For the past few months, my life is taking a new turn. Most of my relatives and friends have noticed the changes and are wondering if they have wronged me.
Well, just because I don’t come home as often as I did, call often as i used to, jumping in to solve family issues or friends' crisis doesn’t mean you have wronged me or that my love for you guys is less.
Yes, I have changed. I am saying NO, more often. In fact, I am hardly saying yes to anything unless I absolutely have to.
I am no longer jumping to solve the family issues because it finally dawned on me that family issues are supposed to be shouldered by all family members, not individual members.
I am not coming through for you in your struggles because I have realized that each one of us must braze our own trials.
You see, I used to be the person who solves everyone’s problems. If a friend called asking for financial help, I would go out of my way to help – even borrowing from others to sort this friend out. How could I have said no to a friend asking for help? After all, if they had asked me, didn’t that mean they trusted me and believed I could help?
While I mainly shouldered my problems alone, I carried friends and relatives burdens – wanting to ease their pain – trying to make the world a better place. That was until I got really sick. It happened after grandma was diagnosed with cancer. My family was in a mess – financially and otherwise and I thought as the only one who had attended university, it was my duty to sort things out. And as you know, families are very complicated.
Some thought I was only offering the solutions with a hidden agenda. Many wouldn’t put aside their prolonged hatred for each other as we faced this crisis.
I was crushed. Grandma’s health deteriorated until her demise. I also knew our problems would only escalate if not solved immediately. I took everything in. My body reacted accordingly and I got very depressed and sick. At some point, I just stuck indoors for weeks – not picking my calls nor wanting to see anyone.
The doctors warned me that if I didn’t start taking things easy, my health would only get worse. An acquaintance reminded me that I cannot solve everyone’s problems and more so, I can’t help anyone when sick myself.
I picked myself up and lifted all the family problems off my shoulders.
I really love my family but have come to terms with the fact that family problems can and should be solved by all family members.
So, if I don’t turn up for every baby shower or chip into paying every relative’s schools fees, if I don’t turn home for months….
It doesn’t mean my love for you guys is less. It only means that I am now learning to love myself and understand my limits.