In 2019 I am choosing me…

2019 is in full swing, we are almost midway through January, and life has moved on from the Christmas madness.

I went back to therapy last week, and it was ok. I am doing ok. We seem to be getting to the root of what may be the cause of some of my anxiety and the root of that. I am not sure I am ready to put that into coherent words yet, we are still processing some of what we have worked out and dug up. It’s not surprising or shocking, and in fact when I think about it it makes sense, but I need to process that some more and work out how to explain it in a way that makes sense to me, before I share it with everyone else. I have had a couple of chats to friends about it, and their perspective has been helpful, but it’s not ready for here just yet.

However, as I progress through therapy, and make some changes to help me manage this thing called “Anxiety”, I am working on 2019 being a year for me.

For so long, I have put others first. I have kind of been taught to be that way. I joke that “I live to serve” and that the jobs I have done, and continue to do, put me in the frontline of serving others, and working with those with needs. I am often the first person to jump in to help someone else, even if I am struggling myself, sometimes at my own detriment. I hate to see someone else’s needs not being met, if I know that I can help them.

I hold myself to a high standard, which doesn’t help the anxiety, either.

I have spent a lot of my life trying to please others. Trying to make sure everyone else around me is happy or getting their needs met. There is nothing wrong with that.

But in all of that, I have forgotten myself.

I have forgotten who I am. I actually don’t even know what I need any more.

What I do know is that the expectations and wants of the world around me are going to start taking second place this year.

I don’t mean that I am going to run away, or suddenly stop caring, or abandon my duties as a mum, wife, friend, sister, employer… But I will be making my needs a priority.

If I am tired, and need to take some time out, that time won’t be allocated to the needs of others, it will be for me. If I don’t want to do something because I don’t like it or feel that it will benefit me, I am not going to do it.

If someone else wants something, from me, but I don’t want to give it, I just won’t.

I am not volunteering for anything this year. I am not planning my life around the needs of others, other than those of my husband and children and the few close friends and family that need me to function as part of their lives.

I am not putting other people’s desires above my mental health.

My time and my energy will be focused on me.

I have already offended people by refusing to capitulate to their plans. They will either get over it or not.

I have already said no to things I don’t want to do or be part of.

That will carry on.

If I said “I don’t actually care what people think any more, what I think is more important” that sounds selfish, harsh and rude but that’s how I feel. I do care, of course I care, but I am not taking that care and making it my problem.

2019 will be the year I put me first. I can’t remember when I the last time I really put me first.

My therapist says “You are not obliged to put others first if it damages your mental health”.

I think I might get this tattooed somewhere on me, to remind me.

I need to choose me. I need to look after me. This year, I will….

Stop, breathe, take a minute for you. Forget about the world and it’s troubles, and just enjoy the view…

Posted in Mental Health and tagged Anxiety, CBT therapy, looking after me, mental health care, mental-health, self care.