We’ve all heard the phrase, “what you don’t know won’t hurt you.” In many cases that’s true. And in terms of self care that phrase could probably be used in your favor or not. But today I’m going to talk about when it does hurt you to not know.
As caregivers, how many times have you taken care of someone who knew something was wrong with them health wise (whether it be mental, physical or emotional) but were too scared to do anything… until it was too late. We all have stories. A heartbreaking number of stories.
Yet despite these examples, caregivers are still often the last people to go get something checked out when things aren’t right. Some would argue we know too much, so our minds always go to the worst case scenario. Others would argue we are too busy taking care of everyone else to even pay close attention to what’s happening to us. But those are both HORRIBLE excuses. The truth is regardless of what field you’re in, you are NOT an expert in everything. Also you can’t insist that everyone you care for should take care of themselves, if you’re not practicing what you preach?
Fortunately more often than not, that scary thing we are afraid to look at, is not as bad as we thought. And…sometimes it is, but then you can start taking action because you will know how to proceed. I will use an example that doesn’t have anything to do with my physical health, but definitely my emotional health…
The other day I was eating with friends and we were swapping student loans stories. I was horrified to learn I was paying way more than anyone else (on a monthly basis) and became convinced I was being bamboozled by “the man!!” I got home from our dinner, checked my email only to discover a class about paying off student loans was being offered the very next day, (seriously). I was forcing myself to look at something that had (borderline) haunted me since graduation day. I was convinced I would be paying off my loans well into my 60’s. Turns out, (thanks to info from that class) I’m paying more because I’m on a payment plan where I have about 3.5 years left on my loans. I had been steadily and painfully plugging away over the years. In the scheme of things, I’m nearly there!
Do you know how many conversations I’ve had about my debt? How many migraine headaches? Too many. But I had never looked at the actual number. It was all created drama, (as if I needed any more). Sheesh.
Now I know that student loans are not the same as having a potential health crisis. It’s just a metaphor folks, but I know you follow. This world needs you. You are doing good work, so regardless of what haunts you, stare it in the eye, and attempt to deal. Create less drama and anxiety for yourself by being in the know.
Take care of YOU.