In the past few years, I've discovered that I have become someone who is easily taken advantage of. The errand runner, then drops what you're doing friend, a whatever you want a friend- that was me. This led me to develop bad habits of going, going, going until I can not go anymore. I felt like I was being used and abused, which lead me to feel depressed and full of anxiety- staying up at night worrying about what others were thinking about me.
Now don't get me wrong, helping your friends out is not wrong. But my motives were based selfishly rooted in the belief that my value was in what I did. Those people would only like me if I did "this" or "that".
So in the effort to help me process, I'm about to list out all the things I did to combat those lies that I had let grow in my life and the negativity it caused. Are you ready for this? Hopefully, this will help you create the live you life with out the added stress sometimes created by it.
One of the first pieces of advice given to me is "it is okay to say NO." Now for many of you reading this, you might find this to be obvious but at the time, I felt that when someone asked me to do something I was trapped against the wall and I would always come running! No matter what the time, and no matter what I needed to do. My work began to slow down because I was so busy helping others at work get out of things that my work began to suffer. After a while of this, a mentor of mine said, "Just say no. If you can't say no, call me and I will say no." It began to give me a sense of freedom, just knowing that it was okay to say no. Freedom to breathe, time to set aside for me. Here's a reminder for you: It's okay to say no to rest.
My newly found freedom gave me so much strength that I wanted to keep going. And the next step was in the errand/job department. Whenever someone would need something I would drop what I'm doing and immediately help. This made me keep my phone always scared that someone was going to need my help at some point in time. Looking back, I developed bad habits centered around trying to always be there for others- I thought that was loyalty. Many of you may know the saying but I had never heard it before and it has helped me so much: "Your emergency is not my emergency." I'm not talking about 911 seriousness but I'm talking about the little things that pop up during the day that can wait. WAITING is the keyword. I started introducing phrases like, "Can I think about it?" or "I'm busy now but what about later?" into my vocabulary and it continued to free me.
My life is not a perfect, anxiety-free life. But it is one that is becoming easier to learn how to manage anxiety and discovering the freedom to be me. Not because of what I do but who I am.
This is, of course, not everything that happened, but just a few things I've pulled out of my life in hopes that someone reading this and feels like me; knows there is a way out. If you're reading this, hang on, be strong, and keep trying- you're not alone.