I am selfish. There I have said it. I am selfish and I love it. Why? Because it is all about me. Me, me, me.
One thing I have learnt throughout my experience with depression, and that is I need to look after me, first and foremost. If I can’t, then I am no good to anyone.
We just had a family holiday in the lovely Golden Bay and we stayed with friends. There were millions of kids (okay, slight exaggeration, but it felt like millions of them sometimes), and while I loved spending time with them, I found them draining. Not because they were sucking the life out of me, but because I wasn’t taking time out for me.
So I lost it. Literally lost myself. I felt tearful, cranky, lost – I really felt lost! We had gone down the beach for a barbeque, and I just didn’t know what to do with myself, so I went away, took my book and set myself up in a quiet little reserve. I stayed there, for at least an hour. By the time I came back, I felt semi normal again, normal enough at least to deal with the kids that were around.
Unfortunately it does have an effect on the children when I withdraw. They wonder why I HAD to go away, it is hard to explain to other children that I need to do that, and that it has nothing to do with them. My own family understand, but even my son struggles with my concept of space. Everytime I withdraw, he clings to me, wanting me to come back, wanting the mummy that he used to have. And one day, I will be that person. He is slowly understanding that Mum needs the time out to be who she was again, that if he gives me the space, that I come back happier than before.
I also have to learn to say No to people and things. No to the jobs I don’t want to do, or can’t do as the case may be. I have to say no to myself too, because I can’t always have what I want, but the end result is that I become a better person for being able to say no, and in a nice way too. A way that makes it plain that I am not interested in helping out and I won’t be changing my mind.
So that is why I am selfish. A horrible nasty selfish person, who is extremely happy with her progress so far!