I’ve not ever really had a hard time saying no to substances when offered – I’m grateful that had I said no to people offering substances they would have been okay with that – but I do have a hard time saying no to people asking favors. “Hey, we’re off work about the same time. Can you give me a ride home forty minutes in the opposite direction from your home?” Me, “Yes.” The hesitation was marginal. It didn’t matter that driving her home would push my bed time back more than an hour, didn’t matter that I get a little (lot) anxious leaving my county, this was someone who needed help so there was I jumping to the rescue. I have an equally tough time not answering the phone when loved ones call asking for help in X, Y, Z situations. This is one of the things that makes me so blessedly me (at least, many days I see it as blessed). I’m a friend and coworker that can be counted on. What ends up happening though is that when I say, “Yes,” I should be saying no. Whether because I need the sleep, whether because I can’t afford to use that gas, whether because I can’t afford whatever resources are needed. I’ll still do everything i can to help my friends, loved ones, and coworkers through whatever situation or predicament they find themselves in. I have a tough time drawing the line. I have a tough time saying no, even when I know the person I’m saying no to would likely be okay with me doing so.
I have to remember that, in most situations, saying no isn’t irrational; saying no is self-preservation. And self-preservation is okay. Saying no doesn’t mean I’m always going to be unwilling to help when and where I can. Saying no means I’m looking out for me in whatever situation I find myself in. And looking out for me not in a selfish way, but looking out for me in a, “This is the healthiest way and place for me to be right now,” isn’t selfish. Self preservation isn’t selish.
Who knows if or when I’ll ever believe that, but I’m trying. I’m trying.