Because of course locking me away from my coat was just ONE argument. I stayed married to that man for 14 more years. And he really, really *did* like the end result of my getting healthier. He was proud of my running and was at the finish line of my first 5K, all the way through the last race I ran in that section of the country... which if I recall rightly, was an 8K in 1992.
Marriages are complex things, but the story does illustrate the need to put that oxygen mask on first before helping others. I never have been able to "help" him... and I still care deeply about him, while recognizing that the relationship in the end was not only not helping him, it was killing me, one pint of Ben & Jerry's or one bag of Lay's at a time.
Actually, this work project has made me feel a lot like that marriage made me feel: a paralysis, and as though everything I try to do is going to be slapped down by someone or another. Some folks are a lot tougher than me in the workplace.
I am a self-admitted people-pleaser: I want everyone to be happy. This project has a lot of nuances and strong personalities and missing decisions that aren't mine to make. In short, no control... responsibility without authority? You get the general idea. I won't do specifics, because face it, we all can relate to the generalities and fill in our own details.
So my mantra is to breathe, acknowledge the nasty ugly emotions that it all stirs up, and release them... let them fade... and get on that treadmill in judicious amounts, hopefully paying attention should a knee or an ankle require extra rest.
Draw that old line in the sand, and don't let my people-pleasing tendencies make me feel like a failure when not everybody is happy. Because when folks are diametrically opposed in their desires, chances are good that nobody is going to be thrilled with the end product. Hopefully, some compromise is possible, and I can stop myself from going to the extremes of being either crushed or apathetic... keep my resilience, keep up hope, a positive attitude, and keep my balance! Ah, yes! That's the ticket.
Keep my balance, remember that I am worth taking care of, whether people around me are happy with me or not. I'll never stop caring what folks think, in all likelihood... but I can stop beating up on myself if I am truly in an impossible position and have given it my best shot.