I am what I call a "pusher" -- I push people out of my life. I push them out of my heart. I push people and thoughts out of my mind. I push things away to avoid dealing with the harsh act of confrontation.

I am not a confrontational person. I don't like yelling or arguing, and I don't like people telling me I'm wrong. I don't like criticism. I don't like thinking that anything I have done is the problem or the cause of said confrontation. It's not because I'm a pretentious little shit who likes to be right all the time - I just hate being the one to cause problems.

The thought that something I have done is causing others grief scares me because I have a hard enough time making friends and keeping them as it is. I am not someone that strangers look at and think, "I want to be her friend". I am quite the opposite. I make my friends by accident -- they get stuck with me on some project or task that requires them to spend enough time with me to get to know me, the "pretty" side of me. Only after being forced to spend some significant time with me do people decide to give me a chance. I don't have a pretty face or a blinding smile or cute laugh or charming personality. I blend into the scene behind me, and that's my life.

Because I have such a hard time making friends, it is so easy for me to get caught up in the ones I do have. I am too nice for my own good, and I will forgive anything. I provide advice any professional therapist would be proud to claim. I enjoy playing the role of the extra because I enjoy seeing others happy. I enjoy seeing my people happy. I enjoy making people happy, and I will go to the ends of the Earth to see the happiness on the faces of those closest to me. That is my fatal flaw.

I was born with the mindset, "all or nothing", coursing through my blood. I give my all in everything I do, or I do nothing at all. While this is a great work ethic to have, and one that I am proud to exercise, it is incredibly exhausting. There are so many days that I don't want to give it my all, but I know I cannot give up. There are days that I cannot give 110%, and doing a job that I know is not my best work puts a terrible feeling in my stomach that would rival the roughest of waves on the sea.

This is basically how I am in every relationship I have, platonic or romantic. Every person I come in contact with, in my mind, deserves the best I have to give, so I give it to them. I give them every piece of me, every last ounce until I have withered away to the frailest of bones. I allow others to suck my bones dry of the life within me, hoping that perhaps the life within my soul will ignite their flame. But it never does.

People, I've learned, are selfish beings that only ever care for themselves and their well-being in the end. To a starving soul, the successful and fruitful end justifies the painstaking means it took to get there. No one ever cares what becomes of the carcasses left behind after the feeding. Perhaps they blow away in the wind. Perhaps they regenerate the flesh, and after some time, go off to nourish another soul. Perhaps nothing happens. Perhaps they carry on as they did before, a little more hollow than the last time.

It's a vicious cycle for those brave enough to nourish those around them. There is nothing more vulnerable than allowing others to fill their gaping holes with pieces of you. It's why I'm a pusher.

I am a pusher because, after so many years of restoring and nourishing others, I have become frail as a feather in the wind. I am in the process of restoring myself to my full capacity, to my ultimate self, to my whole self, and I cannot continue to heal others while healing my soul.

I am a pusher because I cannot allow myself to be eaten away by the starving mouths of the broken any longer. I will not allow myself to be beaten down and belittled by those who are "doing what is best for them". I will not allow myself to believe the lies and unfulfilled promises of the broken. I am no longer a carcass to be fed upon.

I am a pusher, and I will continue to push the negatives -- the thoughts, the people, the actions -- away from me until I am whole once more.