My patient asked me if her medications were changing who she was. After asking her more about where that came from, she disclosed that her husband was blaming her medications for the emotional distance between. He was not blaming his daily alcohol intake nor that he see’s her as “The Patient” and not himself. This is after she has spent years investing in herself through medications, some counseling, and regular exercise. This woman had courage. Yet she still bought into what her husband was telling her.
We personalize things that have very little to do with us. Sometimes we know we’re doing it, but more often we don’t. In this woman’s case, I had to think, how much of this was about her versus the accuser, i.e. husband. We came to understand together that either way, true or not, the only person in her relationship she could better, is that same person she’s been attending to so well for so long. In the end we were talking about going to CoDA, Al-Anon, or local support groups through NAMI. She focussed on herself, excited about her opportunities to grow some more. She wasn’t thinking so much about her husband getting passed up by his own opportunities. Nor about the accusations.
Talking to a friend who recently shed 15 unwanted pounds, we did a celebration whoop! She wasn’t perseverating on her husband who was smoking again. She was hurt by it, but used the energy in that emotion to motivate change in her own life. Who knows. Maybe her husband will grow from wanting what he see’s in her. Courage, self-respect, inner congruence, hope, and so many more great things that come when you fight hard for your precious self.
Not taking things personally though can be much easier said than done. If you try over and over but see that it continues to get the best of you, consider getting an opinion from someone you trust. Get a “third-party” opinion to bounce your perspectives from. Maybe this is something biological and medical as well. Personalization is a familiar problem in medical illnesses such as Affective Spectrum Disorders or Anxiety Spectrum Disorders.
Self Care Tip #35 – Own it. Be a friend to yourself.
Question: What do you think? Please tell me your story.