i used to use “selfish” and “self-centered” interchangeably.
it was only once i was hit head on by mental illness that i began to notice the difference.
selfish means you are the center of your own universe. the world happens to you, not around you. what happens to others is of no concern because you are the most important. you don’t care if you screw someone over as long as it means you’re better off.
self-centered is very different. this means you focus on your life and its events – but you don’t slam other people to better yourself. self-centered people can still be generous and giving.
see the difference?
i used to think i always had to be the martyr. yeah i have a million and one things going on this weekend but yes i can do 8 other things for you. i thought that in order to be a good person, friend, and family member, i had to sacrifice my own peace of mind to serve those around me.
with some help from my therapist, i began to realize that life is too damn short to be a martyr. you can help people without sacrificing everything you have.
it’s called balance.
i had to learn how to say no. i did favors for others when i could, but if i had more pressing matters, i let them know.
that doesn’t make me a bad person. it makes me realistic.
learn to be your own advocate. practice self-love and self-care.
to be a compassionate, kind, loving human, you don’t have to work tirelessly for others. it’s okay to take time to do homework, workout, nap, socialize. you’re doing no one any good by being burned out.
those that don’t understand what you’re trying to accomplish by living a balanced life will be upset. they won’t understand why you no longer do favors, why you are no longer “the nicest person ever”, why you can’t be their 911.
and you know what? that’s okay. it is extremely hard for those without mental illness to understand it’s debilitating effects.
“the woman you’re becoming will cost you people, relationships, spaces, and material things. choose her over everything.”
that says it all.