I must say, it is flattering to be offered a job or a promotion. Or just to have someone say, “I thought of you for this because you'd be great at it.” My before Al-Anon self was highly attracted to such nuggets of praise. I would often take on jobs or tasks because they were offered to me and I thought I had to do it. I would often end up over taxed and get sick or resentful.

I found myself on the receiving end of such a compliment recently. A friend of an Al-Anon friend of mine could use some help. “I thought of you,” my friend said, “because you are so good at self care and you are compassionate.” The irony of this is that I have gotten a lot better with my self care and that means that I do not so readily accept jobs or opportunities that I am offered any more. Now, I carefully consider what I will take on and say no when it's in my best interest.

As it stands right now, I am very busy with several commitments already, and I think I need to be a little more available for my parents, who are getting older and need more support. So while I am flattered to be considered someone who would make a great helper, I am aware that I cannot take on any more jobs at this time. Being good at self care for me today means making sure I have time to do my daily reading of Al-Anon literature, connect with Al-Anon friends, and have quiet time to connect with my Higher Power, in addition to getting exercise, eating healthy meals and getting enough sleep. I am also aware that I can say “no, thank you” without feeling guilty or responsible for fixing the situation. If I feel the slight tug of people pleasing behaviors sneaking into my thinking, I can turn everyone over to my Higher Power and pray for them.