Things are messy. People are messy. The only mess you have control over cleaning is your own. You can help another if they are already on their journey but because humans are unpredictable, even if they ask for help, sometimes they need more time.
You could have spent time with them and they abandon ship.
Don't look at it like a waste of time. Look at it as more love than they could've handled before.
True love is letting others be and taking good care of yourself as best you can.
Life and humans are unpredictable, but you can predict that if the next right move is the kindest one for everyone involved, you will not be contributing to the mess.
What a better gift you can give someone than to not suck the life outta them with your mess? And to not add to it either.