I have always taken care of people. Even as a child, I was the little mother, who took care. It wasn’t that I was raised that way or made to take care for anyone, I just was that way. I took after my mom, who was the same way. As I got older, I took care of my friends and in later years, I was a caregiver to both of my parents. When my dad had cancer, I took care of him because my mom was too frail and I didn’t want her to have to do too much. When my mom became ill and developed dementia, I took care of her and both of them died at home, which I was always grateful for. I could take care of them until their last moments.
The day my mom passed away, the Hospice nurse (they are angels on earth!) told me, “You’ve taken excellent care of your mother and now it’s time to take care of yourself.” Well, this didn’t happen. About six months after this, my best friend got a divorce and felt desperate and alone. To make a long story short, she moved to where I am and had some mental problems. I ended up taking care of her. She and my brother got together and he unexpectedly passed away seven months ago, leaving me with no more family at all. Her daughter took her back to live in another state. She passed away a couple of months ago, again unexpectedly. All of this was a life altering shock and left me deep in despair and anxiety.
Now I am desperately trying to recover and I know that I have to take care of myself. I’m used to taking care of people…so why is it so hard to do it for myself? I realized the other day that I am not as good to myself, not as forgiving, caring, or gentle as I am with other people. Does this sound familiar to you? Are you, too, one of those who can’t seem to take care of yourself as well as you do others? Why is it so hard to be good to ourselves?
Why are we so hard on our poor souls? I know I am very critical of myself and I’ll bet you are too. I can’t give myself the same hope I gave to others. I try, but too often I end up feeling more hopeless and trying to fight the negative thoughts in my head…all the “what ifs” and “what am I going to dos.” I think there is an element of feeling selfish to think only about myself. Then I remember that I’m all alone now and so it’s ok to think about just me for a change. I have to to survive. But it is turning out to be a long, hard lesson to learn. Sometimes I think I don’t care as much about myself as I do others. I keep reading that you have to love yourself. Why is it so hard to do?
If you feel the same way, please leave me a comment. It helps to know you’re not the only one who has a problem and it is my deepest hope that anyone reading my blog feels less alone.
Take good care of yourself…you have my permission. Love yourself as much as you love others.