For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been a “Yes-(Wo)Man.” Social event? I’m there. Kid’s friend’s B-Day party? Wouldn’t miss it. Volunteer opportunity? Count me in! After being diagnosed with Transverse Myelitis in 2014, I had to really learn to, not only say “No”, but also to ask for help. The same applies even more so for being pregnant with a chronic illness. My maternal instincts are on high alert and I want my house clean, my baby’s room finished, and to attend all the “New Mommies groups” in our local area. (Yes this is kiddo #5 for me but it’s been 8 years and this is the first time I’m actually at home so I’m trying to plug in to all of the things I’ve never gotten to do before)
The difficult aspect of the whole thing is that my mind is always saying, “YES!!” but often times, my body is begging me, “No”. Although I’ve gotten better about listening to my body since being diagnosed with TM, I still sometimes push myself too far and then I dearly pay for it. When I’m pregnant that can be dangerous for both me and the baby. With that being said, I’m learning to say, “No”, a lot more these days.
Here are a few tips about saying, “No” that I’m learning:
- I don’t have to feel guilty about saying No. No is OK! Most people really do actually have understanding for me not being able to do activities.
- It’s OK for me to say No to me. The other day I was in the middle of doing the dishes (One of my biggest Peeves is leaving dishes in the sink and I had a double sink-full) My legs started to get weak and I knew that my body needed to stop right away. I’d though for a split second about forging through but didn’t. I told myself “No Lisa, It’s time to stop and rest.”
- Saying No can actually be quite liberating! Not being a slave to my chores or to activities definitely gives me a sense of control, and often time brings peace of mind.