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here’s the deal with self care, for me:

pleasure, in the fun late-capitalism hellhole of present-day america, is treated like a luxury.  it’s expensive.  it’s frivolous.  it’s guilty.  if we want to eat ice cream out of the carton and be socially acceptable at the same time, we’d better have earned that ice cream.  maybe by like running a marathon or getting dumped by an asshole.  if we’re going to duck into the corner store and buy fresh flowers, it’s because we’ve had a hard week, not because flowers are nice.  we can take a day off work, but only if we’re sick.  we have to suffer before we’re allowed extra kindness.

in this equation pleasure is optional (irresponsible, even), except when it’s a balm for suffering.

however!  we need pleasure to live.  a life without nice feelings in it is like a diet with no vitamins in it.  it’ll make you sick and eventually it’ll kill you.  we know this because people with depression stop feeling pleasure, and they often kill themselves.  left untreated, depression is a fatal disease.

pleasure is not optional.  pleasure is not a luxury.  without it, we die.  that is literally the opposite of a luxury.

because pleasure is treated like a luxury, and priced accordingly, it is fucking hard to get.  it’s hard to take time to relax and see loved ones when corporations aren’t required to offer paid vacation.  it’s hard to buy that special face scrub or art print or pretty yarn when it costs $35 and student loans are breathing down your neck.  so pleasure gets saved up for when things are really bad.  pleasure gets budgeted.  pleasure, once again, becomes something we have to earn by abstaining and hurting and gritting our teeth.

do this to people long enough and pleasure becomes potently associated with guilt.  this thing we need desperately to stay alive is suddenly something we can’t seek out without looking over our shoulder and wondering if we’re allowed to have it.

that’s why it’s so important that we talk about self care, and tell ourselves and each other that it is okay to do things that feel good.  it is necessary to do things that feel good.  we have to uncouple suffering and pleasure, because the idea that we have to earn feeling good by first feeling bad is monstrous and wrong.

take care of yourselves, darlings.  don’t feel bad about it.

Reposted bysiourycoffeeandunicornsmanxxmolotovcupcakeRekrut-Kmynniamynniapaketnerdanelmondkroete

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