Today I got this question: "I always give and give until there's nothing left for me. I feel selfish for taking care of myself, how do I change my thinking about this?"
Do you ever feel selfish for taking care of yourself?
I used to...but the reality is if YOU are not good, then nothing in your life will be good.
Here's what we'll cover:
It's not either/or. It's AND. You can take care of others AND take care of yourself. You matter.
Check it out, and let me know what you think in the comments!
To your recovery,
Kayleen & the team at OvercomingPTSD.com
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0:00 Hey, everybody! Brad Schipke here, and today I just am going to shoot a video. I just got off a Q&A with our clients of our recovery program online. And I got this very interesting question that I get all the time. And I wanted to share with you guys here, because I think it would have a really, really big impact on you and your recovery because it's something I see almost every single person struggling with. Whether you have PTSD yourself, or whether or not you love somebody with PTSD, this is an issue that almost everybody I've run into has. So I'll read the question here, and then I'll go through the answer.
0:38 So the question was, I always give and give, until there's nothing left for me. I feel selfish for taking care of myself. So, the problem that my client had here was that they felt like they were constantly giving everything that they had to other people in their life, but never, ever taking the time for themselves. And it is so weird, and so messed up in today's world, that we have this totally backwards binary belief that if you take care of yourself at all, you are a selfish and bad person. And if you give to other people, then you are good.
1:22 So you have these two sides where one side is like, if you take care of yourself, you're bad; if you give to other people, you're good. And it's gotten to the point where in a lot of people's minds in society today, that it is black and white, like, that it's so binary, and it can't be it can't be some combination of both of them. And it can't be a balance in between. It's one or the other.
1:49 And this happened to me in my own life, where my girlfriend Kayleen had really bad PTSD where she was having--it's not funny, I don't know why I giggled--but where she was having nightmares and flashbacks, pretty much 24/7. She was at her rock bottom. And I was just giving everything I had, right. So I was like, I was giving my time, my energy, everything. So like, all my thoughts, throughout the whole day it was like, how can I help you? How can I make you better? And then when I got home, how can I make you happy? So like, all of my energy was like being channeled into her. But while I was putting all my energy into her, I was getting hurt; because she was in a hurt state too. Like she was in hurt state, she had PTSD. And in that state--a lot of people can relate to this, and I got to this level too--is that for most people with PTSD, one of the things is extreme anger.
2:49 So as she was going through all that I was going through all these things in my life, but I wasn't dealing with my stuff, because I was channeling all my energy into her. And I thought to be a good boyfriend, to be a good person, I had to give everything I had. I had to sacrifice everything that I had to help the person I loved, right. And I was secondary, right. So like, my desires didn't matter. They... compared to hers, like my my desires, my feelings, my emotions, my thoughts, none of that mattered. I always put her feelings and everything else in front of my own desires.
3:28 And what happened there is that not only did Kayleen get drawn down to a point where she was at rock bottom, but also I got drawn down to a point where I was at rock bottom. And I couldn't take care of her, let alone myself. So we were both at this point where we were at rock bottom, and we couldn't take care of each other or ourselves. So we're at a point where we were forced to separate.
3:49 And then at that point, we were forced to start introspecting into our own life, and seeing what we could do to help ourselves because we didn't have the other person to really help at that point. So we were forced into this position where we had to... like,there was no other choice. There were no other people in this situation, we had to take care of ourselves. But it doesn't have to be that way. You don't have to be drawn down to zero, you don't have to give and give and give and give and give and give until you have nothing left. And honestly that's a losing formula. If you are right now either loving someone with PTSD or you have PTSD yourself, and you're just giving away everything that you have and not taking anything for yourself: that is a recipe for disaster. That is a recipe to not only ruin your life, but also the people around you. And I'm going to explain this further because it's something that again, people don't understand. They think it's black or white.
4:46 They think if you take care of yourself, you're this selfish, awful evil person. And if you give to people, you're like this really good person. So people have this weird internal conflict with themselves when it comes to taking care of themselves or doing anything for themselves. But what I want you guys to realize is that it's not one or the other. And I want to drawthis quick picture here for you on the whiteboard here to help illustrate this point. And I derw this for my clients too. But this will be really, really helpful for all you guys out there who are struggling with this.
