Monday, November 7, 2011

Be Kind-to Yourself

When was the last time you did something for someone else? It could be for a friend, for a loved one, for a stranger or your partner? Not too long ago, right? I didn't think so because most of us are caring, loving, giving people.

Now, when was the last time you did something nice for yourself?

I don't know about you, but I tend to put myself last most of the time, especially since I was diagnosed. I tend to feel as if because the future is so uncertain, I should do everything that I can for anyone NOW(!) before it's too late and I can't any longer. I have always been the nurturer. Heck, half of my employees treated me like a second mom. I enjoy doing things for other people when I can and the thought that the day will come when I am no longer able makes me feel as if I am already useless. Silly, right? I know, but it's just one of those niggling voices that live in the back of my head.

Another diagnosis-related-put-myself-last feeling is guilt. As the one who has always been very independent, I find it SUPER hard to ask for help. When I do finally break down and ask, I almost feel as if I don't deserve to have a treat on top of having asked for help. It makes me feel as if I am being selfish.

I am sure I am not alone in this. Heck, when Josh was little the guilt was similar. Whenever I would spend money on me, I would think of a whole host of things I could give him with that same money. As he got older, I got much better about doing for myself and when I was at my best- I had an appointment every Thursday for either hair or nails.

Then my health started to slide. First it was the weeks of pain leading up to a week in the hospital with pancreatitis and the removal of my gallbladder. Everyone rallied around me to help me with my work at work and at home. They made sure I didn't have to move too much and tried to help me stay relatively comfortable while I went from doctor to doctor, test to test. When it came to the point that I ended up in the ER on Superbowl Sunday and had the surgery the following Thursday, then two weeks recovery before I was back on my feet; they covered my hours, they made sure I had company and wouldn't let me stress about any of it.

When I got back into the swing of things, I felt like I needed to repay all of the extra work they had done. It took me a couple of months to get to where I felt I had "evened things out" and the flares started. It was back to square one as I started fighting what I later learned was my Rheumatoid Arthritis (and Fibromyalgia in retrospect). Again, through "injury" and fatigue and diagnosis and coming to terms with my illnesses, my friends and family stepped up and helped my through every step of the process. I can never repay them for all that they have meant to me through this.

Since that time over 6 years ago, I haven't really done much in the way of indulging myself. To be perfectly frank, I miss it. I miss having my hair done every other week in some unique 'do while I visited with on of my dearest friends (and the only person who I have trusted with my mop since she started Cosmo school) at the shop. I miss having my mani/pedi on the opposite weeks as I sat there and soaked in the foot spa in the massage chair. It was 2 hours a week that was not only "me" time but when I walked out of the appointment, I felt terrific!

I was looking in the mirror, cursing the lack of dexterity in my hands, when I realized how long it had been (9mos) since I had had my mop cut. I looked at my hands, at the swelling and the chipped nail polish and realized that I had a choice. I could either give in and cry, or I could get my head together, ignore that I looked like crap (seriously- wearing a bun almost every day at 44?) and start thinking of things I can do to get myself back to that terrific feeling again.

So this is my quest. I need to find some me time with me things to do. I am thinking I should start small and ease myself back in. To that end I think that on Wednesday afternoon I will stop at EarthFriends, get myself a coffee and a baked good and just read my book for a bit. Quiet time, book time, me time. Anyone else need some me time and want to join me virtually on this quest to be kinder to ourselves? If so, I challenge you to choose something small this week to do for yourself. It doesn't have to take a lot of time, it doesn't even need to cost a dime. It only needs to be something that you enjoy but haven't done in a while. Once you have completed the challenge, come back here and share it with us. I hope that everyone who follows this blog will join in and be good to you this week. You deserve it!

1 comment:

Meghann said...

Not long ago, I decided to start doing something for me. On top of my RA I have ere small kids who need me. So I started getting a manicure every two weeks. For 30 minutes I can concentrate on me and I think it has helped.