At some point, we have to start taking care of ourselves. We jump in at the first sign of someone else who needed help and NEVER stop to think about ourselves until it is too late. If we can’t love ourselves enough to put our mental health first our physical health will suffer. It happened to me. Don’t think it can’t happen to you!
I found myself in this vicious cycle of trying to rescue everyone and when I needed to save myself I didn’t know where to start. My first signs of living with anxiety date back to a letter I wrote to my mother when I was fifteen years old. During that time I didn’t know that my constant stomach pain was from stress and anxiety. Fast forward to delivering my only child a week before I turned twenty and struggling with what I later learned was postpartum depression. Eleven years later I walked away from a failed marriage and became a single parent struggling to make ends meet at a “decent-paying” job with no child support and making “too much” for government help.
The stress of unresolved PTSD left me with a condition well known as fibromyalgia from years of unresolved depression and anxiety. It took a year to finally get that diagnosis. When I am in a fibro flare medical providers are now questioning if that flare triggers an autoimmune flare.
When I first started getting sick over a year ago my family joked about making moderations so that I am able to continue participating in activities that I enjoy. I was really excited about attending the March in D.C. in late August until I realized it may not be possible. I have bilateral patellar maltraction and bilateral tendonitis with adult acquired flat fleet due to fallen arches that prevent long-distance walking and long term standing and contribute to falls. Yes, I have walking devices and a wheelchair. The tough part is being able to be pushed by family throughout the march. The other issue is heat sensitivity. Those medical issues make daily life difficult at times to leave home and continue to remain active. Please take care of yourself!
I chose to share my story so that someone else may stumble upon it and realize the magnitude of self-care. Had I taken better care of myself I wouldn’t be in this position now. Had I cared for myself first I would not have worked 65 hours per week between two jobs to avoid my problems. The physical and mental stress from avoidance worsened my medical problems.
~We can’t properly love and care for others if we don’t love and care for ourselves FIRST! Meditate, meditate, meditate. If it won’t matter in five minutes, five days or five years do NOT stress about it. Let that shit go. Make YOUR mental health YOUR priority! You can NOT save the world!