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The Relationship Dilemma

Posted on November 21, 2017 at 1:42 pm
By pamc


Dear Pam,

I wonder if you could help me. I feel like I just can’t get on top of anything. I have two young children, work four mornings a week and help my husband with his accounts. I don't really have too much on, but I feel exhausted almost all the time and life has just stopped being fun. I have just spent the last two nights sewing 20 angel costumes (I did volunteer) and I do love being involved but why is it that I can’t seem to keep up with life. I feel a bit of a failure. Christmas is here, and the family are all coming to me this year. Help why can’t I just “buck up”?

 JR Richmond


 Dear JR

I can honestly hear your exhaustion coming through in your letter. I can also hear the frustration at yourself. I would just love for you to start looking at life like your own best friend.

To be a good mother, partner, friend, work mate we must give, right?  We don't just give a little we just keep giving and for many it is a mark of a good person. “It’s better to give than receive” as the adage goes. As women we can be particularly bad at receiving.

There is no surprise that the emotional bank that gives but takes no deposits simply runs dry. I come across this on a daily basis where we over-give, and become emotionally and physically drained. We honestly find it hard to give ourselves permission to receive. The “have it all” mantra and being an overachieving superwoman is addictive. Over-working ourselves into a state of emotional and physical exhaustion is simply not smart. Giving to others is a good and loving act but giving of ourselves to the point of sacrificing our own happiness, health and wealth is not loving or healthy. It sets up a catalogue of self-destructive fall out. In truth those we love the most dearly end up paying the price. 

So how can we shift our internal mindset to enable us to take care of our loved ones, the work we love and take care of ourselves too. One simple way is to embrace a slightly new take on life “It’s better to give and receive” If we give ourselves the time and energy that feeds our soul we can get off the track of self-sabotage and burn out. Perhaps you are ready to start putting back into your emotional bank and rediscover who you are in this world. 

In truth we must put our own wellbeing at the top of the list in order to give back to our nearest and dearest. Reaching out to ask for support is vital. Perhaps family and friends can share the load and know by asking is in no ways a “failure” indeed it is a strength. If, however you feel a level overwhelm that it is impacting your ability to maintain your day to day life in a way that feels unmanageable then perhaps it is time to speak to someone who can help you make adjustments. In my experience it is often the tiny shifts that make the biggest impact and go a long way to recharging and refuelling our lives.

Pam Custers is an experienced therapist working with individuals, couples and families. Her clients are successful individuals who value her unique approach. She is accredited MBACP. MA. BA (Psych) Hons and is a RELATE trained and registered counsellor. Contact 07572 841 388  www.pamcusters.co.uk


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