By Jennifer Black
I have been feeling depressed lately. I am grateful for the days that I am able to get up in spite of the fact that my medications are constantly being changed, forcing my body to re-adjust. Some days my chest aches or my legs go numb because of the medications.
It seems like around the holidays I become more depressed, in addition to the pain I feel every day. Every holiday I try to buy gifts for all the children in the neighborhood where I live because a lot of them do not receive any presents. I go to churches and other places that hand out gifts because I do not always have the money to buy many gifts. The running around and trying to please everybody more than myself has to stop.
I give the gifts out of the kindness of my heart, but I get no appreciation for the work I do. It would be nice if someone would just knock on my door and say, “Here Jen!” That would be great, but it seems as if everyone acts as if I’m supposed to buy the children gifts because I have been doing this for so long!
I love the kids, but I think I need to slow down a little bit next year. I run around, even when I don’t feel well. However, I would hate to disappoint the children. I plan to cause myself less stress next year.
I think that instead of buying gifts, I may cook a little something and invite a few people over for a meal. I may call a couple of churches handing out toys and pick up some from them. As far as going out and shopping the way I usually do, I probably will not do that because it is difficult and painful.
Simply because I am choosing to take care of myself first in 2017, does not mean that I do not care about others. Putting myself first does not mean I am being selfish. If I do not take care of myself, I will not be able to do the things I want to do and enjoy doing for others.
This is why I give thanks that I am a Street Chronicle vendor. Being a vendor encourages me to get out of bed and out of the house. Working with the public at the Westside Market helps lower my levels of stress, tension, and depression.
Taking care of myself and my needs first leads to less stress, less depression, and a happier Jennifer. A happier Jennifer will be better enabled to help bring joy to others.
Copyright Cleveland Street Chronicle March 2017 Issue 24#1