Right now I’m struggling with how much of myself I’m supposed to be giving to others and how much self-care I should be exercising. And I’m worried about whether or not I’m being selfish by carving out that time for myself.
I am a caretaker, a nuturer and a people pleaser. I think it’s because I had to be the adult in my family at a very young age and had to be the peacemaker in the chaos. But nuturing and loving on other people actually fills my soul and makes me feel good. Sometimes I can go overboard with the people pleasing and nuturing and sometimes others can drain the life right out of me if I let them (which I have been known to do) but overall it’s a very positive experience for me and one that I enjoy very much.
(And to my family – this post does not apply to you. You can’t get rid of me that easily. I will always be so far up your behinds I can see out of your eyeballs. I love you. Mwah!)
But now I’ve begun to enjoy my own company. I’ve begun to enjoy the feeling of being self-nuturing and of allowing myself to be nurtured by God. It’s so wonderful to actually like yourself (who knew?)! I’m not completely there yet but at least I can stand to be in a room with only me for company and not go seeking other distractions (like a bottle of wine or two).
In my former life (before recovery), I couldn’t stand to be alone. When I traveled I was always the one who wanted to have one more drink, or desert, or go to the movies, or sit in the lobby and talk, primarily because I didn’t want to be alone in my room until it was time to go to sleep. Even at home, I’m the one who turned the TV on as soon as I walked into a room – just for the company and background noise. I required constant company, distraction and conversation, all the time, and if it wasn’t around I’d go out and find it.
Now I’m finding that I crave a little alone time now and then. That I need it to recharge my batteries. Who the hell am I? Where did THAT come from? Last night after my walk I had the house to myself. I didn’t turn the TV on and didn’t even notice it wasn’t on until much later in the evening. I was just reading blogs and thinking and just…being. WTF?
So when is this selfish and when is it self-care? It all feels selfish to me but I know, intellectually, that it really isn’t. Will I just know? Should I just follow my heart and my gut?
Or is it time for a little selfishness? This is all new territory for me…and I’m really excited about being on this journey.