I’m sure we’ve all heard the expression “self care isn’t selfish, it’s simply necessary”. And I’m sure that when people think about self care some can’t imagine why it’s so hard, right? Care about yourself? That sounds like the easiest task in the world, you literally can have down time to think about you and only you, sounds great right? Wrong.
You see, for people who have mental illness, this can feel like a foreign language. Care? About yourself? How crazy is that, how do you even do that? More importantly, WHY would you want to do that? You’re so busy worrying and focusing on everybody else so you can avoid your own shit, most likely, how can you just step back and put that aside for once. For me, this is exactly how I feel. I’ve never been great at self care, like i’d get an award for being the worst at it. I always indulge myself into other peoples problems, other things, rather than focusing on me. God forbid I’m left alone with me and only me, terrifying.
The only self care I’ve probably done in god knows how long is not kill myself, hey that’s something though right? I’ve stayed sober for almost a month, I eat even though some days the thought of actually taking in food makes me so mentally exhausted, and I haven’t cut even though whenever I go in the shower starring at those razor blades can be so tempting. That alone, actually is self care.
When people say “self care” people typically think taking yourself out to lunch, buying yourself things that you probably don’t need, staying home from class to lay in bed, etc. When really, when you have a mental illness, self care could literally be the fact that you got out of bed this morning despite how shitty you feel. Self care could be that you didn’t do the self destructing behavior that you’ve been craving all day, or simply that you took enough breaths to stay today.
It’s okay if all you did today was breathe”