Wrestling with yourself
I remember when I started to redress the balance after coming out the back of my hysterectomy. It wasn’t an entirely comfortable experience. The people pleaser in me, didn’t want to be shunted out of the picture, but then I could no longer bear to be this person crippled to inaction for fear of upsetting people. At times it felt as though my own internal self was having a wrestling match and I really wasn’t sure which one was going to win at the start.
What started this wrestling match? It was while I was recovering from the hysterectomy last year, that I realised how angry I was at everything that had happened to me. I was furious at being unable to have children with my partner, I was livid that it was my fault and I was pissed off beyond words that now on top of this I’d had to have my womb removed.
I hadn’t been able to park this anger anywhere, except at my own doorstep, resulting in masses of tears, frustration, anger and depression. It meant a complete 180 degree about turn– I went from people pleaser to resentful and bitter. Never a good place to be.
This meant not only was I incredibly resentful of people putting pressure on me to do something I didn’t want to do, I was also an utterly spent force. I had nothing, absolutely nothing to offer anyone, let along myself – I had nothing in the tank mentally, emotionally or physically. So, why was I so bloody surprised when I hit the rock bottom Christmas 2017?
Because, right up to this point, I had thought that if I was a ‘nice’ person, I would be investing in the ol’ karmic bank account. If I did right by everyone else then I’d be rewarded with the children I wanted. I’d be rewarded with being a mum and my health would be back on track. Well, the hysterectomy brought me up short I can tell you. It was the realisation that what I had believed was utter bollocks!
All that happens is that you end up dropping like a stone in your own list of priorities. You knacker yourself out chasing around other people, wearing yourself down and you don’t ever get the level of appreciation that you think you will. No, all you do is set an impossible level of expectation which is unsustainable and people then disappoint you, but you can’t put your finger on why. It’s the fast track to burn out and what I describe as an ‘empty cup’.
For me the empty cup represents you not liking, loving or respecting yourself enough – or at all in some cases. So if you can’t give this to yourself, how can you expect any of this to be reflected back to you from other people? I’ve said it before – what you feel and think about yourself will be projected out into the wider world. And I put my hands up, I can only speak about it, because I’ve been guilty of doing it.
‘So what’s the remedy then Sarah?’ I can hear you ask. Well, it’s a small word that you learn when you’re younger and then quickly get told that it’s unacceptable to use willy-nilly. It’s a wonderful little word, and I’ve learned to love it again. It’s NO.
So next time you’re asked to do something that puts you out and you can feel the resistance deep in your chest, break out your ‘NO’. Yes, the first few times you use it, you’ll be a bit scared, but the other person’s reactions are their baggage not yours and it’s time to break out of their expectations.
‘NO’ it’s small but it packs one hell of a punch when for too long you’ve been saying yes.
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