This has become my mantra: it’s not my circus, they’re not my monkeys. I’m done trying to fix everyone.
Why then can’t I sleep at night?
Because I care.
I care that this one is depressed and drinking too much and that one is totally clueless, can’t pay her rent and has cockroaches. I care that the one over there doesn’t seem to care that she’s living in squalor.
I care but there’s not a damned thing I can do about any of it.
It’s human nature, I think, to want to fix the people we care about. Humans are problem solvers. It’s hardwired into our DNA. We see something broken or wounded, and our opposable thumbs start twitching. I can make this better. I can FIX this.
But guess what? I can’t.
Oh sure, I can nag about medication and rehab. Or don’t take the trip I was planning so as to make up someone’s rent and then resent the hell out of them and become a passive aggressive bitch. I can DO lots of things for lots of people, but the only person I can FIX is me.
So that’s what I’m doing. Fixing me, and part of that fix is figuring out when to poke my nose somewhere, when to offer my opinion and when to keep my mouth tightly closed.
Specifically, I no longer jump in when presented with someone else’s problems. If they need or want my help, they have to use their words and ask, like the grown ups we all are. And I have to be grown up enough to say no sometimes.
Getting a decent night’s sleep? Well, that’s a whole different problem.