to stop.
To stop it all.
All the giving. All the helping. All the countless hours of listening to people who needed someone – anyone – to listen and who would never consider returning the favor. It all had to come to a stop.
What happens to a battery when people use it in, let’s say, a portable CD-player that is used on 4-hour drives twice a week? Well, it’s going to die. And quickly.
Now what happens when the battery decides that it needs to take a break, think of itself for a change, sit around for a while and recharge before going back into the player (because in our hypothetical situation, the battery is, indeed, one of those marvelous little rechargeable ones that dies quickly but keeps going after a charging session)? The battery will live; the battery will be able to endure the next 4-hour drive without meeting the end of its days.
So, no, this is not a permanent lifestyle change. Hell, it might be so temporary that I’ll be back to taking calls by the end of the week. I don’t know how long it will take to recharge myself. I’ve been in that CD-player so long that I hardly know what sunlight looks like, let alone the blinking light of my charger. Do I feel bad about it? A little, yes. Why? Because I know that making myself unavailable to those who usually come to me will be quite a… change – an unpleasant one, probably. It’s just in my nature to be nice. But I can’t anymore, at least not for a while.