Personal Experience — Not feeling ‘worthy’ of Self care.
It’s 3pm. I’ve just woke up. I curse myself for staying up late doing nothing of value, purely because I know if I went to bed at midnight I just wouldn’t sleep. I put on the same clothes I’ve had on for two days straight because I haven’t washed any others in a while. I think about having a bath, a shower, washing my hair. The thought overwhelms me and I feel guilty and disgusting that I haven’t managed to do this the last few ‘mornings.’ I decide to punish myself by not doing either.
I go downstairs and think of making myself a decent healthy breakfast. I pour sugary Coco Pops into a bowl instead and then berate myself again. I sit on the sofa and stare through the TV. I look at job descriptions I feel like I can’t do.
I should write. I know I should write. I have deadlines coming up and I need to focus on sticking to them. Plus, writing makes me feel better, more productive. Instead I refresh every social media app on my phone whilst simultaneously ignoring messages and missed calls from friends and family. They don’t need to know I feel like this again.
I think of watching something to take my mind off things, but there’s nobody here to make the decision for me. I flick through Netflix for half an hour, then switch it off.
I keep zoning in and out. I’m out of sync with my tablets due to when I keep waking up. I may have missed a couple of days. I experience little ‘brain jolts’ as I call them, from withdrawal. I do nothing about this because for some reason I enjoy the strange sensation. I then feel guilty for enjoying something that is harmful to me.
Eventually, I decide to reach out to a friend. I already feeling guilty for doing so. She’s got problems of her own, plus she has a little one to care for. She doesn’t need to hear about my latest meltdown, or the ridiculous things going on in my head. But she listens. She suggests. She sympathises. Makes me feel that in that instance I wasn’t alone and a burden.
I make a list, of everything I’ve been putting off — no matter how big or small. I realise that other people feel like this from time to time. I’m not a terrible person for feeling like I don’t deserve to help myself, to make myself feel better.
Self-care isn’t all Disney films, Instagram-able bath bombs and cuddly blankets. Sure- that can help, and sounds like a lovely time- I like to call it ‘surface self-care,’ or ‘Tumblr self-care.’ But when the lows moods hit, the more mundane day-to-day things seem to be the biggest struggle. It may feel that avoiding this stuff is a punishment to yourself, like you deserve it for being lazy or stupid of whatever your brain is telling you at that precise minute, but prioritising what you need to do, and celebrating the little victories will help.