Your entire life can change in the blink of an eye. This is something that most of us are far too familiar with. It’s uncanny and when your life changes so quickly, you inevitably change too. Your priorities shift, your values shift, your cares shift. I don’t wish what I went through on my worst enemy, but I wouldn’t change what I went through for anything, because it shaped me into who I am today. And that’s a person that I’m damn proud to be. That’s why I’m not afraid to lose people anymore. I’m not a perfect person, no one is. But if you’re going to want one person on your team, it’s going to be me. So, if you’re going through what I went through, I’m here to tell you that you shouldn’t be afraid to leave people behind either, don’t just leave the door open, we’re classy here right? Hold that door open, bye!
Before I was diagnosed with Stage 4 Cancer, I was pretentious. I had everything. I had the looks, I had the job, I had any guy I wanted, I lived in the luxurious city, I had everything that everyone wanted. Or, what people thought that they wanted, because their priorities are all screwed up. In the end, these things mean nothing when you’re in a hospital bed attached to a pole of chemotherapy, fighting for your life. What matters is who is by your side, and you’re going to learn very quickly who is down for you and who isn’t. I went from a girl who used her looks to get what she wanted, to a girl that lost everything that she had, physically and mentally. I learned very quickly that none of those things that I once cared about matter. None of them. Every night I thank god and pray for one thing and one thing only, and that is my health.
Cancer is funny in the way that it rocks your entire world and leaves it upside down. When I lost my health, I was in survival mode. When I lost my physical identity, I thought my life was over. But, when I lost my ability to walk from all of the chemotherapy drugs I was on, I lost my mind. Of my entire journey, that’s what messed me up the most. I could handle the nausea, the vomiting, the hair loss, the pain, the anxiety, the depression, all of it. But when you’re 28 and you’re trying to walk your dog like a semi-normal person and you just collapse on the ground and sit there crying, that messes you up more than anything I could ever explain. Not being able to walk.
So that was it for me, the moment when I truly lost everything and all that mattered to me was who I was surrounded by, because these people changed my life, they helped me go on in a time where I damn near gave up. This is why I’m so selective of WHO I keep in my life, and you have to be too. One of my best friends owns a gym that does something called MAT which is muscle activation technique. He dropped everything that he was doing, including his own clients, to help me learn how to fully walk on my own again, since physical therapy wasn’t enough for me. Those are the type of people you need in your life.
Everyone that you meet in life serves a purpose, but when you’re going through a hard time you’re going to learn the purpose of those people very quickly—but it’s your responsibility what you choose to do with that knowledge. During treatment, my mom was my caregiver. She needed a break at times, so my friends switched off weekends with her. My friends from all over the country came to visit me in Miami. I had one friend that visited me that was more concerned about laying out at the pool, partying, and using my facilities than actually spending time with her friend that was fighting for her life. Shockingly enough, this person never really even checked in on me to ask how I was doing. Never forget the people who check in on you. Ever!
It’s your decision who you let stay in your life. And if you let people overstay their welcome, they will drain you in the end. I had no problem letting go of the bad people during and post treatment, but I also categorized them too. You have your good friends who will drop everything for you like family. You have your friends that you don’t have to talk to often but will always be there for you. And of course, you have your party friends. The reference above was a party friend. I learned the hard way that you can’t let these people drain you and mess with your energy. Not everyone will have your best interest. Not everyone is a good person. But you can’t let these people even the “party” friends too close into your life, and if you do, you have to learn to cut them off quickly once they show they aren’t adding value to your life. Not everyone deserves a place in your life. Your friends should always have your best interest at heart and be happy for you, not jealous of you or have ill intentions. Otherwise, they aren’t your friends. Whether you have a new job, a new hobby, a new love interest–your friends should 100% always support you and be happy for you. And if the energy is off and something doesn’t feel right with a friend, something definitely isn’t right. I may have realized this a bit too late recently, but I realized it. I make mistakes, but never the same one twice. But in the end, I focus on love. Everyone that tries to hurt me, I’ll forgive them, but I won’t let them back into my life. Most of the time they have no idea what they’re doing. Something is missing in their own life where they feel entitled to become overly involved in yours and try to sabotage it. Hurt people hurt people and that’s the fact of the matter.
The people around you are a direct reflection of you. Whoever you are personally surrounding yourself with is a direct reflection of you. So if you’re concerned about someone’s character, take a good look at their circle. That’s their character. Life is a freaking battlefield and is hard enough. Friendships and relationships shouldn’t contribute to your life in a negative way, they should add value. Your friends should encourage you, motivate you, love you, be your biggest freaking cheerleaders. I know for a fact that mine all are. So if someone isn’t adding value to your life then why have them around?
When people are sick, one of the biggest regrets that they have is how much time they wasted on the wrong people. That was one of mine. You don’t get that time back. Life is so short and it’s meant to be lived. Outside noise and bad vibes will affect your energy. Know the difference between who is there for you out of convenience, and who is actually down for you. 2020 is approaching. Don’t wait for spring to do your spring cleaning! A common question that people ask me on social media is how to remove these people from your life. It’s easy. I think most of us are at the age where we shouldn’t have to tell people that what they are doing is wrong, and we shouldn’t have to teach people. Most of them in fact, don’t even deserve the time or energy. So, my answer is easy. I remove myself from people’s lives silently and quickly, and you should too. My energy is far too valuable to be affected by anyone in a negative way, and yours is too! After all, life should be easy breezy after everything that all of us have been through!
Sending you all lots of love, hugs, and most importantly, good vibes!
Your (remission) Lymphoma Barbie