For Once, I Said No and This is What Happened


By Manuela Domingos

Earlier this year I met someone.

This person was going through a difficult time, and in hindsight I believe that throughout most of our relationship I was just a support system to help him forget his problems. 

There were laughs. There were text messages. There were long phone conversations. 

It was also an unhealthy friendship; in it, I felt insecure and found myself agreeing to be a part of a story I wasn't comfortable with. 

At the end of the day, I was in a constant whirlwind about whether or not I wanted to continue being friends with this person. 

I was tired of all the excuses I gave to myself, from carrying the weight of someone else’s problem and becoming a part of the problem. 

It wasn't until one point that this person possibly said the most selfish thing I've ever heard that jolted me awake to the reality of our dynamic. 

I was beginning to realize that I didn't fit in this story. That rather, I was a contorted version of myself, not fully at ease with the situation. 

I simply wasn’t happy with feeling like a placeholder for the next best thing.

It was then at that moment that I realized that something had to change. I simply wasn't happy with feeling like a placeholder for the next best thing. 

I realized that I was going to put my foot down and say “no.” I was going to make the decision to take control of my own happiness. I was not going to let someone else’s perception dictate what my role in that twisted story should've been. 

So I backed away. 

I admitted that I was tired, and because I was tired, I was going to stop listening. I was going to stop caring. I was going to recognize that I wasn't just purely the victim, that I had played a role, and at that point, enough is enough. 

I was going to say “no” for once. 

And that's exactly what I did. I said no. 

I walked away. 

It was probably one of the most liberating things I've ever experienced. I felt in charge of my own destiny. 

When the texts rushed in months later; I ignored them. I wasn't obligated to “owe” anyone an explanation. 

Most importantly, I didn't hold any hate in my heart. My conscious is clear. I've recognized the role I've played, and the moments where I could've said “no” sooner. 

But it's all said and done. I feel great. And that's all because I made a change. 

Keep up with Manuela on Instagram, @_manuelad!