Something I have been working on since I started treatment for my mental health is to let go of what I believe others expectations of me are, and focus on being me, being “enough”. I am always seeking approval from anyone and everyone. To my credit, I do find it easier to stand on my own two feet and realise that not everyone is going to validate me, and not everyone needs or wants me to offer the same to them now – but sometimes the old habits creep in and cloud my judgement.
This need to make others happy though can be incredibly bad for my own mental and physical health though. I have this desire where I need to be a great patient, the best! I want to heal quickly and be successful, to make my doctor feel as though they have achieved something too. Don’t get me wrong, I want to heal for me too, but a big motivator is to bring a sense of accomplishment to the other person too.
I feel horrible at the moment, I feel like I am letting my pain specialist down, because each time he treats me, it fails. It really seems so silly as I write it out in black and white, but there is a deep sense of failure that hovers over me, telling me what a terrible and frustrating patient I must be. There is a feeling of taking up valuable time that could be spent with someone who will respond better to treatment, someone who will be a success. I feel like I must be such a disappointment, someone who nothing works for, someone who never seems to get better or have any wins.
So I lag behind when it comes to making follow up appointments, feeling guilty that I’m going to go and tell him that I’ve failed again, I didn’t get better, my pain didn’t go away. I feel bad for taking up his time, for being in his office when someone who might need it more is missing out on the appointment because I am taking up the time.
I must learn to move past this feeling and to recognise that my pain is important too, but the guilt is so cloying!
End Note: Please let’s be clear, this is on me; my Doctor is lovely and has never made me think once that he considers me to be a lost cause.