June 17, 2018 at 5:41 pm #13096
Regardless of whether or not you live with a chronic illness, such as pulmonary fibrosis (PF), it is important for everyone to prioritize their own needs ahead of helping others. This can be difficult, especially when you’ve made a habit of doing things for others (like me) throughout your life. However, following my diagnosis of IPF, I have had to learn the hard way just how important it is to put my needs first, because I can no longer compromise my health for the sake of helping others.
This is a tough topic to write about because I feel selfish and guilty about voicing the importance of not always doing things for others. This isn’t the message that I am trying to convey. Instead, I hope that if patients living with any type of chronic illness, especially PF, choose to put others first that they are doing so knowing their needs will be prioritized and returned from others someday.
I believe that the best types of friendships and relationships are grounded in reciprocal help to one another; meaning when I do something for others, I hope that I can ask for a favour in return. I certainly do not want to be the one in the friendship always “taking”, but I can no longer afford to be the one always “giving” either. Nothing frustrates me more than an friendship being out of equilibrium due to one person always taking or giving.
Lately it feels as though I have consistently been giving to others and assistance has not been returned when I’ve asked for it. This isn’t necessarily anyone’s fault, I understand that we’re all busy and I don’t have control over whether or not someone will help me when I ask. What I can control is how much I give to others, and how often I prioritize my own needs ahead of doing things for others. Over the next few months I am going to focus on this and make myself the priority now that some big life “things” are out of the way. Have you ever felt the importance of doing this as well? If so:
At what point do you cease doing things for others to put your own needs first?
How do you say no to others’ requests and instead let them know you are prioritizing what you need?
I hope you all take some time to prioritize your own needs and feel good about doing so!
July 4, 2018 at 11:10 am #13309Bill HuntParticipant
I had not realized that running this website was taxing to you. You must think of yourself and do what is right for you. What a wonderful medium you have created. Whatever you decide to do we all will understand. My son always lets me know when I have to decide something and tells me “I am sure you will make the right decision” and then walks away. Please keep us posted! Blessings to you. Bill Hunt
July 4, 2018 at 11:29 am #13310
Thank you for reading my posts and sharing your comments. Just wanted to clarify that the post I wrote was actually not about the PF forums site, as I am so thankful to be part of this community. It is actually a platform that lifts me up and boosts my spirits more than anything, and I am so glad to be here 🙂
In my post I was actually referencing doing things for my friends which is putting my needs second, and sometimes I am paying for that physically (ie. getting sick). I love to help others, and people know this so sometimes I fear that people are asking me too much and I am feeling obligated to say yes, as opposed to saying what I should, which is no. This is especially true when I ask for things / have needs that I hope others can help me with, that are not returned. I find this even harder, as I don’t have a lot to “give” physically these days so when I ask for help and it can’t be returned then I feel even more drained. Does this help clarify?
I love being on this forum and in the role of a moderator, and am so glad people find it a helpful platform. Thanks for sharing your sons advice…. it is a great piece of advice to remember! 🙂
July 5, 2018 at 12:45 pm #13328Sylvia ScottParticipant
To use plain words….It is horrible! I have been such an active woman. I have had a one lung transplant 13 years ago and I am on oxygen full time. I have other medical problems bu doing well right now. My left leg is paralyzed and I broke the same ankle and since can’t walk at all. My husband is wonderful but I so want to help him. He is on duty day and night.
I still teach a Sunday Bible Class and keep up with friends. It is hard to put yourself first, even when you can’t walk.
July 6, 2018 at 3:07 pm #13365
Thank you so much for joining the PF forums and contributing your experiences to this thread, although I wish things weren’t so difficult for you, and all of us living with IPF. It sure is a cruel disease, isn’t it? That said, I am so very glad you received your new lungs 13 years ago, what an amazing story. Are you back on oxygen now because of rejection of the lungs, or continued disease progression? Glad you mentioned you’re doing well right now, and I will certainly pray that continues for you.
Putting yourself first is such a tough lesson to learn, one I have not yet mastered and don’t suspect I ever will fully. Hang in there though, and remember to be gentle with yourself when you need to 🙂
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