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Super Woman

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

By Christy Sillman

I have a problem saying "no" to people. I don't know why, but I just feel horrible. You could ask me to drive you across the country and I will actually take a second to think about if I can make it work—there's no possible way I could actually do it, but I'd consider it for sure.

I just love helping people. I get a high from making other people's day better/easier/happier. That's why being a nurse is a calling more than a job for me.

Unfortunately, there is a major issue with this affliction—I only have so much to give, and generally it's a lot less than what others “have,” so I'm constantly sacrificing myself to help others.

I'm chronically:


…but I can't say “no.”

What am I trying to prove? I think I want to be above-average in a normal kind of way. As a child I recognized that if I focused on what I couldn't do I would be constantly depressed, so I channeled my energies into what I COULD do. I want to do it all. I don't want to FEEL my limitations. I want to prove to the world that I can do whatever I want!

As my health has declined I've realized that I need to stop catering to my wants and to start arranging my life based on my needs, because if I don't, my body will give me no other option.

So I've started saying “no” before the crash, and you know what? It's hard. REALLY, REALLY HARD. I feel guilty, angry, upset, and emotionally drained. I feel my limitations and it sucks.

But maybe being a Super Woman isn't about doing it all? Maybe it’s about being a whole person. Putting myself first so that I can be strong enough to be that all-around awesome person I want to be.

I think the people closest to me are surprised the most by my pushback and “sorry, no can do” catchphrase. It’s not what they are used to, but then again, I’m not used to it either. Over time I’m hoping I’ll find a nice balance between committing to myself the care I need and committing to others the extra I have afterwards.

I must remind myself—in a world of ordinary mortals, just my survival makes me a wonder woman, and that’s super in and of itself.


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