I care too much. My husband tells me that. He’s not wrong. It makes me sound so altruistic and holier than though but that’s honestly not how I mean it.
Yes, I care about the lives of people I’ve never met and it hurts when I know people are being mistreated, especially in the country I call home. But that’s not what I’m talking about. I wouldn’t ever want to change that part of myself.
For me, I have a problem where I put the health and well-being of others before my own and over the course of time, this starts to fuck me up. I feel guilty when I’m having a bad day, like my bad day is going to make someone else’s day bad too. And then, if someone isn’t perfectly happy with said day, I blame myself for it.
Luckily, as I’ve mentioned, I have an amazing husband who tries to make sure that I do this as little as possible. And luckily, this works a lot of the time. But it doesn’t work in certain instances and it doesn’t work with some key people, people who don’t always make it easy for me to not blame myself.
Now, I don’t want this blog to be me feeling sorry for myself. I won’t lie — the fact that some people close to me take my anxiety and depression personally does hurt a lot. It does make it difficult to not blame myself and it does make me feel like the disorders that I have are my fault. But somewhere inside of me I know I shouldn’t feel that way, basically, because I have friends with these types of disorders and I try my hardest to make sure they know that none of this is their fault. And if I say it to them and really believe it, part of me knows I have to believe it for myself too.
So, this blog is to remind myself that I need to put me first. It’s to remind me that if my health is failing, whether physical or mental, I can’t be as good of a wife or daughter or friend or loved one. And those things mean a lot to me.
This blog is to remind myself that I’m not defective. It’s to remind me that I don’t become a bad person just because I have a bad day or need to concentrate on myself. It’s to remind me that mental health isn’t an imagined issue that I’ve just made up to put the focus on me. Cause that’s something I really struggle with.
The words selfish and ungrateful swim around in my head on a daily basis. I can hear them being screamed at me as I cry, their words echoing for eternity in my heart and soul. I can feel all of the bruises that they’ve left inside of me over time, so much so that it feels like I’ll be black and blue forever and I’ll never be able to heal properly.
This blog is to remind me that those words aren’t true. This blog is to remind me that no matter how long it took me to type them or how much trouble I actually have believing them, it was still important that I say them — that I put into print that I’m not selfish or ungrateful.
I need to somehow realize that it’s okay for me to not believe them. That even more so than that — that it’s not okay to believe them. I need to realize that it’s up to me to hug myself and tell myself that everything will be okay. It’s up to me to console the person inside of me. It’s up to me to comfort the person that’s been hurt. It’s up to me to fix what’s been broken.
Not because there aren’t people who want to help. But because I’m the one who truly needs to understand that I’m not all of those terrible things. I’m the one who needs to be able to look at herself in the mirror and say, “you’re not selfish and ungrateful. You’re not all of your worst fears.”
I’m 40 years old and I’m still working on understanding that. Some days it feels like I’ll never get it through my thick skull and other days are a little easier. Some days the screaming in my head never stops and I can feel my insides bleed even though I know that’s silly. Other days I feel like a warrior, trying to speak out and have courage and use my writing to try and fix what little I can.
And on days like these — when I feel vulnerable to the point that it seems like I’m an open nerve and have no skin to protect me from the outside world — I try to be honest about how I’m feeling. I try to write about these problems I have, with the hope that anyone else that might have a similar problem learns that they’re not alone. I know that there’s still so much I’m not capable of talking about but I try to be as brave as I can be and wish with all of my heart that it helps someone feel better. And maybe if I’m lucky, one of those someones will be me.