IBD Awareness

Life is Meant to Be Lived

It’s no secret that I am a fixer – a people pleaser. I make most decisions based off what I think others would expect of me. I always want to do the right thing, even if that means forgetting about what I want and need in that moment. My disease has taught me to put myself first and while I may not be very good at putting that into practice, I know I need to do it sometimes.

I don’t consider myself a selfish person, but there are certain instances where I need to convince myself that being selfish is a good thing. Society has built a negative connotation surrounding selfishness. We relate it to words like narcissist, cold-hearted, and uncaring. So just because I declined that invite to go to the movies, it makes me a cold-hearted person? I don’t think so.

We need to start changing the mold society has built around being selfish. It doesn’t mean we don’t care about other people’s feelings (that would be a true narcissist), but sometimes it means putting ourselves first. How often do we do that? I love keeping busy, but if I’m not I don’t feel like I’m being productive. A good balance should exist between being busy and self-care.

In December, I removed a lot from my plate but it didn’t take long for my plate to fill back up. I am making big strides in my career, I moved into a new place, and I’m taking on more responsibility at church. I have found the past few months to be extremely overwhelming and I may hide it well, but I have felt my plate starting to get too heavy almost to the point of tumbling to the ground. I can’t remember the last time I did something for just me. Something that I want and need to soothe my brain.

I had an appointment with my GI doctor recently and as I was telling him about all the stress going on in my life and the symptoms that follow, he stopped me in my tracks and said “Christie, life is meant to be lived.” When you really think about it, life is short. We don’t have time to be living in a constant state of fear, which is a direct representation of my life the past four years. We are meant to spend our lives learning and growing, but also having fun. If that balance doesn’t exist, we may resort to isolation, resentment, and anger.

I get mad at my disease for causing me to live my life in fear and anxiety, but I smile at it too because I’ve been strong enough to make it this far. I’m tired of living in fear. So if that means I have to be a little selfish and take time for myself, so be it. All the guilt and judgement can step aside. Right now, what I want and need is to take care of myself and learn to live a life that is well-balanced. Making this decision is a conscious choice. One that I think will result in good things going forward.

How will you make time for yourself this week?

9 thoughts on “Life is Meant to Be Lived

  1. You have always put others ahead of your own needs, Christie. You’ll find that different stages of life require us to shift our attention on others and causes one to neglect themselves to the degree of like you mentioned…our plate tipping over. It is very difficult in our busy lives to “stop” and pay some attention to ourselves but maybe scheduling things that bring you joy on your calendar one week at a time. Getting a mani/pedi for instance 💅🏻 I am so very grateful for your GI doctor so much. He has been through your ups and downs and remains a great confidant in navigating through UC.
    You got this! You know what you need to do.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What you say truly resonates and I’m glad you are discovering this at your stage in life. I’ve just started exploring the toxicity of “selfless” through a book from Dr. Aziz Gazipura, “Not Nice.” It goes against everything we believe, but it seems to be possible to be a better person by being somewhat selfish. The hardest part is recognizing that we are worth it, but you are!

    Liked by 1 person

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