So today I wanted to address and issue that many people face, whether they have mental health issues or not. The word "selfish" has a extremely negative connotation, despite the fact that in many situations, being selfish is not only okay, it's necessary. I have been called selfish numerous times throughout my life, and I used to be quite offended whenever the word was spoken in my direction. I used to be so concerned with being non-selfish that I ended up compromising my own happiness in the pursuit of making others happy. Afraid of judgement, I ended up stuck in toxic friendships and relationships, which worsened my anxiety and eventually would lead to periods of severe depression.
After several years of this repetitive behaviour, I finally realized how detrimental it had been, after speaking about it at length with my former psychologist. He pointed out that a majority of the people I was surrounding myself with were walking all over me, and that I was enabling this to happen. It's not that they were bad people, or that they meant to hurt me, but in not standing up for myself and "selfishly" asking for what I needed or wanted, I was essentially standing by and watching my own happiness disappear. I needed to be selfish, to cut ties with those who I didn't actually want to be around, and to ask for the support from the ones who I truly wanted in my life.
If you are unhappy, don't be afraid to be assertive. If you need something to change in your life, be selfish and do whatever you need to do to change it. No one else is going to stick up for you. The truth is that biologically, everyone's brains are programmed to think about what benefits them and them alone. Often, this instinct can get suppressed, especially if someone is suffering from a mental illness such an anxiety or depression, and we tend to get comfortable in our surroundings, and get scared to rock the boat by making any changes. Personally, I would find myself in that situation, and sometimes spend years in the same relationship, afraid to leave or ask for anything to change. It was extremely dangerous for my mental health, and it is only outside of the situation that I realize what I was doing. Hence why I decided to write this post- don't be scared of changing the situation you are in if you are not happy! When I finally found my voice and cut out all bad relationships and friendships from my life, I saw a large portion of my anxiety and depression follow. It was truly amazing how much better I felt when I finally was selfish enough to give myself what I wanted. If you find yourself in a rut, don't be afraid to make some changes based on what YOU want. Be your own best friend. Stand up for yourself. Trust me, you'll wonder why you haven't been selfish all along.