This week kicked my ass metaphorically and literally. The shit show started off with a stomach bug that knocked me on my ass. For 48 hours, I was bedridden and blowing chunks. I could not sit up for more than a minute without feeling lightheaded and breaking out in a sweat.
I missed two days of work as a result and right in the middle of a transition to a promotion. Talk about beautiful timing. On Wednesday, I pushed myself back into the swing of things. I felt pretty good, but I had A LOT of catching up to do. For two days straight, I went nonstop from about 7:00AM to 9:00PM in effort to get back on track. I did not.
Alongside work, I had a toxic family member reaching out to me pretty consistently about their financial woes. I would say at least once or twice a day. This particular family member and I had a long history of arguments over money and borrowing it. I knew the conversations were building up to it, and my dumb ass continued to entertain it. Eventually, said family member asked me first for fifteen dollars to help pay for their phone, to which I replied with a firm “no.” You would think that would’ve sent a message, but NoOoOoO, someone had to be persistent. In a call two days later, “Can I borrow two hundred to help pay for my car?”
I didn’t like saying “no,” but I had to. Otherwise, I would enable this person and foster a sense of dependence. However, a little part of me does feel guilty because I want to help my family and be there for them. When I deny them help, I feel like I am not fulfilling my duty as a family member. You’ll see how this fits in.
By Friday, I wore myself down mentally, emotionally, and physically all over again. Unimaginable tension paraded around my skull, and my fibromyalgia latched itself onto my joints. Every movement felt sluggish and weighed down. This was easily a result of the stress I put myself through during the entire week.
Here I was beaten down and downtrodden. Then, on Saturday, I was forced to cancel plans with my girlfriend.
I was disappointed in myself. I questioned my worth. “Am I good enough? Am I worthy? Do I deserve my success?” Across the board, I felt like I was not meeting my expectations. I struggled to adjust to my new duties with my promotion at work. I let my family down by not helping them out financially. My health presented a huge obstacle in fulfilling my goals, and my health was nowhere near where it should be for a young man in his early thirties. Because of this buildup, I couldn’t even see my girlfriend. The irrational spiral took over, so how did I pull myself out of it?
- External validation. Not going to lie. I purposely talked to someone who does see me for who I am. My girlfriend provided me with a good amount of validation, and not just the cutesy type. It fell more in line with emotional and factual validation. She is an outside perspective I could trust and one I know that can keep me in check when I feel myself sinking.
- Internal validation. I took a step back myself and evaluated the situation. I had to remind myself that this week was A LOT for any one person to handle and that I need to be a little nicer to myself. I mean, shit, I just started this new position a week ago, and I got hit with two unexpected health issues in one week.
- Looking at the facts. Not only did the tone of my self-talk needed to be nicer, but needed to be more objective. My girlfriend was upset with me, but even she acknowledged that she knew I “wasn’t going anywhere.” With my family member, the fact was that if I caved in on my boundary with money, that it would cause more issues than what it was worth. This was their behavioral pattern and one that I could not feed into. With work, it takes time to adjust and get into the swing of things. I am still early in the learning process.
- Taking a break. My body made it pretty obvious. There was no way in hell that I was going to work for those couple days this week. I needed to rest as much as I didn’t want to. The work was not going anywhere. It would be there when I was rested up.
I am enough.
-The Caring Counselor