I Have a Tendency to Neglect Myself

by Magnolia on June 17, 2014

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Do you?

I haven’t written as regularly as I’ve wanted to for quite some time now.  A very long time, truthfully.

It is primarily because I have been grieving.  Oh, how I have been grieving – the loss of my father, then my divorce, then the loss of my mother.

I know we all face loss in this life.  I also know my sorrow and sadness is no more significant than anyone else’s – than yours even.  But, it’s my sorrow – and my heart is broken.

I have felt so adrift.  Lost. Sad. Depressed. I have struggled with sleep.  I have struggled with the most mundane things: eating, taking a shower, getting dressed, brushing my teeth.  I have struggled with simply putting one foot in front of the other on some days.  Then other days, I feel fine.

And such is grief.

It comes in waves.

When I am stressed or unhappy or feeling pressure of any kind, I tend to neglect myself.  It’s not a good habit, I know.  It makes everything else worse.  Far worse.

Where does one get the idea that not eating is okay? Especially after I do eat – and I’m very health conscious and actually have very good eating habits – I feel so much better.  

And when I MAKE myself put on my walking/running shoes and go out the door to walk, and maybe a little jogging – I feel so much better. 

When I don’t have a glass (or two, or three) of wine right before bed.  In fact, if I don’t drink at all, and get in the bed by 9:00 p.m. I sleep better – and yes, I feel so much better. 

I know a lot of you ladies feel the way I do too.

Maybe you’re not grieving the loss of your marriage and the death of both your parents.  But, if you’re going through perimenopause, then you’re likely grieving.

You’re grieving the loss of your fertility. You’re grieving the loss of life as you once knew it.  You’re grieving the loss of youth, and youthful looks.  Trading it all in for menopause, middle age, and before you know it…….senior citizen status and invisibility.

Perhaps you are neglecting yourself too.  Perhaps you don’t even notice that you’ve gone three weeks without eating right, exercising, or taking a shower.

Don’t ask.

If you are grieving.  If you feel like you just can’t get through another day – maybe you need to do what I did.  Admit that you’re neglecting yourself.

Look, we all do it.

We’re women.  We’re used to eating the crumbs off our toddler’s plate and being the last in line for everything. But if you don’t make up your mind that you’re going to take care of yourself, who’s going to do that for you?

Have you ever thought about that?  Really?  Who?

Yeah, I know how it goes: “But, oh, but Magnolia, you JUST DON”T UNDERSTAND!”

I don’t?

Kick yourself in the butt. And don’t think about the fact that every step toward taking care of yourself is a monumental effort.  Well, okay.  You can think about it.  Just don’t let it stop you.

And here’s a small piece of advice and pearly wisdom that I know is true:  things change.

As long as you get up everyday and keep trying, a new day – though it may seem like the same old day which came before it – brings newness in some way.  And feelings especially change.  They change when your behavior changes.

Hence, why when I make myself go for a walk and/or jog, I actually feel better.

It works.

And remember this too……..perimenopause is a transition.  It is not a life sentence.  So, just as my own grief will pass, your hormonal imbalance will pass and you will feel better too.

Be well my wonderful readers.  I’m hanging in there and I want ya’ll to hang in there too.

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Dawn H June 17, 2014 at 9:23 am

I just wrote about something similar in my blog yesterday; I am dealing with anxiety and an occasional panic attack. I had a difficult experience with a recent surgery and it created all sorts of inner trauma. I have seen a doctor, I have a few meds to try and will also get into some cognitive therapy. We all need help sometimes and know that we are human may help the process. Magnolia dear, give yourself a break. You are dealing with a lot. Prayers and hugs!

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Linda June 17, 2014 at 9:49 am

Hugs to you. So much loss piling up, it can feel like you are being smothered. Thank you for sharing, and for continuing to put one foot in front of the othe (most days anyway.) You are a great source of wisdom, inspiration and sisterhood.

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MonicaP June 17, 2014 at 12:37 pm

I agree .. there is a sort of grieving process one goes through during perimenopause and no one really talks about it. A doctor once told me that I’ll be so much happier when I don’t get my period anymore and I knew he just didn’t understand.

So I just do what I can .. I’m eating much better and feeling much better.

M.

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Heather June 17, 2014 at 2:33 pm

Magnolia, even in your grief and struggles you manage to make others feel better. Bless you! I hope today brings a better day and tomorrow is even better than that!

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Daniela June 18, 2014 at 7:28 am

Dear Magnolia,

I am so sorry for your losses and thanks for sharing this very intimate thoughts. You are a great inspiration to many women and you give great advice. As you said, it is hard to admit that we are grieving our youth and our fertility. Perimenopause is just a phase in our lives and it will pass. All the best.

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Holly June 18, 2014 at 3:58 pm

Magnolia-
Where would we all be without your words of wisdom. Thank you for putting one foot in front of the other because I know that can be so very hard sometimes. Take care.
Holly

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Melanie June 20, 2014 at 9:04 pm

Thank you for your post. Just what I needed tonight. I’m in peri-menopause, and I have two young kids. 6 and 3. I’m sure they think their mother is a whack job, crazy psycho mother and wonders why I even had them some days. I try to be aware of it, but I usually can’t control it.
To make matters worse, my partner is dying, I have no family around and I am trying to find a work from home job so that I can be here for my kids when things really turn to crap around here.
I don’t want to take anti-depressants if I can avoid it. I wonder what else I can do..walk, eat better…I just need more energy.
Thank you for this outlet. Thank you for opening up this discussion. I am sad and angry about my fertility slowly being taken away ( but I have two kids already,, why should I complain) but still I do. I keep repeating “it will pass” like a mantra!

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Magnolia June 21, 2014 at 8:44 am

Hi Melanie,

You’re welcome, and I’m so sorry to hear that your spouse is dying. Yes, that creates a tremendous amount of stress. My kids were pretty young when I started going through perimenopause too. I spent a lot of time apologizing. But, that is the best you can do. When you’re feeling better and not so disoriented from it all, that’s the time to scoop them up and let them know how much you love them and that you’re doing the best you can.

Please feel free to come by often, and do join us at Facebook too.

Magnolia

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Lisa June 22, 2014 at 8:52 pm

Dear Magnolia,

What you’re dealing with sounds much like what I went through not long ago except it was my mother first, then a break-up with a cheating (with my best friend) fiance, then losing my Dad. All of this in the span of a year.

You’re right: grief comes in waves, it is unpredictable, appears without warning, and can suck the very life out of you. Putting one foot in front of the other is, INDEED, Olympic-medal worthy during a time like this.

You have and continue to help so many women – I thank God I found your blog.

I’m wishing you peace and strength. Many hugs, too.

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Marcia July 6, 2014 at 8:24 am

Really. There are other people that can’t think their way out if a box ? Now I am crying. Sobbing really. I love my life, I love my God, …who’s yanking my chain. making me be a stranger to my own self? Been dealing with fairly frequent hot flashes, with relative grace. (“Get out of my way! Ice, more ice!). Hmmm, the panic attacks took me by surprise. But the worst part is being unable to read, or get out of my mouth the things I need to say, or have enough memory to be dependable. My problem is a problem for others sometimes. And I hate that! I so don’t want to do meds. Suggestions? It may be a phase… But the teens lasted 7 years!!! Lol

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