Ah! Guilt my old friend. I was raised on guilt and find it really easy to accept. Lately I’ve been fighting the acceptance when I feel it.
I am trying really hard to do what is right for me. It isn’t easy and in many ways I feel that I am letting others down. Do they mean for me to feel that way? No, this is my reaction and I own it. It is how I am conditioned. I have had a couple of busy weeks both personally and at work. With my medication dosage being increased and being busier than usual I am tired. Instead of my usual reaction, ignoring being tired and ploughing on, I am trying to take the time for me. I have also asked for a new schedule at work. The reason behind the request is massive road work between the office and house. The construction hasn’t even started yet but my commute times are becoming longer and longer already. For me this is a quality of life issue. If traveling the 19.8 miles takes almost an hour in the morning commute and two hours in the evening I have an issue. In the past I would just deal with it, but I decided to ask for shift that starts an hour earlier thus ending earlier.
Here is the problem with my guilt, it is my reaction. I own it. Every situation in which I feel guilt the other party wouldn’t. I know that. If you were to ask me if taking care of yourself was the wrong thing to do I would be horrified and encourage you to do it. Yet here I am beating myself up over taking care of myself. There is a double standard here that is tied to not believing I am worth of the consideration that I give others. I am often more concerned about the needs of others than my own.
Oh wow! A ‘HA’ moment!
So what do I do? How do I combat the guilt? First is to recognize whether I need to feel the guilt or if it is a conditioned response. Is the reason behind the guilt something that I did that was meant to be hurtful? Was I purposely being inconvenient to others? The answer in the cases this week is no. My actions this week have been based on healthy self-care. Trying to keep myself stable with healthy habits and the earlier shift at work is a quality of life issue for me. Others at my work place plan their work lives around their personal and I am allowed to do the same.
Acknowledging these things doesn’t make the guilt magically disappear, but it does help me to get a grip. That is a start which every new path needs.