In the last few weeks, I have had a few people approach me and ask me for help in some form or another. Now, what is the Hot Mess’ immediate reaction when someone asks for help?
And then it happens. I’ve committed to something else. What I fail to do before immediately responding is to assess how much I currently have on my plate, or what I have going on in my life and if I have the time to devote to another commitment. I then end up stretching myself thin, freaking out about all the things I have to do and if I can do them, etc., and the anxiety kicks in and BOOM! Downward spiral.
Yes, I’ve always been that “Yes” person when someone asked for help. Some may even say that I can be a pushover. Heck in certain instances, I’ve been called upon and asked for things because of the nature of my heart and knowing that I couldn’t say no, and would be there when needed or called upon, thus saving their day or reputation. (Finding out about that years later really, really hurt me quite badly). I’ve helped people with the promise of something in return, only to find that they never intended to follow up. Then there are those that I have helped and as soon as my help was no longer needed, I became not even an after thought. It hurts, but I help others and don’t expect anything in return. Although, a bit of respect or kindness and not a complete disregard for me would be nice.
I’ve been asked many times to help guide others as they venture into their own journey with their blogs or writing, and while I can’t help absolutely every request that comes into my inbox, I try to give them a few bits of guidance, or as much as I can to help them get started. I run these websites because of my desire to help people with their journey through mental illness and give them as much support as I can. Sometimes I put so much pressure on myself and my work ethic to put my work first, and I forget to take care of myself. For years, my pDoc has been working with me to try and get me to stop being “loyal to a fault” and practice self care.
Well, in these last few weeks when asked for help, I have done something I have never done before. I felt absolutely horrible, but I also remembered the sting of previous burns and actually assessed how I personally am doing right now, and I did something completely out of character.
I said “No.”
While I should be feeling this great sense of progress because I am finally learning to assert myself and to know my limits, I feel like complete crap. I feel badly because they are good people who are deserving of my help, but I had to decline. I thought that progress would make me feel good, but after a lifetime of being the “yes” girl, suddenly saying “no” does not sit well with me right now.
Why do I think I feel so bad? Well, a lot has to do with the fact that I am not happy with where I am at in my life personally. That is my own fault, nobody else’s. I’m the one who hasn’t been able to get my act together and get myself back on track. I’m my own worst enemy. I’m the one who gets so mad at not being where I was that I try to throw myself into life again so fast and full throttle and then completely shut down and sink lower instead of getting further. Had I been able to get myself together, I might be able to say yes to some of these things.
Some may see that me saying “no” was progress and that I should be happy, when I look further at the underlying reasons as to why I had to say “no,” I feel worse rather than better. What have I learned from all of this? It’s time to make some changes. Instead of jumping in head first, full throttle, its time to take it a little bit slower. Manageable steps and then when I say “no,” it won’t make me feel so horrible because I will be saying “no” as a way of self-care, not self-loathing.
Anyone else have a hard time saying “No?”