Having a good heart gets you hurt each and every time. It's a known fact. You try time and again to do what's right by everyone and let yourself come in last. There's no real issue with this, except you started letting yourself come in last every time. You started brushing your wants and needs to the side to bend over backwards and do the absolute most for everyone, but you forgot that you can't pour from an empty cup. You can't keep giving what you don't have and you're exhausted. You're so exhausted from trying, from trying and still getting burned in the end. You've had enough. This is when I walked away.
I didn't walk away so much as I stepped back. I took a step back from it all, took a deep breath and screamed the stress away. Caring too much takes a toll on you. It mentally, emotionally, and physically drains every ounce of energy from your once optimistic and energetic body. If you're not careful, if you don't start taking care of yourself and putting yourself first every once in a while, you can become bitter. You can become depressed. You can become everything you were never trying to become.
I took a step back. I didn't want to become that person, but I recognized that I was heading down that road. It started to upset me more that people were constantly pulling at me. I felt that people I called my friends only ever reached out to me when they needed something from me. I spent more days after classes and more nights than I can count crying myself to sleep or hoping that sleep found me before the tears. I constantly gave to others and didn't care about taking care of myself, running myself into the ground and never saying no. I had to save everyone. I started to resent the person that I always wanted to be; the someone that others could always count on.
I took a step back. I grew tired of breaking my own heart trying to make sure everyone else's was whole. I got fed up with being exhausted and constantly emotionally drained. I decided enough was enough and I met myself again. I started to focus on what I wanted for myself and my future. I started learning to enjoy spending time alone and I got used to it. Some people didn't come around as much once I started telling them no. I became happier than I've ever been because I finally decided that I was enough and that I deserved better than constantly draining myself and overdoing it all the time.
I will never stop being the person that I am. The day I decided to be selfish was more about me finally giving myself even just half of the respect that I give to others. It doesn't mean that I left the girl with the big heart behind and vowed never to help another soul again. I just started treating her better. Self-care is important, and it's something that I'm still learning how to do.
So this is to you. This is to the you that always keeps your heart on your sleeve and never thinks twice about giving everything you have to someone in need. This is to the you that cries yourself to sleep wondering why nothing you do ever seems to be enough. This is to the you that is constantly drained of energy. This is to the you that's had enough.
Learn to love yourself. Be unapologetically you and remember always that you can't pour from an empty cup. Put yourself first sometimes and never feel guilty for it. Know that you deserve better and you owe it to yourself to take care of yourself. Be selfish.