One of my favourite quotes is from the epilogue to Audre Lorde’s A Burst of Light* “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” I think the reason why I hold on so desperately to this quote is because everyday its truth is challenged.
In the past couple of years since I decided to actively do something about my mental health, I have been criticised for being lazy, selfish, absent, only talking to people when I need something from them and the list goes on. While probably all pretty valid criticisms, I have to remind myself of the alternative.
I must choose between working myself to the bone and sometimes refusing to do that thing you ‘need’ me to do.
I must choose between being a social queen and plugging my headphones in to be alone for 1 hour of the day.
I must choose between being a consistently great friend and losing my sanity.
This week I was told, yet again, that I am winning at life. But if I try to be all that you want me to be, this life that you so readily celebrate will be a short one. So sorry, not sorry. Sorry that you feel let down, but not sorry that I let you down anyway. I choose the less perfect, less people-friendly existence that is a little more durable, a little longer lasting.
I choose self-preservation.
*Any friend who would like to buy me this book for my birthday, Christmas etc = much love
Featured image source: tumblr.com