I always ask myself this question: Why don’t I put myself first? I hear from others all the time to learn to put myself first. That is always easier said than done and there is always a reason as to why I haven’t done it yet. One problem I have realized from having low self-esteem is that when you don’t value yourself you try to find redemption from others. I need a way to redeem my self-worth and so if I do everything I can for others, maybe I can become a better person. I know for a fact that doing things for others rarely helps me unless its something I truly want to do.
Most of the time while putting others first might benefit someone else, they may also not realize I am sacrificing too much of myself to be well-liked and appreciated. No one praises me for going the extra mile, it doesn’t raise my confidence and it certainly doesn’t add worth to me. It’s taken me a long time to realize that my need to feel like stems from the insecurity of not being good enough as I am. Who would like me if I didn’t put others first? I’d be a more self-centered person than I am now. I’d say words that I keep deep in my heart. Most of those words won’t come out pleasantly, but rather too blunt. I’m a blunt person by nature and I censor myself a lot around others. I still come off as a blunt person, I’m just not as blunt as what I’m thinking. I’ve found that by not putting myself first I’ve learned to gather toxicity in the form of envy, stress, anxiety and apathy.
It’s funny I set out to put others first because I truly want to be liked by others. That way maybe I will begin to like myself more. It has pretty much backfired as I don’t like myself anymore than before, rather I feel like I’ve come to a place of disdain. One of the things about wanting to be liked by others is that it begins to show you the traits of people that you like and dislike. Slowly you begin to become envious of the traits or things others have. It’s not that I want those exact things, but I’m envious of not having that trait or aspect in my life. I don’t want the same one. Being envious of others causes me a lot of grief and stress. I try very hard not to be an envious person, but sometimes I can’t help it. The world just seems unfair.
Those thoughts give me a lot of stress while I compare myself to those I try to put before me. I try to convince myself if only I was a little more like so and so, maybe I’d get my way. The stress slowly creeps down my neck into my back and sits there for days or weeks. It is such a horrible discomforting feeling. I wish I never got to the point where I acquired stress while trying to put others before me. Which makes me wonder would I have as much stress if I put myself first?
Stress is great at adding to my life. If I stress too much I give myself anxiety or go through a mild depressive moment. It sucks having anxiety and stress when all I wanted to do was be a better person. Curses! Why is putting other people first working against me? Probably because it is extremely toxic and it fills me with apathy. During the last few months, except for my fantastic vacation, I have been an apathetic bitch. I hate people. I hate work. I hate life. And nothing is fucking interesting. I also have no tolerance for shit in general. Which makes me a real bundle of joy to be around.
I knew it was bad when I stopped caring and was apathetic towards everything in my life. I shouldn’t be living this way, it is hard, it makes me anxious and gives me stress. What the fuck is up with that? After chatting with myself a bit I realized it was time to really try to end this ‘put everybody else first bullshit’ of mine. It wasn’t working as I felt worse about myself while trying to be last in my own life.
So what’s a person to do with all this toxicity? I decided to begin a slow purge of it. I can’t purge it all at once, but I can take small steps to rectify this wrong and learn to put myself first. For the last week I have said no to most invitations, or to whatever I wasn’t up to doing. Instead of getting bogged down by the fact that I might disappoint someone I decided to focus on me.
How does Nina feel?!
Am I okay with this? Do I regret anything? No? Then I’m off to a good start.While turning down invitations I began my first act of putting myself first : The Mocha Diaries. I have always been a writer since I was young, not that I was ever any good, but I know I have improved with age. Writing for me is the easiest way to process my emotions, whether to myself or to others. I’m not a verbal person and I avoid confrontation like the plague. If I have anything of value to say to you it will be in the form of a letter, email, or text message.
Writing has always appealed to me as I can express myself without confronting the individual directly. If I need to sit and talk something out in person it is very daunting for me. It can be done, however, it makes me very uncomfortable with the fact that I may be disappointing someone else. Writing the Mocha Diaries has done immeasurable good for my head space. Saying no and then turning inwards has rewarded me with insight about myself that I have put on the back burner for a long time. It has given me the means to write about my feelings on the tough questions that hold me back on my bad days. I also gain insight as to why I think this way and how now that I know it, I can come to own those thoughts. Owning those thoughts enables me to break out of their hold slowly and begin to rewrite myself as the person I’ve always envisioned myself to be.
Putting myself first looks like me not over-eating except for one instance out of laziness. It gives me this immense power to actual feel in control of my surroundings, especially in the presence of food. My eating is more disciplined and not only that I am able to achieve more of what I set out to do. The only thing I’m slacking on is actually getting off my ass to exercise, but that’s because I have yet to enjoy it. It feels amazing to come off of a great week putting myself first. I was a bit worried I ‘d be getting shit from others for disappearing, but you know what, fuck it. I’m just as important as anybody else. If I don’t want to see people for a week, I’m not going to see anyone. If I want to go somewhere and no one else does, I can go alone. I have catered to others for far too long not to value myself more and now that I’ve seen what I can accomplish in a small amount of time there is no going back.
So yes, you may see me less or hear from me less, if I feel that I am in need of quality alone time. My brain hasn’t been in this good of a condition since my vacation and before that I’d say its been a fair while. And you know what, I like it. I like this feeling, this utter calmness in me. Granted my anxiety stricken brain lurks in the background with fears of the future, but most of the time I can sit and relax and enjoy my time. I even have felt like, wow Nina, you are doing great. Can you believe how calm and at ease you feel? A little less toxicity is good for everyone. So to anyone that says I miss you, I want to see you more. Fuck you. I’ve bent over backwards in most ways for most people in my life without any regards to myself and my well-being. I’m taking my time, my energy, and my emotions back. I’m investing in my fucking self. If you don’t like it, you can hit the fucking highway. I’m on the path to self-care for myself. By myself. I feel powerful, strong, and sane. And that is the way I plan to make it stay. So you’re either a supporter who respects my self-care tune or your not. And if you aren’t, then ask yourself…do you put yourself first? Cause we all deserve some fucking respect and love for ourselves from ourselves. Self-Care is important for everyone! 😀