Day 209 Risk: Admit Selfish Needs

Stay back! I'm armed with attitude and refuse to relinquish my bounty.

In the week following my husband’s trip to the ER I pulled myself together and made a valid effort to stay upbeat and positive. I also had to take certain measures of his followup into my hands, so my energy and any extra time I had was pretty consumed with my husband’s recovery.

Finally though he’s starting to feel better. But along the way I’ve begun to feel like crap. And not from a cold or anything out of my control. I began to feel like crap because I was completely neglecting myself.

I talked a little about it on the day he went to the ER, but again there is this social conditioning that I’ve completely and unknowingly bought into that the partner of someone going through a medical problem needs to be strong and positive and do whatever needs to be done to help. That partner becomes, essentially, a supporting machine, putting themselves aside in favor of the other person. For a week and a half after all the poo hit the fan, I did exactly that. And that is part of the problem. Whenever my husband has gone through a difficult time in the past, or when he’s working on a project, or even when he’s simply decided to take on multiple jobs, I’ve always set me and my own projects aside to keep everything else moving. It is my natural inclination to do that and his natural inclination to let me. We both have to fight the urge to go to that place.

Let me state that I understand this needed to happen to a certain level and it wasn’t even a thought to be there for him. I, of course, want to help him in any way I can. But since things were starting to calm down, and before it got out of control again, I put it out there that I needed to put some focus back on myself, that we were starting to fall into old habits and I didn’t want it to get to the resentful level that it has in the past.

Basically I looked out for me at the risk of seeming overly selfish.

My husband, being in a much better place both mentally and physically, could see what I was getting at and completely agreed. He was uber supportive and encouraging in my taking steps to balance out my life again.

But there was still this post. And even though he doesn’t view me as selfish, I’m still putting it out there and once again risking seeming selfish. I don’t know why it’s considered such a terrible thing and I’m kicking myself for feeling so concerned about the potential judgment I might face. It always sucks when you think you’ve gotten past something, like fear of judgment, only to have its stupid, ugly head pop up at the most inopportune times.

Regardless of the judgment though, from either anyone reading this or my husband, I knew that I would be better for both him, me and us if I took some steps to be selfish. At the very least I’m proud of myself for listening to that urging when it crops up.

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2 thoughts on “Day 209 Risk: Admit Selfish Needs

  1. It’s interesting that the word “selfish” has such negative connotations in our society. I am a mom of two, and taking care of my self, being “selfish,” is exactly what I must do to be the best mom I can be. Or the best teacher I can be. Or the best spouse I can be. The best ME I can be.

    If you don’t take care of your needs, your Self, who else can you expect to do it? (speaking generally, of course, not “you” meaning you, Little D) It’s impressive that you and your hubby can recognize your pattern, and be able to make a conscious effort to alter it.

    Congratulations on taking care of YOU!

    • Thanks! I definitely think this risk resonates more with women than men. It’s ingrained in us to not be selfish, to give up for the family. It’s a regular struggle for me that I find pays off every time. I’m happier, therefore my hubby is happier, and I’m able to give more than I was when depleted.
      And congrats to you for recognizing your need! I don’t even want to think of how hard this will be if I ever have children.

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