This is for the person whose “friendships” consist of constantly taking care of your friends. Sometimes you feel more like a counselor than a companion and wonder if this is just the nature of your friendships. You feel like having these thoughts makes you a bad friend.
This is for the “volunteer” that regularly ends up with the work that nobody else wants to do—including yourself. You feel like you HAVE to do things. Freedom and choice are merely concepts. “No” isn’t even in your vocabulary.
This is for those of us who actually get physically sick or depressed because we’re carrying so much of other people’s burdens on top of our own responsibilities. Cycles of burnout are familiar, and you’ve either learned or are learning to cope.
This is for those who live for someone else’s approval. The thought of displeasing a parent, friend, boss, or other close relationship is anxiety-inducing and dictates your behavior and life decisions. All seems well if that person affirms what you’re doing. This can sometimes be identified by diving deep into the question of, “Who is one person you’d never want to disappoint?”
This is for those who always feel behind. It seems impossible to catch up on important things because you’re always taking on something else. Starting something new happens easily, following through and finishing does not. You might also be late to everything.
This is for people who believe they’re primarily responsible for other’s problems. You feel like if you don’t hold things together for them, their world will fall apart. We usually feel this way towards those we love most. Frustratingly, your level of control doesn’t match your level of concern.
This is for people like the old me. And dealing with these things are the lessons I wish someone had taught me years ago when I started pursuing my calling.
Instead, I had to unlearn a lot of bad habits. If this post hits too close to home, you probably do too.
I’ll be drawing and writing more on this topic in the coming weeks. But I hope this small starting point motivates you to rest, reflect, and reprioritize. And for a more professional perspective, I recommend Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend.
Let me know what you think about the comic and article! Do you relate or know someone who does? Are there other important things that I left out? Hit me up in the comments section and let me know what you think.