A friend of mine was describing their feelings about being a support and it reminded me of this post: fear of love being taken away if I'm not comforting & helpful / my worth / who I am vs what I do and I realized that finally, FINALLY, after years and years of struggling with this compulsion, I have it under control. It's still there, to some extent, but I can tell it no.
And really Topaz gets all the credit for that, because they went in with me on a hiatus of our relationship and then still loved me after I hadn't given to them for a month and a half, and that taught me that I can be loved without being needed. And in the time since, when I have said that I need time for myself or said no to a request for help, they have been supportive -- not perfectly but so often that it averages out to them having a positive response when I say no to something they want me to do. And if I can value my needs without fearing losing my closest person, then I can observe my other connections in that light and know that they should support me in valuing my needs as I support them in valuing their needs.
This gives me a freedom beyond what I can describe. Being needed is a kind of burden that I always thought was the sacrifice one must make to be close to another person. To be able to be at the most profound level of closeness I have ever experienced, without either of us expecting the other to meet most of our needs in general, or any one of our needs in particular -- even our greatest needs? I wouldn't have even imagined it possible. I'm so grateful.