I Learned It’s Okay to Be Me

It's Okay to Be Me

I’m currently 49 years old and am still learning about myself, life, and how to effectively interact with others. I’m learning it’s okay to be me, even when I’m not at my best.

When I’m not feeling well, whether it be a migraine, stomach problems, aggravated sinuses, achy joints and muscles, a cold, et al. I tend to isolate when I’m not well because I know I’m more easily irritated, nit-picky, short-tempered, and generally not a very nice person. I do that because I know how I’m feeling isn’t the other person’s fault and I don’t want to project my mood onto them.

For most of my life, if I needed to be around people when I wasn’t well, I’d make an announcement about how I’m feeling and ask to be excused if I said something untoward anyone. Most people will give you allowances when they understand the reason behind your words or behaviors, especially when they’re told it’s you and not them.

My current partner has helped me accept that it’s okay to be around people when I’m not well. We had a weekend planned, during which I was supposed to stay at his place. I told him that I could stay home, I wasn’t feeling well, and I didn’t want to take out my misery on him. He insisted I still come. I thought about that for a while for two reasons. One, when someone is sick, I generally stay away from them so I don’t catch whatever ails them. Two, I’d already told him I may be cranky or want to sleep the entire weekend.

He wanted me to stay and so I did. When I’m home and not well, I sometimes think it’d be nice to have someone fix me a cup of tea or something to eat. Or at least ask me if I’m feeling better and need anything. I sometimes become depressed needing to take care of myself, having isolated myself, and have no one around to help me. It’s a situation I know I’ve created.

My partner did all of the abovementioned things and more. An ironic thing happened. I realized it was acceptable for me to be around others when I’m feeling down. I was at his place and he was taking care of me. I mustered up enough energy for us to take a short day-trip. When we got back, I slept. When I woke up, he had dinner ready. It was a really good weekend. I was glad I went.

I always felt subconscious about not being my typical happy jolly self and I learned it was okay to not be that way all the time. It was okay to be me, even when being me was different than others knew me to be. I thanked my partner for helping me learn something about myself: that it was okay to let others take care of me and more importantly to not isolate because isolating made it impossible to receive help.

What are your experiences with understanding others still want to be around you when you’re not at your best? I look forward to reading your thoughts.

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I journeyed from GED to a PhD in Psychology. I decided to focus on my writing once I retired from the clinical field. I write in various genres and have several WIPs for publication once edited. I post articles on this website for intellectual and entertainment purposes.

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