“Both abundance and lack [of abundance] exist simultaneously in our lives, as parallel realities. It is always our conscious choice which secret garden we will tend." - Sarah Ban Breathnach

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Summer Of No!

I've noticed a pattern in my CFS life.  I avoid the hard "no."  This would be anything where someone else's needs are in conflict with my own. 

Say I'm determined to get to bed earlier, but my husband is enjoying my company as we sit together on the couch watching TV.  I love sitting on the couch with my husband watching TV.  So, I end up going to bed one or two hours later than I should have.

Or maybe one of the kids comes up to me and says, "Mom, can I _____?" (insert activity that requires me to drive them somewhere.)  I already have so much guilt over all the nos I've already said, so even if I'm tired, I'll probably say yes.

The hardest of all, now that summer is here, are the invitations.  Weekly swim parties.  A Fourth of July barbecue.  Family dinners.  I so badly want to say yes!  Maybe if I pace before and after?  I don't know.  The best thing is for me to Just Say No.  I may be able to tolerate a tiny bit of yes, if I limit it to one hour or less, once in awhile.  But I'm afraid I'm going to have to learn to embrace the hard "no."

So, here it is:  No, I cannot make family functions right now, unless it's a once in a lifetime event, like my in-laws 50th wedding anniversary.  Even that, I'm taking off early.  No, I can't make it to your party.  No, I can't drive you places.  No, I can't stay up any later.  No, I can't.

Embracing the Summer of No!


Renee said...

Amen!!! You go girl!
I remember when Joel first was home on disability. he was used to coming home and doing his thing and when hew as home all the time I would not get enough schedule was all messed up. Eventually we sat down and set some ground rules...and worked it out.. My needs were very important and I often put them aside for him but very quickly got worse...
Just say no is hard, but taking care of you is as important as taking care of your loved ones. Once the rules/boundaries are set up, people adjust...
Hard though to miss so many events...but not worth the consequences...

Dominique said...

Maybe we should start a "Just say NO" campaign! ha ha

It is the hardest thing to do for sure. Especially because it isolates us from our friends and extended family even more.

So frustrating. I keep thinking if I say no to the not-so-important things than I will be able to do the important things but that doesn't seem to work either.

Great post...

Dusty Bogwrangler said...

Tough one! However, if you put yourself first, everyone else benefits. So, delegate! Cinderella shall go to the ball, but only if she gets help with the housework and the driving.

Dawn said...

I have just found my NO voice as well. I used to NEVER say no - it was the hardest thing in the world - but CFS (and my recent crash) has taught me that I have no choice. So I also am bowing out of all activities and commitments for the moment. If by some strange chance I feel ok when its time to go to an "event" I may go for a short period of time - but I hate backing out on people more than I hate saying no - so NO had to win.

Congrads - we really do have to put our health first.

Unknown said...

YES! Yes to your no's! I've had to learn to say, no,too and it's hard. I did say yes to my cousin's wedding - a once in a lifetime event - and left before the cake was cut. It was beautiful and I'm soooo glad I went!

Unknown said...

I hope you see some improvement by putting yourself first. It's so hard to say no! I've read it's a common personality trait for people with CFS (along with being over achievers etc).

I've changed my blog address:
and I'm getting a bit worried that no one can see my blog anymore!

Pris said...

Just last week a friend helped me make out an activity recording log so that when I overdid, mostly cognitively/talking to people (which exhausts me), it stared me right in the face. I'm learning the big no, too! It's really hard. Good for you. I'm in your corner.