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It is not selfish to do what’s best for you

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Katianna Mansfield

More stories from Katianna Mansfield

I am okay now
February 16, 2018

What was best for me today was sleeping in until 10:30 a.m. when I was supposed to be in school, eating half a case of Oreos, talking to our dog for hours, getting her an ice cream, watching a horror movie, falling asleep, stopping by to see my girlfriend, and working hard for my money.

I tend to feel exceptionally guilty every time I give myself the option to help my own situation and nobody else’s. When I’m at home, I worry about my teachers, my homework, my friends that want me there, whether my mom is disappointed in me; despite this, I still need to take days for me. I do certain things to ensure that I don’t lose myself along the course of everything I have to do, and I should never feel bad for that.

When I lose myself, I lose everything. My excitement for life, my motivation, my compassion, my security and confidence in myself, everything that makes me who I am – it just disappears. It takes months to get back to being okay, and my mind still doesn’t work the same.

I’m in the process of getting better after months of deterioration, and it’s a struggle every single day. I used to look in the mirror and didn’t care what I saw, it was me and I was happy with that. Now I walk into the bathroom and don’t feel like I’m worth a glance. I don’t need to see myself anymore – it just makes me feel worse. I’ve stopped hanging out with my friends because I don’t believe that they care. I don’t do my homework because I can’t focus on anything except for everything else I have to do. I hold my girlfriend closer than anyone because I believe I am wholeheartedly the hardest person and least worth it to love, but she tries to prove otherwise. I cry daily from every stress and expectation that is put on top of me, the weight just piling on and on.

These things are true and deep to my very core right now, but I’m trying my best to right them no matter how selfish it is. I went to the salon and had the hairdresser completely change my look and got some new tattoos, which gives me a reason to look in the mirror and see something that is worth a second look. I spend more time with my friends, even when I shouldn’t be doing anything but working on homework, they keep my heart beating at a normal pace and help me deal with my social anxiety. I will eventually believe they care about me. I do homework every time I feel like it, and that amount of time will increase. I give my girlfriend some space so I am not completely dependent on her, but when I feel unloved, she is always there to reassure me. I ask her for the things I need now, and she provides them best she can. I still cry daily, but I wear the swollen eyes and pale face proudly, because I am getting better.

I will get better with time. I will get better at my own pace, my own way, with any amount of selfishness need be.

It is not selfish to get better. It is not selfish to put myself first when I need to.

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