Last week was one where I emotionally over extended myself. I had some personal strife happening as did seemingly the rest of my social network. The holidays can understandably stir some negative emotions for folks. Also its been cold and gloomy in LA – which is to say it’s been in the 50s (F). Plus multiple nasty colds have been making the rounds.
On Sunday I felt particularly out of sorts and went to bed early with a stomach ache. In the morning it hit me that I was clearly running low on emotional reserves and needed to tend to myself before I could be there for others. My favorite metaphor for this is the phrase, “You can’t pour from an empty cup.” So I started focusing on what I needed to refill my cup. I noticed my next therapy appointment wasn’t until next week so I kept that one on my calendar and added a therapy “booster shot” for this week. Also realized I was due for an psychiatry appointment that had yet to be scheduled. So I made sure that’s happening before I leave for the holidays.
The hardest part was stopping myself from actively throwing myself at friends’ problems. And this is not because friends were demanding my energy to help, but because my personality is just to throw myself into caring for others. So, when friends shared their own woes I had to remind myself that it’s okay for me to simply affirm “yeah that S.U.C.K.S.” rather then jumping in to tackle things head on. This was especially true when my active help wasn’t actually requested or needed.