I am slowly learning to rely more heavily on myself, because no one else is going to take care of me. Growing older means I can no longer ask my parents or my friends to fight my battles for me. I cannot expect them to go out of their way for me when they have their own issues to deal with on a daily basis. I am self-reliant. I am a survivor. I am capable of protecting myself, caring for myself, loving myself. It is up to me to shape my world into something of value. I cannot ask anyone else to do that for me.
I am slowly learning to accept my insecurities. Instead of arguing with my reflection, I have made amends. I look at myself and see past the parts of my body that bring out my deepest insecurities. Instead, I focus on the soul beneath the skin. The personality hidden three layers deep.
I am slowly learning to take responsibility for my actions instead of displacing the blame. My automatic response to something that I caused to go wrong is no longer to yell about someone else screwing me over. From now on, I am acknowledging my own role in the situation and admitting that I could have handled things better. That does not mean I blame myself. It means I am no longer going to see myself as a victim who has things happen to her. It means I see myself as someone with power who has the potential to change situations for better or for worse.
I am slowly learning to deal with my emotions in the healthiest way possible. Instead of reaching for a bottle when my day brings unwanted stress, I reach for a friend. I search for a kindred spirit to talk things through with, whether it’s someone I can meet for coffee face-to-face or a stranger from a group I’ve found online. I run toward someone, anyone, who understands my situation, who has been in a similar situation, to help myself feel a little less alone.
I am slowly learning to take care of myself, both in complicated ways and in basic ways. I am keeping my laundry folded in their drawers instead of tossing them onto carpets and tables. I am washing the makeup from my face at night instead of letting my laziness win and leaving it. I am answering my emails when they arrive instead of putting it off until later. I am eating right and exercising and staying far away from my triggers. I am doing my best to become my best.
I am slowly learning to strike a balance between being selfish and selfless. I am determined to place myself first from now on, but I cannot sacrifice my kindness in the process. I will still be there for friends. I will still be there for my family. But I will also be there for myself. I will love myself. I will pamper myself. I will take responsibility for myself.