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Being there for yourself before showing up for others is not up for discussion. It

is not an argument, but rather the only way; being there for yourself is the only way to show

up for others. The journey towards better mental health can only start within oneself, and all

the detours lead to meltdowns.

Life is perhaps not a play, but most of us still have certain roles to play – the

caretaker, the housewife, the breadwinner, the older sister, the straight A student and so on,

and one of the scariest things is to suddenly feel insecure in the roles we are playing; an artist that can’t paint, a writer facing a writer’s block, a housewife unable to cook dinner for her family. There are people around us who are used to seeing us play these roles, people who

most definitely will be disappointed if we one day stop playing them, people who will make

us disappointed in ourselves, because our worth is often determined by how well we can play a certain role.

Then it must be quite simple, mustn’t it? As long as the older sister takes on the

role of being a role model and takes care of her younger siblings she is doing alright, isn’t

she? The problem – or rather the reality – is that we aren’t only the roles we are playing. A

caretaker is also someone who needs to be taken care of occasionally, a writer is also a reader, an older sister sometimes wishes to be alone in her room without younger siblings disturbing her. In the end, we aren’t just the roles we’re playing, we’re also flowers that need to be watered in order not to die. Now, a dead plant can certainly be revived, but once its roots are dead, it’s too late to do anything about it. The most important truth to remember though, is that only a lively flower will make the bees and the people around pleased.

Another vital aspect of being there for yourself before showing up for others is

that it is not always an extreme choice of action. What I mean here is that it is not always

about being there for yourself versus showing up for others. The two actions do not oppose

each other but are rather connected, with being there for yourself being the first step in a

process where you one day show up for others as well. It’s all about the steps, just like levels

in a game, you can’t just jump over to level two, you have to start with level one. Well, I