whenever i think about my problems i just think about the problems other people have and why i dont help them, i know i dont even know how to deal with my own problems but i feel like a selfish asshole for not helping other people with their problems. i dont even know why i feel like that, it just feels shitty to deal with my own problems. i feel like im judging myself just to stop and make a solution to my problems.
I think I know how you feel. The thing is that everybody has their own problems to deal with. You know your problems the best and your are the best candidate to deal with them. Nobody else is going to deal with your problems for you. There are people whose problems are more serious than yours but that does not mean your problems are not valid.
I will give you an example. If there was a child whose parent died what would be the good thing to say. 1. Sorry for your lose I am here for you. 2. Dont cry there are people whose both parents are dead… You see. It is not a contest. There is always going to be somebody who has it worse than you. That does not mean your problems are not valid.
Your problems are your own. People can help you but only you can deal with them. We here will support you and help you in any way we can but you have to deal with them. Please know that your problems are valid and you are valid. We appretiate you and you should appretiate yourself. Take care and put yourself first. You are worth it.
You are not selfish. Everyone struggles from time to time, and it’s absolutely natural to be more focused on ourselves when we need to work on what’s preventing us to live the life we want. Being selfish would imply an intention of not caring about others at all. Yet if you read just your post again right here, you’ll see how much you actually care! There is a physical/emotional impossibility to focus on others for now… and that’s okay. You have permission to take care of yourself. Because there will always be struggles in this world and people to help around you… but there is only one you. You are precious. And like anyone else, your energy is not unlimited.
You know the saying: we can’t pour out from an empty cup. That’s true for anything, including caring for others. Actually, if you were pushing yourself beyond your limits, you would easily end up burnt out, which would have bad consequences on others too - being grumpy, less focused, more impatient. That wouldn’t serve you or the person you would try to encourage.
You can also see it that way: what you learn by helping yourself is something you will be able to use to help others too once you’ll be in a better space mentally. You’re investing in yourself, and as a result it’s going to be a resource that you’ll be able to share with others. Taking care of yourself may seem selfish and a very individualistic process… but actually it also has a positive impact on the people around you. You set a healthy example of what self-care is.
Your problems are worth to be cared for with as much time, focus and grace that you need. You are not selfish. You’re only human, like everyone else.
it’s easiest to pour from a full vessel.
It’s always easier to help people and to give advice because we see things more clearly, because we don’t hear the inside voices and thoughts that are saying negative things. We see the value and worth of others, which doesn’t change if they’re struggling or hurting or helpless.
It’s easier to be kind and understanding to others, it’s easy to be compassionate to someone else.
When it comes to ourselves, our brains have a whole list of reasons why we’re “less” than, or not deserving of care, compassion, understanding.
But it’s easier to pour from a full vessel, it’s easier to pour from an unbroken vessel.
You can totally use the motivation and desire to help others TO HELP YOURSELF.
Then it’s not selfish… it’s SELFLESS, because if you’re happier and healthier, then you can help more people! Wouldn’t that be neat?
Also, suffering is not a competition.
If your greatest sadness, if what makes life truly difficult was something like having no friends and family, would you judge someone who is surrounded by loving and supportive people but is diagnosed with crippling social anxiety and depression? For one person, having others would be a dream, the solution, the goal. For the other, just being able to talk and venture out in public is the dream, the goal. Is one problem more “worthy”, or are they both worthy of our care, our attention, our support?
You taking care of yourself will NEVER be selfish. It doesn’t mean you’re saying “I don’t care about anyone else, screw them, I’m all about me”, rather it’s saying:
“I see my own worth, and I see my own struggles and I see I need time/support/help. I’m not saying I’m not helping anyone, I’m saying I’m helping one person right now, with all of my attention, a person who is compassionate and helpful, and who deserves the extra care and attention, I’m helping that person who WILL help others in the future. I’m helping myself”