I was thinking about how addictions come about and how friendship and love get lost. How do people who at one time were absolute best friends end up not talking at all or run out of things to talk about in seconds? I realized quickly that the process is usually deliberate – (deliberate as in “slow”, consistent chipping and eroding, the way the elements turn rock into sand and soil).
Addictions: I have read or heard that people get addicted to good or bad stuff by starting off with small steps and then repeating them over and over while gradually increasing the time or amount of exposure to the addictive thing.
Habits: I have read or heard that if you do something at least once a day for 21 days, it will becpme a habit. It may be harder and slower at the beginning, but with more practice and exposure, you become good at it, regardless of whether the habit is good or bad.
Love and friendship: This I have heard, read, seen and experienced. You start off by not liking something that your buddy has done or said and you extend it to the person. You may start off by not doing something small that you always do when things are okay: cook or write or call or smile or talk or … thus denying the person something that has been a given or constant when things are okay. Next time something happens that you don’t like, you will default to doing what you did the last time, only this time, the not talking or calling or smiling or … takes longer. May be an hour. Next time, may be half a day. Before you know it, a whole week has passed. Then the rationalization is something like, “I guess I have proved that I can live without him or her”, or “since I have made it so far, why should I go back to the old stuff?” etc.
The point of the foregoing is that as the bad stuff picks up, the good stuff slows down until it all disappears and all you have is the bad stuff. You remain with the anger, the silence, the loneliness, the fights, the detachment, etc. The love, the laughter, the dancing, the companionship, the trust, the warmth… is gone.
Unless what you really want is to get rid of the good stuff, you ought to make the extra effort to make the good stay or at least not slow down. When it is hardest to hold hands, may be hold hands at that time. When you feel like not calling is the solution, call (unless you have a very good reason not to). When you feel like not looking into the other person’s eyes, do it. It doesn’t matter whether you always start. When you don’t feel like giving it a chance, do so. Don’t wait. If you wait, you will get good at waiting and doing what you do while waiting, and the good stuff will disappear.
The greatest thing is that whatever you choose to do, you live with the consequences. “He who seeketh, findeth!”