One of my biggest problems, and probably why I burnt out so quickly in my previous profession, is not taking time for myself. I’m completely and utterly incapable of self-care no matter how much I need it, no matter how much I burn the candle at both ends. The worst part is the helplessness I feel when I oblige requests. No, I take that back. The worst part is the guilt I experience when I say “no.”
See, when I resigned myself to the field of social work (a field that I once had passion and motivation for), I abandoned whatever mechanisms I had in place to take care of myself and be a balanced person. I aided, or enabled, my clients because deep down I wanted to be important and relied upon. It became sick. It lead to the end of my career as a counselor.
Some would argue that I’ve never been “balanced.” Some might be right. Allow me to lie to myself just this once.
Even after the job ended, I was unable to care for myself. When asked to do something, to show up, to help out, to be the shoulder to cry on, I was there, even though it pained me to do it. I’d push through sleep deprivation and sickness. “Sometimes,” I’d think to myself, “You gotta give the people what they want.” This was brought on by self-imposed ruled; I tried my hardest to be the helper, the one everyone turned to. Marching orders, as provided by my lack of boundaries and insecurities about my station in the lives of others, dictated that I must show up without question.
But after months (more like years) of exhaustion and irrational guilt, I’m finally getting comfortable with taking time for myself and telling my friends “Hey, I can’t hang. But thanks for the invite!” I still deal with feelings of guilt, but I am better at resolving those feelings now, and it’s quite a relief.
Your song of the day is “Ampersands” by Jack Alberson, which can be found here. He’s a heck of an artist and an interesting dude. Check out his latest album “Confidence” on Bandcamp! You will not regret it. Not one bit.
Lyric of the day:
The comfort of others
At the expense of your own
The humdrum of fitting in
You can’t call this your home
Check out a live performance of “Ampersands” below!