woman stepping in front of a messy blob

My New Year’s Resolution: Putting Myself First in 2021

It’s no secret that Hidradenitis Suppurativa can be triggered by stress, anxiety, and depression. Because of this, it’s beneficial to try and limit these things as much as possible from your life. I know, I know, that is SO much easier said than done. Personally, one of my biggest problems is that I care too much about what other people think and I always put everyone else ahead of myself. I get scared to say what I’m really thinking and I end up putting so much pressure and stress on myself. My anxiety and depression get so bad and then it’s flare-up city, population: me. So in 2021, I plan to try and stop caring so much about what other people think and put myself and my needs first. Here’s how I plan on doing this.

Socially distance from toxic people

This can be so hard because this can mean family members, “friends,” co-workers, etc. But you need to do what’s best for you, your body, and your mental health. If someone makes you uncomfortable and anxious, don’t put yourself around them, or try and limit your interactions as much as possible. You shouldn’t have to feel uncomfortable, angry, sad, or anxious because other people can’t comprehend how to act like decent human beings.

Queen Emily Gilmore from Gilmore Girls once said “I'm decluttering my life. If it brings you joy, you keep it. If it doesn't out it goes.” She was talking about material objects, but the same applies to people.

Stop saying sorry so much

If I ask for help with something, I say sorry. If something bad happens even if I didn’t have anything to do with it, I feel obligated to say sorry. If I walk into inanimate objects, I say sorry. If I don’t actually feel sorry and I know I’m right, I still say sorry just to stop the fight or discussion.


I need your help and you stop everything you’re doing to help me? Thanks! You spilled your drink and I had absolutely nothing to do with it? Aw man, that sucks. I walk into a chair? NOT SORRY NO MO', MR. CHAIR. You offend and hurt me and you haven’t apologized yet? That’s cool, I’m not sorry and I’ll wait for that apology. And if that apology never comes? Well please see the above step regarding toxic people. Bye-bye.

Start saying no and don’t feel obligated to give an explanation

I put so much stress and pressure on myself because I simply can’t say “no.” I try and please everyone to make them all happy and as a result, I end up miserable, anxious, stressed, and depressed and no one even notices. It’s not fair and I won’t stand for it anymore.

No, I can’t cover for you at work.
No, I can’t come over.
No, I can’t go.
No, I’m busy.
No, I have prior obligations.
No, I can’t attend that function.
No, I can’t help you.
No, I don’t want to.

That’s it. Just no. No explanation is needed. No is enough. And I really need to keep reminding myself that.

The bottom line is that I need to start putting myself first. It’s not fair anymore and my anxiety and depression are worsening, which means my flares are too. I can’t turn my brain off at night and I lay there in bed and stew, all while the people and events causing me these feelings don’t even care or know. They aren’t losing sleep, I am. Stewing in my depression and anxiety is affecting me and only me and no one else. For the first time in a year, I had to go see my surgeon for a groin flare to be drained and I can’t let that happen again if I can help it. 2021 is going to be a new year and the best year and I’m going to make sure of it.

Listening to:

  • Shake it Out by Florence + The Machine
  • Your Ex-Lover is Dead by Stars
  • Suddenly I See by KT Tunstall
  • First Day of My Life by Bright Eyes
  • River and Roads by The Head and the Heart

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