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Learning to Help Myself the Way I Always Try to Help Others

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When someone is need of my help, it is not uncommon for me to drop everything and come to their aid in a flash. No matter what I may be doing, or not doing, as I have no motivation these days, I am never hesitant to help. I am, to a fault, a servant of others.

On my worst days, when I can hardly motivate myself to get out of the bed and shower and brush my teeth and comb my hair and take my medication and… it all just seems so much.. and for what? I don’t really care about myself anyways. Why am I doing all of this just for me? It is different if it is for someone else though. All life is precious, and people out there need my help! Wait a second… Am I not part of those people too? Is my life not as precious as everyone else’s? Well of course not! Why though?

I have always had low self-esteem. I never hold my self in high regards. Always comparing myself to other people. Always judging myself so much more harshly than anyone else ever would. I feel like that is why I help people so much. No, it is not that deep down I do not care for people. It’s just deep down in my soul, I feel that if I can help all of these other people, that maybe.. just maybe… I or someone can help me… can save me.

I have been diagnosed with depression and an anxiety disorder. I have nights where my sleep medication hardly helps me sleep four hours and days where I am driving and all at once I feel a panic attack creeping up on me and I can hear my brain tell me, “You’re losing control! You’re losing control!” I have days where the sun is shining, but it does not shine bright enough to break the dark barrier shrouding my body.

I tell you all of this about me because that has an impact on me wanting to help others. I never ever want anyone, even my worst enemy, to feel like that. Ever. Any time I see someone who is struggling I have to help. I have to make their day brighter. If I do, then just maybe, my day will be brighter. I can raise my head high… Sadly that is not the cure for depression. I have come to learn very recently, you sometimes have to stop helping others so much and start to help yourself.

This is something I am struggling with, as I have fallen into the thought pattern that I do not matter for so long that now I am having to reteach myself that I am just as important as everyone else I believe to be important too. That is the thing. All people are important. So why not I? Why not you? It is a wonderful realization that I… yes I matter. Me! You reading this article!

I have just now started to actually deal with and get better with my depression because I finally accepted I am important enough to need help. In the end, I am just as precious to others as they are to me. I had to do it for them, if for no one else. That was my main reason at first, but now after therapy and meditation I realize that just because I have a mental illness does not mean I am not important either. I am just as important as those I hold in high regards. I can help others when I can, but I need to focus on me so I can get better instead of struggling silently as I help everyone else.

I can and will reach out for help now, knowing all of those I have helped will gladly help me achieve my goal. I take this day by day now. One thing is for sure. I am important. My illness does not define me. I need to take care of myself as I care for others. I know in the end I will be OK now because I am starting to care for myself the way I care for others.

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Thinkstock photo by Jupiter images

Originally published: November 20, 2016
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