Why Self Care Is Hard for Me

This was a 90-second lightning talk I gave at AndConf 2016. This is basically a transcribed form of that talk.

Hi. I’m Sarah. I’m @geekygirlsarah on Twitter. Long story short, I’m trans. (Feel free to find me if you have questions or want details.)

Before I transitioned, I hated my body, my mind, and my life. Basically my entire existence. I often wondered “what’s the point?” to the things I did. This included self care. After all, if you don’t care to exist, why bother taking care of yourself?

What happens is there’s desire to give self care, which takes away your energy, which feeds into doing even less self care, which takes away more energy, and so on.

I transitioned at 24, and am now almost 34. I’m happier now, and the happiest I’ve ever been. But I’m starting to see now some of those residual effects of not taking care of my body, or of me beating up my body. There’s also some residual depression feelings that linger around, ones that still tell me “you’re not worth caring for.”

It makes justifying self care really hard.

There are ad campaigns and such that all try to remind you “your body is beautiful!” It’s hard to believe though when you’re in a state like this. (I regularly feel it’s impossible for me to be beautiful.)

There really is a huge difference between me then and me now. I like to say I “blossomed” and am now thriving compared to how I was nearly a decade ago. I am way more successful now than I ever could have been back then. But it’s still a struggle.

I want to encourage you… if you feel you’re not worthy of self care, tell a friend or a family member. Have them remind you of what you’re worth, and that you are worthy of taking care of yourself. Have them do this regularly, especially when you feel the most down.

You ARE worth caring for, even if you don’t feel like it.