As I finish up my month of ‘free time’ between rotations I am beginning to find a new purpose in my life. I must be careful with myself since it is a habit of mine to think I have plenty of time and then to over schedule myself. Often, in the past, I would look at my calendar and think I had time available and so would say yes to practically everyone. Only to realize later that I forgot to schedule in me. I forgot to put myself on the list.
Me? Put myself on the list? How do I do that? All my life I have been taught to give, to put others first, to not be selfish, to hold things with an open hand… these can be useful, even good things to learn especially in a selfish society. BUT… being unselfish has its problems as well… I followed everyone’s advice and I didn’t put myself on my list. I wasn’t anywhere on it. And then… I began to fail. I failed bigtime. My body decided to quit. My mind was a torrent of chaos. I had no ability to think straight, no ability to handle my stresses in my life, and all I wanted to do was quit. As much as I gave of myself I found myself with nothing left to give. Nothing. Something had to change.
Some of us are more stubborn than others… yes, me. I’m extremely stubborn. And so changing is difficult for me to do. Especially changing a habit of self-sacrifice to one of putting myself first. I struggled with the ‘wrongness’ of it. I struggled with remembering to take care of myself. I struggled with it constantly. I still struggle. I don’t want to become selfish.
“Is your ego so big that you think that you don’t need to take care of yourself?” I was asked… Wow. I hadn’t thought about it like that. I was so worried about appearing as a failure that I was refusing to accept that I needed help. Well, I did. I needed help. I had no idea how to take care of myself mentally.
What I have learned since then…
- if I don’t sleep I’m depressed
- if I don’t eat I’m mean
- if I don’t take breaks I’m a grouch
- if I don’t take time to breathe I’m worthless…
I learned that when I really want something like ‘to run away and hide’ it’s not really a want, but a need. I learned that when I am beginning to feel overwhelmed that I need to take a step back and assess what’s been missing… food? rest? sleep? air? I’m still learning but I’m improving. I’m on my list now, not quite at the top but not at the bottom either… my kids are still on top and I’m trying to work on that, it’s hard though… At least I’m on the list now.
Remember to put yourself on your list too, you are worth it.
thanks for reading,