UNITED STATES—It has taken me some time, but I have come to the conclusion that I care too much about other people and as a result I am ignoring my needs. My mental health matters because sometimes I put too much on my plate. The sad thing about the situation is that people know that about me and they use it against me to their advantage. Something that I have discovered about myself as I age is that it is absolutely ok to tell people a simple two-letter word, “NO.”

That is a word some people don’t say enough, and for others they say it too much. However for me I have discovered that saying the word ‘no’ is healthy for the mind, body and spirit. Why? It is sort of freeing and clear to others that you are not a pushover and you have to indeed stand your ground even if people get their feelings hurt in the process.

When people don’t care about your feelings, why should you care about their feelings? I mean think about it, it sounds crazy, it sounds a bit absurd, but it’s the truth and the truth is the thing that messes with people more than anything. They don’t like the mirror placed up to their face and to be found out. When I say found out, I mean that person who turns out to be a user. When the mirror forces one to see who they truly are, they’re not always happy with the result.

When you take a bit of time to yourself and cut yourself away from those who as I have recently learned a new term, ‘energy viper’ you realize how detrimental they are to your overall sanity. Your goal is not to hurt one’s feelings, it is just being able to control what energy you allow people to take from you and the level of energy that you give to those who are clouding your judgement and at times making you question what you believe and what you do in life.

There is nothing wrong with caring about people especially family, but I have come to discover that family are the people who will suck your energy dry tooth and nail, without you even realizing the mental stress they are putting on your sanity. They don’t care at times, the focus is on them, and not you and sometimes it takes a moment to see those things, but once your eyes are open, the reality sets in. I’m suffering while you’re benefiting so I have to take that power and control back to maintain my peace, my sanity and clarity in my life.

When you improve your mental state of being, you are able to focus on other things in your life, like better eating habits, taking time yourself and doing things that make you happy. I’ve been neglectful of a few things in my life because others have been the focus over me and this past week I’ve learned it’s time to focus on me. I can’t give everyone my all, if I’m not feeling 100 percent myself. Not there yet, but trust me I’m getting there. Guess what America, you all have to do the same.

Written By Zoe Mitchell