5:21 So what I want you to think about is like, your life is like a chain, right? So you can see that. So these are the different links in the chain. And what I want you to imagine, each one of these chains represents something different. So like this chain right here, we'll say represents, like your doggo, like your dog, if you can read that. And then this one, maybe we'll say your finances, right? And then this one we'll say, your family. So this is like the chain of your life. Now. If you're with me right now, what do you think that first chain, what do you think the first link of the chain is, that holds all the other chains, all the links in your life?
6:13 It's you, you are the very first chain... you are the very first link in the chain of your life. So, this means if you're not taking care of yourself, if you're not taking time for yourself, then basically that means that this first link is either going to be very, very strained or on the breaking point of... on the verge of breaking altogether. And if you lose this first chain, you don't just lose yourself, you lose your family, you lose your finances, you lose your dog, you don't want to lose your dog, man. I mean, you can lose your family and your finances, but don't lose your dog!
6:54 So taking care of yourself is essential. And this is what life is like, really, it's like, if you don't take care of yourself, the rest of the links in the chain are gonna fall off. So you are the first link. You matter, you matter. And it's not one or the other, right? So it's not saying focus only on you, and you're the only link, right? But you are the essential. You are the very, very first link in the chain of your life. And if you don't take care of you, if you don't make sure this is rock solid, you're not going to take care of the rest of the links in your life. Like, you're not gonna be able to take care of your family. If you're not good, you're not able to take care of your family. If you're not good, you're not gonna be able to take care of your finances. If you're not good, you're not gonna be able to take care of your dog. Your dog is gonna go hungry, man! We can't have that.
7:41 So that's what I want you to realize: it's not one or the other. It's not, I'm the super selfish, awful person, or I'm this super generous saint, who's absolutely perfect. You know, you can take care of yourself. And you can take care of your family, your finances and your dog. It's not one or the other. One of the most important words in, in the English language is "and". It's not one or the other, you don't have to choose, you can take care of you. You can take care of yourself, you can take the time each day to do something good for you.
8:20 And when was the last time you did something good for yourself? That's what I want you to think about. Because you matter. That's the truth of the matter is that you matter a lot, a heck of a lot, not just to your life, but to the life of all the people around you. Like you're not gonna be able to be there for your family, if you don't take care of yourself.
8:40 And I hope that this is a wake up call for you people, for you people is kind of weird--rude--for you guys. But for you guys, I hope this is a wake up call for those of you who are struggling with this concept, because usually it comes down to that either/or thinking, but it's not either/or' it's and. You take care of yourself, and you take care your family, and you take care of your finances, and you take care of your dog. But the very first thing, the most important thing is that very first link, because if you don't have that first link, if that's not rock solid, the rest of it doesn't matter. It's not going to be there.
9:13 So like when I was trying to take care of Kayleen in her PTSD, and I put her in front of me, my link was broken and I couldn't take care of her; and I had to focus on me. So you either are going to take care of yourself or you are going to be forced into a position where you are forced to take care of yourself, because everything else is going to go to crap, go to hell. So I hope that you guys really, really take this seriously and really, really take care of yourself because you do matter. You matter a heck of a lot. To me, to the people in your life, and to this entire world.
9:49 You have so much to look forward to in your life after healing, after recovery, and it's 100,000% possible. Regardless of where you are, regardless of how long you you've struggled with this, regardless of how bad it's been, what you've been through; you can do this--you can get through this--but you've got to focus on you. You've got to take care of yourself. Youve got to value yourself. You've got to know that you are worthy of the time that you're putting in.
10:16 So I hope that this resonates with you today. Iff you enjoyed this message, hit that subscribe button and the little bell to get future notifications. Also, give me a thumbs up here if you like this. And leave me a comment below if you like kind of videos like this with like the Q&A's that I get.
10:33 Otherwise, I hope you guys have a fantastic day; and I will see you next week on my next video.