Self-Care isn't selfish

As an advocate for societal change, I put myself, and my journey"Out There". This doesn't require pity, nor envy, just identification. Learning that, as Canadians, we have a ton of hurt and pain that has largely been pushed under the proverbial rug.

I most certainly have chosen this path as what I want to do, and more so, what I need to do. In doing so, I've noticed some things. Some great things and not so great things. Being in the public eye, and talking about these stigmatized issues takes it's toll on any human, let alone an advocate with their own set of individual diseases and needs. In saying that. I will always do my best to help out anyone struggling, when I can. 

A massive lesson I've recently learned is, self care, is not selfish, its necessary. For so many months and years, I've put my advocacy infront of my own self care needs. For example: I have dropped everything that I'm doing to go to the hospital to just sit and be with someone struggling with addiction. I don't do this for praise, but so that person won't be alone. I really wish I could do that for every person that reaches out, I can't. I can do my very best to find professional resources and services that can help in someone's specific community. 

Sometimes I have to put myself first, and the advocacy second. A lot easier said than done. We can all give great advice to others, but when it comes to self talk, we just don't say it to ourselves with the same conviction as helping out a peer. By no fault of our own, its just how we as humans are hardwired. 

August and September are really tough months for me personally, and I have worked diligently to keep my self care a priority. Something that was brought to my attention this morning, was the idea to make new, happy memories that will outweigh the negative impact these few weeks have. And that's exactly what I plan on doing. 

This year September 19th will have new meaning, it won't be the day I dred for months before. Maybe a weekend trip to some place I've never been. Maybe I'll get a new tattoo.What ever I do, I won't be sitting around going over the last 10 years of my life hoping it was different. Its up to me to create amazing memories for the next 10 years. The power that we have to supersede old, painful memories is in us all, we just have to dig deep, find out what makes our brain relase dopamine, and do more of that. I want solutions for the experiences I've lived with, not staying in the problem. At the end of the day, it's up to us.



Paulie O'Byrne