This is all really difficult to write, but I am doing my best to express this shit:
If I lived in the Divergent book world, I probably would have been Abnegation (not that any of us would be in just one group, part of the point of the books was that we are all more than one thing). I don't mean that I am entirely selfless, but I do tend to try and take myself out of the equation, and I'm generally happy as long as everyone else is happy. This is perhaps not the healthiest attitude. I will always feel that you should indeed care for others, but in my case this has also resulted in a lack of self care. Taking care of yourself does not in any way impede your ability to care for others, but sometimes you get so focused on that, you forget about YOU.
Loneliness can be a driving factor in lack of self care, because you start to believe that you aren't worth bothering with. I think this has been my problem for a long time. It's this feeling of not being good enough for other people, even though there can be many other legit reasons for that current lonely feeling. The problem is that you get stuck in a thought loop of, "Why am I so alone? Where are my friends? Why don't I have more friends? Am I going to die alone?" etc etc forever. That's when you start to get depressed and decide you are the problem after all (or at least this is how I get, I can't actually speak for anyone else when I say 'you'). I have always been fairly independent, I am good just being on my own, and I honestly do not care what other people think of me, most of the time. I know I don't care because if I cared, I would probably try to change to fit in better. But I don't care, and even though I may always be on the journey to discover who I really am, I do know who and what I am NOT. As far as I'm concerned, self discovery is all a process of elimination. That doesn't mean that I am not occasionally effected by what other people think. Here's the thing, though: This is almost ENTIRELY how I am perceiving what I think they are thinking about me (does that make sense at all?). With the exceptions of a few incidents in my childhood, there have been almost no interactions where anyone has ever said anything about me that actually effected how I see myself. I am far more effected by what I think others are thinking than by what others are ACTUALLY thinking (is that more clear?). What's that quote, about people not being against you, they're just FOR themselves? It's totally true. ANYWAY MOVING ON! Before getting sidetracked down one of those tangent wormholes I am always finding, my point was that even though loneliness can make you feel left out and worthless, it does not make it so. I have friends that I love and speak to fairly regularly, and they live all across the country. I have family that I love and they live all over too. Even though I may go through periods of loneliness, I know and appreciate that I have people there for me if I really need them. It can be hard to recognize on a day to day basis when you live alone and don't see anyone you care about for long stretches of time. I think that self care and taking time to relax can really help improve your attitude toward yourself and the world around you.
In a somewhat opposite note, being around people for too long can be draining as well. This is especially true for me since I am very introverted, but even extroverts need to remember to take time out from everything and recharge. For me personally, I can get very overwhelmed if I don't get some alone time every once in awhile. It is not usually much of an issue for me, but if I ever do find myself in a situation where I am asked to do something/make plans/hang out for several nights in a row, I have to remind myself that it is ok to turn things down because I know that I will need a break. This can be difficult because I don't like to let people down, and I don't want to be left out in any future endeavors. You just have to figure out a way to balance it all, and that is some incredibly generic and vague advice for sure, but in a way that's kind of half of what life IS; finding a way to balance it all. I find that what works best for me is if I need to turn something down, I try to make another plan for some other time in the not too distant future (e.g. "I can't this week, but I can hang out next week if you're available?"). Don't push yourself into doing something you know you don't want. If you do, it will most likely end up making everyone miserable anyway. Or maybe not, I certainly can't say how everyone will act in every situation, I just know that for me, I usually end up making things sucky if I am not happy to be there in the first place. So don't feel bad about taking time to take care of yourself. The world will understand.
So if you read through all of that, you should probably understand by now that it is perfectly fine and even encouraged, to friggin TREAT YO SELF sometimes. Self care is important. The happier you are, the happier you will make others. It isn't going to cure depression. The more I think about my life the past few years the more I am starting to realize that I was probably in a fairly deep well of depression, and NO, I do not think that I could have 'cured' myself with some self care. I do not really know if depression is something you even CAN cure. But I will say that I probably would have had a lot better individual days if I had taken better care of myself. I'm starting to feel somewhat better about myself even though I have a long way to go. I still feel like there is a lot more I want to say about this but I can't quite articulate all the thoughts in my head. I am going to link a couple of older xovain articles that I have been getting the feels from lately (as I seem to be stalking the archives), and if you're interested, you should check out the comments sections too because there is almost always something helpful from the community down there.
Article by beauty guru ALLE
Not specifically related but gives me the 'I can relate' feels, by Marci
So basically, this is all to justify the small fortune I spent at Lush, buying bath products to luxuriate in. You're welcome.
Update: took a nice bubble bath in the dark with candles, real legit style, and listened to this the whole time: Click here to listen to a French guy whisper to you about history