Helping myself before helping others
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Health and Wellness

Don't Set Yourself On Fire To Keep Others Warm

We might not be aware of it most of the time, but too frequently do we let people drain us of our life and happiness.

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Don't Set Yourself On Fire To Keep Others Warm
Andrea Defilló

A wise man once said that people inspire you, or they drain you- pick them wisely. I have heard and read a lot of true things, but this has stuck with me. I have learned the hard way, through years of toxic friendships that We NEED to pick our company and who we chose to spend time with so wisely. We might not be aware of it most of the time, but too frequently do we let people drain us of our life and happiness.

I for example, am and have always been a very empathetic person. I understand and feel for people all too much. I enjoy helping them. This is why it is easy for me to get absorbed in their lives and their problems; but looking back at my life and nearly every instance of struggling with my mental health, this has always been a factor in triggering my anxiety and depression. I am a fragile person, yet I insist on fighting battles that are not mine to face.

I understand that we always want to help people that we love, especially when they are going through hard times, but sometimes we need to distance ourselves from their problems, especially if we have some of our own nagging at our brains and hearts. It is easy to say and strangely enough hard to do, but don't set yourself on fire to keep others warm! A drowning man cannot help another to shore, he will only sink faster.

Don't let others sink you, make you heavy with their negativity and problems, you are only so strong and can only be so strong for so long. There have been moments recently in my life where I have been on the verge of exploding at a person, I love from not being able to listen to that person's repetitive problems anymore. I have found myself distancing myself from that friend because I have been drained to almost the point of complete exhaustion. I knew better than to let it get this far, but I was so desperate to help that friend through her hard times. Many times, we forget about our own happiness to keep others from unhappiness. We do not realize how much it is hurting us until it is too late.

I know now that that was the wrong thing to do, not only for myself but for our friendship. I am now having to distance myself in order to "recharge" and attempt to build myself up into a healthy functioning person again, and that is not fair to me, or her. Take my advice, don't let yourself get to this point, this is cliché and cheesy, but I think you would agree that it is easier to avoid the well than it is to climb its slippery walls back up. Choose your company wisely, talk to your friends, distance yourself if you need to. But don't make your life harder than it already is, take care of yourself first!

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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