I mentioned in my previous post how I struggled focussing on my needs as I felt firstly I have responsibilities. What was missing was feeling I was important enough to focus on my needs as a priority, and that in itself should be one of my responsibilities.
The sudden ending of my marriage put me in a state of crisis. I was thrown into a survival mind-set of fulfilling basic needs because everything else was gone. I shut down to the present moment and lived one painful agonizing hour at a time – wake, walk, shower, dress, work, shop, cook, eat, house duties, sleep – going through the motions of life like a zombie. Breathing became a top priority for me – it meant I was alive.
After a few weeks, I had moved a small step forward – planning ahead a few hours at a time. One day I thought about making soup, shopped for ingredients, cooked, and ate the soup, savouring each mouthful as a friend. A few months later my world expanded to a day at a time with a daily routine of rising to watch the sunrise, writing in my journal, following a healthy diet and doing some regular walking as exercise. Although still looking at basic needs, I was living healthily and happily – one day at a time.
Then came the big freeze, the slow painful process of grieving for my past, and facing the anxiety-filled reality of my changed future. There were months of swirling through intense emotions, drifting in and out of hope and despair, only able to focus on one thing – my feelings. My earlier healthy routine slipped away. Down in the black pit, letting exercise go for a day, eating incorrect foods once in a while or over-eating…suddenly it did not matter. What mattered was getting through the day – surviving.
You can get away with things for a day, or two, or three. Then gradually, one day at a time, you slowly lose your fitness, put on weight, clog your arteries, put your heart and kidneys under stress. You do not continue to get away with it. To turn that around you need to think more than a day ahead. You need to think twenty years ahead. This is a monumental step. In my old age…….I want to see my grand-children’s children……. I want to be active enough to still climb stairs…. I want to be able to look after myself.
To do that, I need to think of myself, I have to feel I am worth it.
Focussing for a while on my values, my beliefs and my attitudes, has given me a better sense of confidence and feeling of self-worth. Now I am in a better place. …..I know I am important…..I am worth looking after….. worth caring for.
I need to take care of myself.
I need to remain active.
I need to be healthy.
These are my needs for me and my future healthy happiness.
Fulfilling those needs will become my responsibility.
Image courtesy of [Digitalart] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net