I never quite understood how important it was to put myself first. I've mostly played the martyr (except for those pesky teenage years), and I've felt that putting myself first was a bit selfish. Oh sure, I KNOW that it's not selfish, but the knowingness has been in my head, not in my heart. I have tried and tried to put myself first before, and I have succeeded here and there, but I could never get that it's more healthy than selfish to do so. Now I am in a position where it is vital to do so. God knew that it would take something like MS for me to truly understand the importance of putting myself first.
Now that I know, however, it just kills me to see how much of my life has been spent on putting others' needs before my own. I look around and realize it has gotten me nowhere! People can meet their own needs. They can! And I'm learning that I can too! Of course we all need friends and support and help at times, but I'm through being the first volunteer for every request or demand that comes my way. I don't care at this point if I lose friends because then I will know which ones were just using me. Good, quality friendships take time and nurturing and compromise, and I am only willing to invest in friends who are also willing to invest.
I want the people in my life to ask how I am doing and really care about the answer.
I have a few good friends who do care, and I am not dissing them, but I am talking about my life pattern and how it had to take an MS diagnosis for me to break that pattern once and for all. I have been working on it for the last few years, and thanks to certain friends (you know who you are) I have had plenty of practice recognizing this pattern. But now it's no longer practice. This is the real thing.
MS is a great excuse for putting myself first. Not that I ever needed an excuse. Nobody does. But when those feelings of selfishness start creeping in, I can remind myself that I have a reason now. It's more than a reason, too. It's a necessity.
I called the acupuncture recommended by Cedar Hill, but she's not taking any new patients. She referred me to an acupuncturist who is also near me. I called her, and she sounded so cool. I must have been on the phone with her for 30 minutes! She really took her time with me. She is also a physical therapist, and if I combine both acupuncture and physical therapy in my appointments, Medicare will pay for it! I only have to pay $25 a visit! So I made an appointment for this coming Wednesday and a friend arranged transportation. He is going to the appointment with me, too. Now that is a friend! He was also with me when I got the MS diagnosis. He was so kind and understanding because he really understands how it feels to get a diagnosis like that. He is HIV positive.
There are so many human angels in this world that have no idea they are angels.