The Guilt of Saying “No”

il_fullxfull.193501219It seems to have been a whirlwind of month so far with all the drama surrounding me. It’s not my drama but so much is happening in the lives of those around me and I feel I have done very well in not getting sucked up into the whirlwind although a tinge of guilt surrounds my success.

About 2 weeks ago, a friend of mine hit that bottom I am so familiar with and wanted to end it all. I went over to talk with her and let her know that I could not make the decisions for her but I would be there to walk through the valley with her. I let her know that she needed help and the kind she needed was not what I could help her with. I made suggestions but it was up to her to make decisions. I was comfortable with setting the healthy boundary for myself and not take on the burden of trying to fix everything for her. She finally decided to go get the help she needed and it has been a good lesson for me that I don’t have to be the rescuer.

Today I received a phone call from someone who needs a room for a few weeks as she will be having surgery next week and needs a safe place to recover and detox. She also needs someone who will dish out her medications until she can get into a treatment program. I had to say no to this person. I do not have a room available which is true but I also know that I do not want to take on the responsibility of monitoring her medications or dealing with her detox and after surgery care. That may sound terrible and a little heartless (it does to me) but I know it is too much for me to deal with.

I have my own health issues and am in pain most of the time. I have a 5 year-old granddaughter that I watch several days a week. My house is my place of peace, my sanctuary, and I am not willing to lose that. I am in a good place right now and enjoy being able to take care of just myself and I still have so much more to do in that department.

611804743_origSo yes, I feel a little guilty and selfish for saying no. Part of my mind spins with trying to think of ways I can help her somehow, but then the other part says, “It’s okay, you do not have to rescue the world. You are not Superwoman and you don’t have to be.” I know I can so easily be sucked back into the vacuum of codependency, trying to make sure everyone else is safe, happy and healthy. That is not my job anymore. Oh, that’s right, it never was! My job is to make sure I am safe, happy and healthy. My job is to help when and “if” I can. My job is to make sure their burdens do not become my burdens.

As a codependent, it is still a struggle and I do feel some guilt, but I know my decisions were right and healthy for me. Progress? Yes, but I have some work to do in the area of feeling guilty when I probably shouldn’t. It’s progress I’m looking for, not perfection, right?

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