"Just. Be. Kind", I'd tell myself as I've tried to call Danny 30 times in the last few months, but I was always met with a phone that rung out and a voicemail message.
I never left a message though. I would just text and say "hey, just calling for a chat, what's up?' I would always be greeted with an immediate reply text. "Hey, sorry I'm not in a good way... not up for talking on the phone".
I've been in his position before; I know what it's like. Craving human connection and loathing it at the same time. I would always be there though, even though I knew he'd screen my calls, I'd call anyway, I'd text anyway. Because I know what it's like to be in his position.
This time it was bad. After years of struggling with mental demons and some questionable decisions in his life, he's reached this point. He told me he was done with everything. He said he didn't want to go on like this and was tired of hurting others unintentionally, he explained that he's tried to put everyone before him and make sure their needs were met. But what about his? Ha! "What about mine? I don't care about myself". Is what he would say. And that was the basis of this problem. Living a life untrue to himself for years and years had slowly caused him to resent himself, to hate himself.
I said "stop right there! How can you possibly expect to give so much to others, to love and care for other people when you don't even love or care for yourself? How could you possibly have the capacity to overflow with love and compassion for others when all you have inside you is hatred? You need to fill yourself up first before you can give to others." Recognising what in the fuck is going on with yourself is harder than you think. Outsider perspective can give you that "ah ha" moment.
It's not a simple fix, oh no, it's a journey and there will be ups and downs, stalling, and two steps forward and one step back. Self care and preservation are vital and must be put above all else. Anyone who cares about you will understand when you need a moment to take care of yourself. Those that may be bothered by it, aren't good for you anyway. So if you find yourself neglecting yourself I challenge you to start loving and caring for yourself like I'm sure you try to do for your loved ones. Try putting yourself first for once and see whether it puts a change in motion.
What if you don't personally struggle with those feelings of anxiety and/or depression? The racing heart, breathlessness, worry, despair and lack of foreseeing any possible ounce of happiness in the future. Could you be that person that knows someone struggling? Openly or silently. What do you do? How do you react or act around them when you can't personally resonate with their feelings? Just. Be. Kind. Don't be an asshole and simply communicate. There's no need to complicate things.
How's Danny? Still screening my calls on occasion (thanks asshole), but in his journey of realising his truth he is beginning to find his happiness. Depression and anxiety pop by on occasion but they kindly boot off after a while.
I'm still here though, whenever he needs. Whenever anybody needs. And if I can't cope with someone else's emotional baggage because I'm swapped with my own crazy life I will always communicate and let them know, and we will work this shit out together. I will always be kind. I will always put myself first, take care of and love myself because I know that by doing that I am helping my loved ones. You should absolutely do that too.
Don't be an asshole.
Just. Be. Kind.
Love Dayna Eickenloff