Self-care Shouldn’t be Cutting Us Off from Community

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Does it sort of feel like everyone’s life is a bit of a mess right now?

That’s because life is messy.

We’ve reached this weird transitional stage where everyone’s life is both deadly serious and incredibly chaotic. It’s easy in the chaos to focus on ourselves and try to ignore everyone else and if I have to read one more self care article that suggests that I cut everyone out of my life that doesn’t have it together, I may… have an extremely unpleasant chat with everyone.

Just kidding, this is already that chat because I’ve had enough. I’m going to request that you stick it out because I think there’s actually a serious problem going on.

Has anyone else noticed that the elites’ solution to all of our problems seems to be to alienate us from each other?

First of all, if I cut everyone out of my life that’s ever had issues, I’d have no one left. Having issues and chaos in your life isn’t always just a result of bad choices. Millennials are having a tough time everywhere!

We need to start addressing social problems socially and collectively.

Most of my friends are talented and hard working and have good degrees. We are poor because it’s really hard not to be when we started out that way and our lives are chaos because we had chaotic families.

Everyone is doing the best they can. Sociopathic and psychopathic people are rare, so unless abuse is involved, you are just cutting people out for having challenging home lives.

It’s just an excuse to isolate us!

It’s starting to look to me like my friends with more stability are using the mantra of self care and “lacking bandwidth” as a way to escape the pain of others. You can do that if you like, but you’ll have to excuse me if I don’t give you gold stars in the process.

Much like unicorns, there is no magic and naps aren’t magic either

That’s not only unhealthy, it’s bad for society. We absolutely need community and the end result of this is that a *few* of us are forced to do emotional labor for the rest of the squad. And even my richer, more stable friends are asking me to do emotional labor. I never turn down being a good friend so I’m not sure why anyone is doing this to each other. It’s easy to discount the importance of community when you have the resources to do so.

I’m myself deep in a brutal mourning and re-orientation process, so this has been difficult. But what concerns me right now is how few people have been willing to just let me talk and let the rest of the community caregivers talk about what’s going on. The plan seems to be burying our heads in the sand while our friends fall apart.

Therapists aren’t actually an appropriate replacement for family and friends, y’all.

This isn’t really something we can afford to do. Self-care needs to enrich your ability to engage with the community and the world. The solution to community based problems, like death, domestic violence, sexual assault, drug addiction, and mental health is not to cut yourself off and wash your hands of it. I’ve been trying to keep everyone’s spirits up but these articles have gotten so ubiquitous and seem so destructive to the community that I had to say something.

Of course there are times to cut people out, like when they are abusive or ask you to engage in activities that are life ruining but we should try to be there for each other no matter what and those of you who seem to have it together should remember a few things

1) You didn’t always have it together and SOMEONE was there for you then

2) You have it together because you’ve been given some advantages others haven’t, be grateful for it

3) The more you have it together the more should be expected from you in terms of serving the community. Give back what you’ve been given where you can.

When listening to others, please stop making this about you. Just listen. Please just listen. Unless you are dealing with what I’m dealing with, the last thing I need right now is to be told this is normal. This isn’t normal and no, you don’t know and that’s ok. I don’t need advice I just need empathy and that’s really all you guys need to do for the rest of the people in your midst.

Be comfortable with being sad when I tell you what’s going on. I’ll do my best to cheer you up, I’ve been dancing through most of this and am trying to be as fun as possible but I’m also lying so no one will call me toxic because I’ve got a lot of deaths to get through and as a orphan I can’t really afford to be anymore isolated.

It’s putting a big, heavy extra burden on me to have to do that and it puts an even bigger burden on me when the same people turn around and tell me they can’t handle it because of “self-care” but still expect me to be their emotional support. I can do that work, I want to hear what’s up with you but it needs to be an even exchange and I can only lie for so long.

Lots of people are going through things right now, if you are fortunate to be one of the people that has it together then you don’t lack the bandwidth to help those who don’t. Get more bandwidth and please start listening to your community.

You need a community. Everyone needs a community. Community is the best solution to our mental health problems.

It’s called Durkheim. Check him out.

I love you all deeply. Please try to love me enough to be cool about this process.

And I still love getting sent distractions which I desperately need right now. So continue sending fun memes, keep telling me about cool shows, and special thanks to those who have been willing to just sit with me and watch cartoons and not expect me to perform.

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