Put your own oxygen mask

In the past few months my life went from comfortable to everything I thought it will never be. In just a few short months I got my Bachelor’s, got into grad school, dropped out, came home after three years of living alone and became a waitress collecting her tuition fee for a private university. That’s a lot to happen in a few months.

Since the day I started to realize I was unhappy about my life, while I was still at my university, I encountered a big problem I used to struggle with as a kid while my abusive father was living with us. My panic attacks were back. It was overwhelming. It was scary. It was also a big, fucking neon sign that said “GET OUT!”.

In these few months I realized the importance of one very simple sentence everyone heard if they were ever on a plane (I was actually never on a plane). The sentence goes: First put your own oxygen mask.

There is so much meaning in this sentence and I guess I, myself, had to go through a bunch of problems, get my panic attacks again to realize I have chosen to take that oxygen mask off and deprive myself of air for so long. I was completely neglecting myself just to make everyone else happy and maintain a certain image about myself because I thought and was taught all my life that I had to do everything to come off as a well put-together person. I was also taught that a university degree is the only road to success, that other peoples’ opinions matter the most etc. I was force fed a lot of bullshit through my life and I am here to tell you to slap that damn oxygen mask on your face.

Stop suffocating yourself and stop making yourself small in order to fit in with some worthless standards our societies and upbringing have made us follow. If you are not happy with yourself, not only are you hurting yourself but you are hurting the people who care about you. When you are in a bad place in your life for a longer period of time you can’t be the person, child, mother, sister, worker, friend, girlfriend, boyfriend that you actually want to be. If you don’t take care of yourself first, you won’t be able to take care of anyone else or make anyone else happy.

Also, if you sacrifice your happiness and wellbeing to make others happy and satisfied with time you will start to resent them and blame them for your own unhappiness. Let me just get this clear. It’s not their damn fault, it’s yours and you need to own up to your mistakes. It was your choice to sacrifice your mental health to make someone else happy. Don’t drown yourself in sorrow now – TAKE ACTION!

Get yourself out of that dark place, find your oxygen mask and put it on. It’s not selfish, it’s necessary. Make yourself the person you want to be so that you could be the person people you care about need. Put yourself first and, I can’t stress this out enough, that is not selfish. Your happiness and mental health are just as important as everyone else’s and it depends on you.

To repeat again (I feel like a parrot): First, put your own oxygen mask!

28 thoughts on “Put your own oxygen mask

  1. Great advice – thanks for sharing.

    Things also got so much better for me when I learnt how to say no to people who didn’t need my help and just wanted to offload their problems.

    1. Thank you for commenting. And yes, I believe that saying no to other people takes special skill and practice, so good job for doing it. I’m still struggling with it

  2. It’s so hard when you can’t help but think your happiness is burdening someone else’s. There are often times that I do something for someone else that goes in direct contention with my own benefit (however light it may be) because I know how much better they will appreciate it.
    It’s not an excuse but..I know what you mean.

    1. I think people have this wrong belief that taking care of yourself and making yourself happy is selfish. It’s actually pretty necessary and I think the world would be better if all of us took more care of our happiness and our feelings.

      1. I agree, it’s just so hard because I have all of these emotions that go along with it. Emotions aren’t rational and are hard to overcome.

  3. Thank you, that is the advice I needed today and congratulations on the bravery to make that change for yourself. I’m putting on my oxygen mask now.

    1. Thank you very much. You just put it on and breathe deeply 😊

  4. This is such a powerful post. Definitely something I needed to read. Thank you for sharing!

    1. I am so glad you liked it 😊

  5. Good for you. It’s good that you recognized and found your way out of a cycle that was making you unhappy.

  6. Yes! And a thousand times yes! Dead people can’t help no one, including themselves.

  7. hear ye, hear ye. 🙂

  8. I, too, have panic attacks. This is great advice…and an awesome blog entry!

    1. Thank you so much for your kind comment 😀

    2. and I hope you will get rid of your panic attacks. Sending love and positive vibes your way!

  9. This is an important reminder, thank you.

  10. My thanks for sharing such an awesome post, really great advice.

    1. Thank you for commenting!

  11. This post is amazing and so pertinent to me and my mode of being on a day to day basis. Thanks for verbalizing what I have begun to feel. I am going to put on my oxygen mask first today when I hear my options for treating my cancer. Thank you!

    1. I wish you all of the best in you life and I know you will beat this cancer and continue on to live a life filled with abundance. Just keep fighting and believe in yourself! My thoughts are with you love!

      Sending love and positive vibes,

  12. Such a great post! Thank you for sharing! I have realised that for me it is also very important to put boundaries on the time that I give to other people. Just last night I managed to end a lovely phone conversation with a friend, when I realised that I was tired and needed some me-time. All work in progress and so worthwhile ❤️

    1. I am so glad to hear you liked it, thank you so much for your kind words!

  13. Wow, this post really resonated with me… I tend to forget my oxygen mask every once in a while and wonder why I can’t breathe. This was a much needed reminder. Well written, thank you so much for sharing your experience. <3

    1. Thank you for commenting. I hope you will always remember to put your oxygen mask on!

      Sending love and positive vibes,

  14. Sage advice. I also suffer with panic and anxiety, but I do notice when ‘all is well’ with my life and I’m not living my priorities to serve others first, it’s a LOT less. It’s really a canary in the coal mine for paying attention to what’s going on in my life and a warning to change it. Namaste <3

  15. Oh, my gods. I cannot tell you how much I needed this. Nor can I thank you enough for writing this and putting it so simply. This is wonderful advice for everyone who struggles with guilt about putting their needs before the wants of others and the way you talk about owning up to the fact that it was a choice to prioritize others before oneself…it is amazing. Do you mind if I share this?

    1. Feel free to reblog it 😊

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