Take care of yourself

It’s a phrase I use a lot. I always mean it. When I meet someone and spend time talking to them I always say goodbye with a warm… erm… goodbye and a ‘take care of yourself.’

It’s a phrase I like a lot. Mainly because I do want people to take care of themselves. Equally I want people to take care of others and for others to take care of them in times of great strain and stress. But sometimes you just can’t rely on people to do so. And so, the only person you can rely on to take care of yourself is yourself. Know this before it’s too late.

Who’s gonna pull you out of the mental holes and dark places you’re in? The friends you once had have moved on, bored by your tough times and unwilling or unable to cope any more. Family see you as having created these problems yourself and so, tough talk is their solution.

A while back a friend of mine was going through a tough time. As was I, and while I wanted to be there for them and help them in any way I could, I knew that I couldn’t all the time as I had my own stuff going on. I asked them to take care of themselves and made them promise they would. Eat food, get rest. Do stuff which would be fun and break the day up a bit. I also asked another friend to check in on them to make sure they were okay. Of course I wouldn’t be running off but perhaps I wasn’t really the person who could help much as I wanted to be.

Of course, some people in my life can’t take care of themselves. My children. I guess they need me to take care of myself so I can take care of them. Sometimes I can’t see this. Sometimes everything is focussed on them. I forget to eat and a day later, or two days later I find myself hungry. I think back to when I ate some food. Some days ago. How much of an idiot am I? Take care of yourself Spencer. Okay, but why?

I used to think I had a person in my life who could take care of me when bad times hit as I would do for her. We were a team. But in reality my bad times were stopping her from taking care of herself. And as such… Well you know the story by now.

Seriously team. Take care of yourself. Take care of yourSELVES. If you have a worrying problem or a niggle, go and see a doctor. If you feel down or low then take some of the more complicated elements out of your life by asking friends or family for help. There’s nothing wrong with asking for help. And then thank that person by doing the same for them when they have a tough time.

Because one day you might turn around and find that the only person who can take care of you is you. And that feels like the loneliest place on Earth because you just can’t see the point.

Perhaps I should start using Loreal products. You know? Because I’m worth it?

The thing is though. I don’t think I am.

Thanks for reading.

First published May 1st, 2012.

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