There are many things about the way I view life that have changed because of my experiences through trauma and mental illness.
Historically, I’ve always been a people pleaser, putting other people’s needs ahead of my own and backing down from conflict because how could my opinion possibly matter? Taking on extra responsibilities, transporting kids from place to place, baking cakes for bake sales, fundraising, rushing around to make sure that everybody has everything they need when they need it.
And what for?
Will my kids remember the extra effort? Does anyone actually care that I did a 15 mile sponsored walk just weeks after finishing active treatment? Or remember how much money I raised?
The friends that are there for you through cancer (because that’s a real illness) but don’t give a stuff about your mental health (because that’s not?) even though you know you’d be there for them.
Is any of the effort worth sacrificing your own health for?
Historically, I would have said ‘yes’ because I wanted to be seen as the person who supported bake sales, did fundraising, made sure the kids were everywhere they needed to be, worked late, volunteered, and did all the running around after friends who never call. But somewhere along the way I’ve learnt that as awesome as I am, I’m not actually superwoman; super-mum, super-friend, super-everything and I don’t need to be.
I’ve learnt that being my own best friend is more important.
Not overburdening myself.
Looking after my health.
And if that means saying ‘no’ then that’s what I’ll do.