My weekend was exhausting. After a massive event at work on Friday that required me to be "on" for 10 hours straight, I spent the evening at a baseball game with my sis and BIL (which is okay... but am I alone in thinking nine innings for a ball game is just insanely too long?). Pretended to enjoy it. Got home at midnight; faceplanted into bed. Saturday we went to Indy for my niece's third birthday party. There were a dozen babies/small children there and at least three gals pregnant. Pretended to enjoy it (okay, some parts were okay). Faceplanted into bed. Sunday we spent time with family in Indy then drove back for yet another baseball game (I am past my limit for the summer), this time with some old friends from college. Pretended to enjoy it. Got home late. Faceplanted into bed.
I was telling my therapist about my weekend today and she wondered why I went to so many ball games if I don't enjoy them.*
Here is something about me: I am a people-pleaser. To the MAX. I realized about a year ago that I sometimes care so much (too much) about other people's opinions that I can't even identify my own opinions. This drives my husband crazy. "Do you want to go to that concert next weekend?" Um, what do you want to do? "Where do you feel like going to eat?" I dunno, what are you hungry for? "Should we buy these window blinds?" What do you think? And look, that's not just me saying those things for my health - I really don't have an identifiable opinion and will always defer to the other person if it seems like s/he does.
I've been working on this over the past year or so. But it doesn't change the fact that I consistently and continuously put others' needs in front of my own. Only in my case, we can replace "needs" with "slightest preference." So when this weekend came up and we had two ballgames and a three-year old birthday party on the docket, I was internally dreading each part of it. But I said "yeah, sure!" and went right along with it. I made it my mission to just get through the weekend. Which sucks, by the way, because it's not like Monday morning at work is anything to look forward to.
So I explained this, in so many words, to my therapist today. I added that I'm dreading next weekend too, because there is another baseball game planned. And, with some urging from my therapist, I am going to turn down the game. Look, I have nothing against baseball. It's all good and fine. But I don't want to go and have to pretend to enjoy myself for three hours. So... get this... I'm NOT GOING TO GO <<gasp>>!!
That's what I'm working on these days. I'm going to give myself permission to do what I want to do. In moderation. My depression would have me watching Breaking Bad on Netflix all day everyday, but I'm not going to hole myself up and become a hermit. However, I can say no if I'm really just not up to it.
It's kind of third-grader-esque that I have to work on this. But it really doesn't come naturally and I am learning how to do it. What about you guys? Learning anything new from therapy lately? Feel like you missed the boat in learning the basics to being a well-adjusted human being? Is anyone else a people pleaser to a fault?
*PS. I don't hate baseball. The games are just really long and it's really hot outside and I was tired.