Today I cancelled plans to have lunch with friends. Instead, I am staying home so I can cry.
At first I was mad at myself. I felt like a failure. I was cancelling at the last minute on friends who love me because the fear inside my head was getting too big. Fear that had nothing to do with being around them but was present nonetheless.
But then I realized that these people love me.
They LOVE me.
And if someone I love is struggling I would want them to take care of themselves. Just like they want me to take care of myself.
So often with mental illness we get trapped by the word ‘should’. I should be able to do this. I shouldn’t feel this way.
And in the past few weeks, I’ve discovered I hate that word
It has a connotation of guilt. And I’m tired of feeling guilty about my emotions and my needs.
Did I want to go to lunch with my friends? Absolutely! But I know that what I needed was to stay home and take care of myself.
AND THAT’S OKAY
So that’s what I’m doing. Today I am able to have perspective and know that it is okay to do what I need. Tomorrow I might not remember that, and so that is why I am writing this down. To remind myself. And–hopefully–to encourage someone else.
Ignore the should. Do what you need.