Making a Decision
I sat, drenched in my own fear of disappointment as I declined my first job opportunity. This job, with the potential of altering my life financially, did not meet my needs mentally, or emotionally. Making decisions for myself, by myself is tough. Since developing anxiety in 2015 while already living with depression, I’m challenging myself to constantly learn and understand who I am— both in my mental struggles and in my journey of self-care and conscious decision making. What made this decision mostly difficult, however, was the reality of balancing boundaries, limits, aspirations, weaknesses, and strengths. I’m no longer able to take the same type of risks or handle high levels of stress like in the past.
My early self, my self before I developed anxiety, always pushed herself to the limit without self-care. I stayed up late, barely slept, barely ate, and always found an excuse to push myself more. Perfectionism showed itself in every aspect, even when I didn’t need to be a perfectionist. I was not kind to myself and didn’t allow myself to take breaks. I became fixated in being the best.
What it Means to Put Yourself First
My self-care journey, now that I’m in a place where it’s most important, has transformed how I think about my identity and my next steps. I center my decisions based on what’s best for me and my mental health over anything else. My main priority is progressing and healing through my anxiety and depression as I navigate my early adult life.
Having a mental illness or struggle is not an end for you by any means. As you learn and go through each moment, whether that’s making decisions, trying something new, or taking a risk, remember to do so with compassion, knowledge, and self-awareness. The more you learn and understand your triggers, what makes you uncomfortable, and spaces that are not best for you, the easier it will be to try avenues that are more suited to your needs. Your growth and mental health are important and although it may take some adjustments, always put your well-being first. Saying no to an opportunity is only a minor set-back as you continue looking for your right fit and niche.
It took me a week of depression to come to this conclusion. I felt weak and vulnerable to the idea that I’m unable to do everything that comes my way. Even if you decline an opportunity because you are prioritizing your mental health, does not mean you have to give up. Keep searching. You are capable of so much even if it’s not something you find right away. Be patient with yourself, your healing, and your journey.
Nina is a Latina from Brooklyn, NY who struggles with depression and anxiety. She finds refuge and healing through her writing since she graduated from college in 2016. Nina writes to spread awareness and hope to those who struggle with their mental health silently. She also strives to motivate and encourage self-acceptance. She enjoys creating creative and uplifting content on her blog SparklyWarTanks.com where she shares her experiences, notes, poems, quotes, and articles