I care too much about others. I put myself at the bottom of my priority list so I can make sure everyone else is okay. When someone asks me how I’m doing, I skim over my problems in order to get to theirs. I don’t want to burden anyone with talk about my own life. I don’t want to make them feel like they have to help me out, even though I will take phone calls at three in the morning and drive an hour to pick up any friend who needs me.
I look laid-back, like I go with the flow, because I hold back my opinions. I ask everyone what time they want to meet up, where they want to grab dinner, how late they want to stay out. I let them make the decisions to make sure they’re happy. I care more about their comfort than my own.
I care too little about myself. I say yes to anyone who needs me, even when my plate is already overcrowded. I go go go until I burn myself out. Even when I’m feeling under the weather, I will climb out of bed and complete my to-do list like any other day. I will not let anything slow me down.
I preach to my friends about self-care, but I’m a hypocrite. I don’t take care of myself as well as I take care of everyone else. Sometimes I skip meals without realizing until it’s time for the next meal. Sometimes I survive on junk food for the week because I don’t have the time to cook a real meal, let alone go grocery shopping.
Sometimes I let my roots grow long. Sometimes I let my nails get chipped. Sometimes I run on coffee instead of sleep. Sometimes I forget to put effort into myself because I am busy worrying about everyone else.
Taking care of myself never even occurs to me. Instead of splurging on a necklace or a cute pair of boots, I tell myself I can buy them later. Instead of booking doctor and therapist appointments, I tell myself I can go later. I put off my self-care and self-pampering.
I put all of my energy into other people and have none left over at the end of the day to take care of myself.
I realize I can’t keep living like this. I’m going to start considering myself a priority. I’m going to make sure I get enough sleep each night and eat healthy each morning. I’m going to start talking to friends about my problems the same way they have always talked to me. I’m going to start appreciating myself more, loving myself more, respecting myself more.
I care too much about other people and that is never going to change — but I can change the way I treat myself. I can change how much time I dedicate to self-care. I can change how much effort I put into making sure I am okay mentally and physically.