I think it's really possible for other people to be unhealthy, not in a "oh my god you've eaten McDonald's for every meal this week" kind of way but in an eroding your mind kind of way. Not to say that it's entirely their fault. I believe it has a lot to do with timing, where two people are at in their lives has a great deal to do with who they are during that time. I have had friends who I truly thought were going to be life-long but ended up being momentary and fleeting and it sucks. The problem I have been having with people, is that I can see who I am fall away when people I care about and love walk into my life.
I think it's really important to acknowledge the role we as individuals play in this issue. I am aware that I have a strong personality, but over time I have realized that I chip away parts of myself to please other people. When I was younger I did this with nearly everyone, I was a sponge that absorbed everyone else's likes, dislikes, trends, and dispositions. I took the information and subconsciously altered my personality the most incremental amount so as to make everyone else around me more comfortable. Now I only seem to do this with people who mean a great deal to me but it doesn't make it any less damaging.
I have always been someone who identifies myself by my relationships, friendships, etc. I really wish this weren't the case but I think it's important to admit that this is a theme in my life. When I was a young girl I would rather talk to my friends in class than pay attention (who didn't though right?), as I got older I realized that there are other things I would give up to be able to hang out with my friends; things like homework, chores, and other responsibilities. Then when I became old enough to have a -somewhat- significant relationship with a boy I threw myself into that wholeheartedly. I carried on the trend of prioritizing other people over myself and what I needed to do. I am now careful of doing this with relationships. I try my best to prioritize myself, my responsibilities and my family. I have become aware that if in relationships, you pour yourself into the other person you do in fact lose yourself in the process. This not only makes you someone that has no identity, but once the relationship is over you have no idea who you are and that takes years to rebuild and it's an painstaking process.
Although I am conscious of this in my romantic life, I have recently realized that I am not so cognizant of this issue in my close friendships. The problem being that I have a few close friends that I, in fact prioritize over most things. I came to learn this the hard way, which seems to be the only way I actually learn anything anymore. But I have begun to understand that just because someone is one of your close friends, it does not mean they they inherently have your best interest at heart.
I think I have had an unrealistic idea of how friends should behave in my life. I believe that I was confusing friends and family. My family are the people who have my best interest at heart, they want to see me succeed and they honestly love me. I have found that this combination is a rarity in people and that's why I feel so lucky that I have 4 people in my life who exemplify these wonderful qualities. But it's not the job of my friends to be my family, this took me a very long time to understand. Instead, I think it's really important to cherish your friendships, enjoy people for who they are without trying to change them, and be there for them within reason. I have a hard time accepting this minimalist take on friendships, but I have realized that it's the best way to go about them. Don't ask too much of them, don't expect too much from them, but appreciate them.
I also think it's important to note that if there is someone or a group of someones in your life who is/are not helping to better you as a person, it's okay to let them go. I am in a state of constant revision and I am trying everyday to be a better person, but if there are people who hinder my growth or make it difficult in some way, then I think that it's honestly for the best that I don't have harmful and corroding people involved in that process. It's important to me that I am growing, and after a few years of losing myself in other people, and clawing my way back I am really trying not to do that anymore, because it's exhausting, difficult and it's hard for the people who love me to watch.