“Self-care” has become a trendy buzzword that youth culture likes to use in the context of putting on a charcoal mask to get the blackheads out of your nose. Psychotherapist Kara Lissy writes: “When the long-term benefits of a decision outweigh the short-term discomfort or frustration, it is still self-care.”
While self-care and self-destruction fall at opposite ends of a spectrum, there is a fine line between the two that I find myself straddling, if not overstepping, quite often. By this example, the in-between area of the spectrum is unaccounted for. If I am doing something temporarily strenuous to make myself feel better in the long run, is that self-care? I feel that I work well under pressure, so is it actually self-care when I tell myself I am a failure, that everyone is laughing at me, that my planned-out response with curated words actually sounds ridiculous, all for the sake of triggering myself to perform to the standard that I hold myself to?
The role of craft and women’s work in history resonates with me, and I cannot help but identify with the scrutiny this practice has faced for centuries. Its history of resurrection and shaming is similar to the way that I build myself up just to tear myself apart — I am the masses for the craft that is my self-care. I facilitate my own resurrections in an attempt to make myself feel better, only to meet myself with scrutiny in that attempt to make myself feel better.