Dear Therapist: I don't do anything for myself

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Somya Mehta

Published: Thu 21 Oct 2021, 1:38 PM

I have a lot of regrets in my life. I never wanted to get married early and give up my dreams of pursuing a career in dance but I listened to my parents and didn’t think I could take my own decisions. I feel like I have lived my entire life first for my parents, and now for my children and never for myself. This has led to me feeling a lack of fulfilment in my life. And because I’ve lived my entire life for others, I find myself unable to do anything for my own self now. I’ve become too used to it. — Rita M.

Dear Rita, it’s disheartening to hear that you lived for others, and never for yourself. However, I’m glad that you are able to recognise that something is missing, which in itself is a goal that you can work towards. Doing little things for yourself on a daily basis, would be a good start for you. Incorporation of a self-care routine can help challenge the belief that you must serve others and never your own needs. Re-igniting your passions or interests, in your case dance, could help regain some sense of purpose and meaning. You can find joy in learning new skills or interests, volunteer for a cause, engage in meaningful work or redefine who you are and what you want to be, at this point in life. You may not be able to get back the years gone by, but you can still find something that can help bring back your passionate self, hidden beneath responsibilities and expectations! Discovering that person will take some time, but it will be worth it!

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