Feeling overwhelmed by your problems is difficult on its own, but when you feel like your problems are causing you to become a burden around everyone else, those feelings are magnified. I’ve dealt with this in my early struggles with anxiety, and it’s still something I still deal with. It’s not easy to get out of this self-loathing mindset, but if you feel yourself going farther down this hole, take a deep breath and keep these little reminders in mind.
1. You’re not the only one who feels this way.
Everyone says this, but it’s true. If you ask your friends if they’ve ever felt like too much, they’ll probably say yes. We all have moments in our lives where we feel overwhelmed by our problems. If it’s too heavy for us to deal with on our own, why would we ask someone else for help or share our feelings? But it’s okay, and 100% human, to not feel okay, and it’s okay to admit that to yourself and others. No one expects you to handle everything on your own all the time, and if they do, they’re holding unrealistic expectations that say a lot more about them than you.
2. You’re allowed to make mistakes.
Sometimes we screw up. It might affect someone else, but more often than not, it only affects us. And if you think you’re a burden, that’s a sign that you’re being too hard on yourself. We really are our worst critics. Making mistakes is a part of life. It’s only human. Trying to be perfect at everything is not only impossible, but it will also make you miserable. That sort of mindset will send you spiraling down even deeper into self-loathing, and you deserve better than that.
3. Be gentle with yourself.
You’re struggling. That’s a very real feeling, and there’s no shame in admitting that you’re having a hard time coping with life at this moment. Since we often are our worst critics, we don’t tend to give ourselves chances to just feel our emotions and accept where we are in the moment. But it helps to remember that everyone struggles, and that you wouldn’t treat a friend as negatively as you’re treating yourself. It can help to think of yourself as a friend and imagine how you would talk to yourself.
4. It’s okay to reach out.
This may sound counterintuitive, but if you feel like a burden, you’re probably dealing with a lot of emotional issues that are too much to handle on your own. Not every struggle needs to be faced alone; more often than not, sharing the load with someone else will make it easier to deal with. And there are people out there who feel like you, people who want to help. Please reach out to them. No one who truly cares about you wants to see you struggle, and deep down, you likely don’t want to keep feeling this way either.
5. You’re not a burden.
I promise you. No matter how heavy you feel right now, you are not “too much” nor something to “deal with.” You are not weighing other people down. What you’re dealing with is burdensome, but you are not a burden. You are a person going through struggles in life, just like everyone else. Keeping that perspective in mind can distance you from being so self-critical of yourself to the point of your detriment.
Life can be incredibly hard. So many things are outside of our control. We’re not invincible, and what one person can handle is too much for someone else. It’s not about personal weakness or character. You’re just a person trying to navigate the craziness that is life like everyone else. Give yourself some credit for pushing on, despite how intense things are right now.
Above all, remember that you are loved. You are so loved. I know it doesn’t feel that right now, but it’s true. I love you because you are a person and we are all loved. And if you read this far, looking for reassurances for yourself, a reminder that you’re not a burden but a wonderful person, then it sounds like you love yourself, too.