This has been a common theme in therapy the past couple of weeks. For a couple of people, it emerged as a result of the holiday season, either through the buying of gifts or holiday events to be attended. For others, it was a vaster theme.
In one situation, a person is always tired. During sessions, when her partner is talking, her eyes will sometimes close briefly. When I greet her at the door each week and ask how she is, she always responds, “Sleepy.”
Her partner says she takes care of everyone else, but not herself. She does not agree that this is a problem, and she sees no correlation to being tired.
Another person cancelled an appointment at the last minute because she was training a new employee and felt that was a priority. When I mentioned she was obligated to pay for the session because she cancelled so soon before the appointment, I received a message from her. She said that she decided her own needs were important and therapy was helping her address that issue. She came for her session.
We are each important. It is valuable to be helpful and caring of others. It is not often helpful to put them first. We can develop an underpinning of emotions that can exhaust us.
Take care of yourself.