There's a first time for everything

Life is not a rehearsal you know...live every day as if it was your last...there's always someone worse off than you...all very positive mantras and most of the time I can live by them. However lately I have started to realise that maybe I have to be less selfless. I have spent my life caring for other people..physically emotionally and sometimes psychologically and felt guilty if I didn't continue to do so. Infact even writing that I feel guilty...guilty that I am prepared to let go of that responsibility..guilty that I cause worry to others by having this awful disease..guilty that I am now the person having care given to..the list goes on and on. How easy is it really to just let go of your old life and embrace another? One which doesn't involve catering for the family with sometimes 14 round the table..ferrying kids to various practices/events...providing lavish dinner parties to friends and always the one who organises the get togethers and social gatherings. How do you say..'no actually I can't bake 30 cakes for the stall and then man it from 8am onwards'....How do you say to someone that you are so exhausted by doing regular day to day stuff that it has wiped you out for the next day too and you need to rest for a whole day..yes a whole day! I am beginning to practise the word NO but have to admit I fail miserably to actually utter it on most occasions.Given that my new selfless actions haven't actually started yet and I have almost put myself off by writing this it doesn't bode well does it!!...

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  • accepting help is hard but necceasry//..illness sorts your true friends

  • Hi Lulul

    Guilt is my middle name. My biggest problem was how I was feeling about doing what I normally do, but I have think now, if I don't look out for me, I could end up a lot worse off than just having to say no, but not physically being able to do things. Its a toughie and takes some getting used to.

    You sound as if you have always been very busy and helpful, but try practising in front of a mirror! NO NO NO NO.... hmmmm not easy is it.

    Look after yourself

    Julie x

  • Hi Lulul,

    I may have a Wonder Woman mug but my days of doing it all for everyone have long gone! My standards are shamefully low :-) - but I will be around for longer because of it - and happy, not miserable and resentful.

    I learnt this lesson hard and dangerously - I continued going to work when I had a kidney infection reasoning that I was taking the antibiotics, I had a high temp and felt v unwell but didn't want to 'let people down'. I ended up in hospital, temp 107, fitting and with septacaemia - this was 22 years ago but changed my life and my behaviour.

    You're not helping your family nor yourself if you continue to 'do it all' - it's not kind, humane or responsible (some tough love here).

    A good first step on the way to 'No' is - 'let me think about that and get back to you'. Progress to ' I'm having to learn to pace myself - so that's not possible on this occasion'. Every time you put your needs first, you are prioritising your health and well-being this looks after both you and your family. You're also modelling good self-care to your off-spring, an important life lesson:-)

    For help on being assertive a good read is - 'A Woman in Your Own Right' by

    Dickinson/Dickson (?) has a silver cover.

    Be kind to yourself and free up your life:-)

    Cece x

  • Hi Cece#

    I did some training in london once with some women who had been trained by Ann Dickinson. It was good but Im still a work in progress re my personal boundaries and saying NO assertively. I usually feel guilty/ put down healthy boundaries too late and then blow up etc etc

    Which school of integrative psycho therapy did u go for? Id like to train thought metanoia looked good but i dont have the money!! Also quite interested in

    existential/spiritual schools of thought. Think every day about what it means to be human, Big Mystery isnt it ( i know im poss a bit weird compared to others)

    fiona xxx

  • Did a similar training to Metanoia, and yes it is v expensive (iro £10k per year) but you can get a career development loan. I used my savings and decided that I was investing in myself. I integrate TA, Gestalt, Existentialism, Bodywork, Jungian Dreamwork and Humanistic therapies into an individual therapy for each client depending on their needs. We're all individual - one person's weird is another person's normal after all :-)

    A way in is to do a Masters in Counselling Psychology - you can get a Disabled Students allowance and a Student Loan - you can then follow your interests by attending additional training courses but they do cost extra iro £120 a day on average. If you're interested in the subject then try reading some Irving Yalom or Emmy van Deutzen - you should be able to get them through a library:-)

    Cece x

  • Yes it is so hard to say no even just sometimes. I cared for my Mum for 7 years and each year her condition got worse and her care needs increased. Because I loved her i did all I could for her and it wasnt always easy. I stopped going on holiday because it was too difficult arranging care as she didnt want strangers in the house etc. Anyway fate took a hand last year when I fell and broke my hip in three places and my wrist was also fractured. Then I contracted MRSA and guess what Mum survived because other people stepped in and carers were arranged. My daughters learnt that I wasnt superhuman and friends rallied round. Once I was recovered enough to care for Mum again I did so but I had learnt a valuable lesson in that I sometimes had to think of myself. I nursed Mum with a more caring attitude both for her and for myself and I believe now I couldnt have done more. So I am no saint and I am not perfect but I loved and cared for her and now she is gone its strange because I can do exactly what I want when I want. That will take some getting used to. Sorry for the sermon but boy I feel better for it,

  • Good on you Sharon x

  • Hi Lulu, the thing is I don't think we want to let go of our "old life" we see it as giving in. Saying yes and helping others is what you have always done and if you start to say "no" it's a bit like admitting the RA.

    But really it's not that way, took me a long time to realise that too even now I still say yes to doing things and suffer the next day, for me it's a way of stiil being normal if you like but then again I'm so stubborn at times and can be so independent

    You will learn to say no you have to, prioritize is the key doing the things that are important the rest can wait, and putting yourself first.

    take care

    mand xx

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