Taking care of yourself is not selfish

Last summer the heat outside kicked my butt. I tried all the normal tricks to remain cool and keep my core body temperature down, but no matter what I did my body grew weaker as the summer progressed. I’m not looking forward to the coming hotter days.

It’s crazy to get exhausted just going to the mailbox. That short of a trip and I was ready for a nap. I have learned to take things as they come and listen to my body even though it’s not always easy to do. It can actually get quite frustrating.

Sometimes I will have my heart set on going somewhere then not have the energy to go and have to cancel plans. Or I have something that needs to get done but it doesn’t get done for days and days and days just because I can’t muster up the strength to do it. If I could, I would hire a maid to clean for me, a cook to make my meals and a chauffeur to take me places. Now that would be the life! Include getting rid of MS into the mix and that would be my dream come true.

But as it is right now, I’m the one that has to do everything. It’s up to me to take care of the house, do the laundry, prepare my meals, bathe, vacuum, pay the bills, make the bed, put gas in the car, clean up my messes, and live with MS.

So what do I do? I do what I can and leave the rest for another day. I have had to learn to be okay with not getting everything done that I want or even need done. Taking care of me is way more important theses days than taking out the trash or getting the mail. My wellbeing is more important than attending a ballgame in 100 degree weather and my health is of greater importance than buying a birthday gift for the lady down the street.

Be good to yourself. Take care of you. No one else is going to do it for you. It’s okay to cancel plans, veg on the couch, sleep late, and most importantly to need help.

There are several people in my life that I know would do anything for me if I asked. I try my best to not take advantage of their good nature and use the calling card sparingly. Mostly because I know the day will come when their help will be needed daily and I want to do as much as I can on my own while I can. That’s not being stubborn or selfish. That’s being persistent and determined in spite of living with MS. I will concede when the time comes—reluctantly, I might add—but that time hasn’t come as of yet. So what do I do…I keep going.

You too! Keep going, doing, being, until you can’t any longer. I have never met an MSer that wasn’t a strong and powerful fighter even on their weakest days. We push through some of the toughest battles. Things that other people never see or even know about because we simply keep going. MSers are an amazing example of strength, persistence and determination. I’m so very proud of you and cheering you on today.

6 replies

    There are selfish suicides, just as it can be selfish to want someone to stay. Some obligations do require life, and are selfish to discard. Everything is case by case. Staying or going, it”s considerate to consider your own needs/wants, as well as those who have an impact on your life and vice versa.

  2. Rodger Ashton-Smith
    Rodger Ashton-Smith says:

    Well written Penelope I have an aversion to hot days and our norwester wind takes all the energy from me. But I keep fit by ‘running’ up and down our hallway with a deep lining under the carpet. It can be hard when the tyres go flat. But it’s kept me going anyway.


    What a fantastic article thank you for sharing this with us all what you say is so very true and it is important that people living with MS remember that they do need to take care of them self etc


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