I disagree

I read (again) that no matter how busy you are, you always find time for your friends. I disagree.

Working, family, responsibilities… Those things are exhausting. And I believe that we have to make time for ourselves to recharge our batteries before we can be there for anyone else.

It’s the same with the idea that “happiness comes from taking care of others.” No! Caring for others drains us. Sure, we can be momentarily happy and proud, but if we always care for others, feed them and be there for them, it drains us, and we will be left empty and (again) exhausted.

It has nothing to do with cynicism, but with personal experience. I was always there for everyone. I cared for them, and I let them vomit their negativity on me. I became an emotional dump for their physical and mental problems. And it emptied me so much that there was only a void left. Once I began standing up for myself and dared saying ‘no’, I found myself alone and humiliated. I was embarrassed because I was told how selfish I was for not being there for them. But, I had to do it to protect myself.

It taught me another negative behaviour, though: I learned that I am only loveable, or I am only worth being loved if I care for others and do whatever they want me to do. Saying ‘no’ equaled giving a reason for being denied, love.

Twisted way of seeing it, right? But it was the way my brain was wired for a long, long time.

I am working hard not to attach my self-esteem, self-worth, self-love to that of someone else.

And that’s why I disagree. We have to take care of our selves before we can take care of others.

Stepping off my soap box.

PS: I have a long winding road ahead of me, but the destination is healing and health. And those are things worth fighting for.

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