Did you ever have a day, after a long week, where you just wanted to be alone, maybe catch up on your reading or just relax on your couch? And then it’s like for some unexplainable and mystical reason, the moment you are about to sit your tired butt on that soft and cuddly couch, that the phone rings. At first, you think “oh man, maybe I shouldn’t get it”, but then you pick up, because after all, you want to be there for your friends. So you do this and one hour later, after you’ve hung up, you look at the clock and think “damn”, but it’s ok, because you still have the rest of the day. So you throw yourself into the arms of that awaiting couch, once again open the book and feel a sense of joy because starting now, you are going to relax.
Two pages into your book, you take a sip of tea and then you get a text message from your other friend, whose having marriage problems. She’s not feeling good at all. You read it and think “oh, maybe she needs me” so you answer that text message very quickly and after the tenth message back and forth you realize, this is going to take some time. You call her up at her request because she needs some advise. After one hour and a half of hearing her pour her heart out, you tell her that everything is going to be alright and if she needs you, you will always be there for her. You hang up feeling kind of low, look at the clock and think “damn, I really need to chill”.
So once again, you open your book, look at the page you last saw and realize you’ve forgotten everything you’ve read until this point. So now you have to start from the beginning. You read everything very quickly again, remember what it was about and are again filled with joy that staring NOW you have time. Just as the book is getting interesting, the phone rings again……
So by now you are getting my point. In the worse case scenario, it’s already getting late and you’ve just spent your day, listening to other people’s problems, when all you wanted to do was take care of yourself for a change. In the end you feel empty and probably upset because you just spent all your positive energy on other people. It might be that they passed on some of their negative energy on to you and now your day is kind of ruined for that matter. The question I ask now is: Why do we let others treat us like garbage cans?
When I say this, I mean why do we allow others to load their negative crap out on us? Please, don’t get me wrong. We all want to be there for someone in need, but does this mean taking care of the emotional needs of other people before ours? Is it really a bad thing, to take care of your own emotional needs first? Is is really selfish to love yourself, do something only for yourself and make your happiness a priority? Think about it!
One thing I realized in the mist of my illness, was that if I don’t take care of myself first, then I won’t be able to be there for someone when they really need me. Also, that I’m not here to save the world. It is not my responsibility to try to have all the answers for all my friends and family. The moment I got this, was the moment everything took a change for the better. I know that sometimes it’s hard because many women are brought up with the mentality as mothers and wives, to cater to everyone. My thought is: No one should have to be a garbage can taking in all the pain, sorrow, anger and judgement that others let out of their systems. Hell, it’s no wonder that sometimes we whine up feeling sick after being inundated with the emotional load that others unknowingly throw out at us. I think they sometimes forget, that we too all have our own problems and worries to take care of.
So, the next time you feel like you want to escape from the stress of life and do something for yourself, then I would suggest screening your calls. Just in case, grandma calls with some good news. Remember, that you can only be a great and true friend, when you take care of your needs first and make your happiness a priority.
Thanks for reading!