I've Got To Save Myself
So before I save someone else, I've got to save myself.
Have you heard this beautiful new song by Ed Sheeran? I'm a little bit obsessed, having always been a fan of his softer songs. But it also hit me a bit harder because it's a question I've been asking myself a lot lately: should I support someone when I'm not in the right place to do it?
I had a really wonderful weekend with a trip to the beach, a yacht party, an art gallery visit and tea and cake in the cutest cafe in Abu Dhabi. But Friday night – well let's be real, Saturday morning – saw me hysterically sobbing which soon turned into a panic attack. Shout out to the best friend for being there at 3am whilst I couldn't breathe, she's a keeper.
There are a lot of reasons for why this happened but it's an emotional time and my anxiety has been ramped up as I head towards graduation. Despite this I've found myself supporting a lot of people emotionally, which I love. I really do – I love helping people and listening to them and being a shoulder to cry on, and I love that people turn to me for that. But in retrospect the fact that I was so emotional already was definitely made worse by being there for so many others because it can be emotionally exhausting. I was trying to be a great friend with no thought for what it was doing for me and then on Friday night I just kind of lost it.
Should we help others when it comes at a cost to ourselves? If someone else was asking me I would undoubtably say that they needed to put themselves first. I see other people prioritising themselves and I respect them for it. But I struggle so much to do it in my own life, and then I end up feeling resentful because sometimes it feels like it's an emotional support that only goes one way.
No matter what, you do have to look after yourself. No one is superhuman – despite how hard we might try to pretend to be – and that means that love and self care needs to be a priority. Sometimes that involve stepping back from supporting others for a while, which is okay. I also find figuring out how far I'm willing to go with someone helps me. There's one friend that I will do anything for, but she's also gone to ridiculous lengths to love and support me and with her I know my input makes a real difference. I feel horrible for even typing this, but for some people it doesn't matter what you do, you can't save them. In those instances it's the most important to care for yourself too. Figure out where your limits lie and respect them.
Will I take my own advice? Who knows, but I urge you to. Thanks to our friend Ed for reminding us what is important. Helping people is amazing, but it shouldn't hurt you in the process.