On a survey I’m throwing around about things I could offer to help creatives with poor mental health, someone made a comment that read:
I’m slow to respond to messages due to my anxiety, especially the past few months since the car accident, but I respond to all comments on my blog and social media posts, all emails and, eventually, most texts and Facebook messages.
Who do I not respond to regularly? People who I tell repetitively that what they’re dropping on me is too much for me to handle and that they need to find someone else (here’s a list of resources) to lean on. People who are constantly negative and demanding help, but who rarely offer the same in return. People who act as though they are entitled to my time and energy, regardless of what else is going on in my life.
I don’t think I’m more worthy of anyone’s money than they are. I’ve just learned a hell of a lot from my struggle and I’d love to help others with theirs, but I can’t do that without making a few bucks to pay my bills.
No matter what you do, there will be people who don’t like you. There will be people who demand too much and who shit on what you’re doing.
After reading that comment, I immediately went to my inbox and responded to all my messages, feeling bad that maybe I’d ignored someone who needed help. And then I concussioned out so hard and had an absolute shit night.
It’s a good reminder that you can’t help everyone until you’ve helped yourself, and some people aren’t going to be understanding of that. There’s a time to listen to feedback and there’s a time to ignore it and put yourself first. I should have done the latter, especially given that I know I don’t ignore anyone who is struggling who is asking for help in a respectful and non-intrusive way.
That said, if you’re a creative needing support through your mental health journey, take my survey and let me know what you need from me!