Unapologetic Self-Care

By Sarah Hively

It is only the third week of my new job, a job I truly love with all my heart, a job I actually look forward to every morning, and today, I called off.

I told my boss I was taking a personal day, and even more surprisingly, I did not say sorry. I say sorry more than I say “hi” or “I love you” or even more shockingly, “I’m tired”. I say sorry when I have nothing to really be sorry for, I say sorry if I’m in someone’s general airspace and almost bump into them, I say sorry so much that I once had an employer get legitimately mad at me everytime I said it.

But I am not sorry for this. Not even a little bit. Yesterday, I came to work a perfectly happy human being. One little thing sent me spiraling, crying in the Detroit Planned Parenthood bathroom, and then just 15 minutes later, into a full blown panic attack in the middle of the streets of Detroit, in my co ­ worker’s car. I haven’t been well the past two weeks. A co­-worker has told me several times that “I need to slow down”. So I am not sorry. And I’m grateful for co ­ workers and a boss who don’t require a sorry, who respect my needs.

A close personal friend texted me earlier this year, a page long message that I received unexpectedly at work and made me tear up and blush. In this message she told me “[I] do a really incredible job of taking care of [my]self ... [she] truly believes [I am] able to love other people well because [I] see the value in loving yourself well. [I] take what [I] need, and then [I] give love away out of that overflow.”

I printed this text out, hung it by my bed, and regularly look at it. Because everyone needs reminders to take care of themselves. I’m not sorry for taking care of myself, because when I am my best self, I am able to love others so well. No apology necessary.

Kayla closed the text by telling me I am worth it. I’m going to do the same ­ because I am worth it. And so are you.

Sarah Hively

Sarah Hively