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!