I Am Developing a Phobia of Commitments

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by Kellie McRae |

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farewell, loss, 2020, positivity, perspective, self-esteem, judgmental thoughts, religious, compromise

I’ve always considered myself a reliable person. If I said I would do something, it would be done. If I said I would be somewhere, I’d likely be the first one to arrive. Punctuality is a sign of reliability.

But over the years, lupus has given me a new phrase when I’m asked to do something at a date and a time: “I’ll try, but I won’t make any promises.”

I’m learning that I don’t want to commit to things these days, even if those things were my idea. For example, I usually have a ton of fresh ideas of things I want to try, and as an “extrovert in recovery,” those ideas usually involve others.

So lately, I’ve been trying to figure out how to do things without including others. Why? Because I don’t know if I’ll have the energy to show up. Before the pandemic, I hosted a biweekly business coffee. Given that opportunity now, I’m certain I wouldn’t take it on.

I am a creative person, and my natural inclination is to share my creativity with others. I’ve been considering a monthly virtual event that would involve meeting with other creative, positive people, but every time I think about doing it, I shut down. I know this is a fear response, but it’s the type of response that seems to be more prevalent with me lately.

The past couple of years have been hard on me, both physically and emotionally. I know that those in my circle understand that my body is unpredictable, but I really don’t want others to look forward to something and then I’m a no-show. I realize most of them would forgive me, but I would be hard on myself.

When I lived in Thailand, I taught a business seminar. But on the day of the seminar, I was in tremendous pain and extremely fatigued. People had paid for the class, though, so there was no way I would cancel it.

I stood in front of that group for eight hours. When it was over, I went to the hospital for eight days.

I know my attitude would be to show up to something, even if it’s not in my best interest. Yet there are things I want to do that another part of me feels I am neglecting. So, I hurt myself either way.

I am working on trying to accomplish the goal of sharing myself in a social way without making a full commitment. (Is that even possible?) Once upon a time in my life, I would forge ahead without any concerns or fear. But last year, I spent a good amount of time with my body rebelling so badly that I started this year severely malnourished. I also acquired a mobility device.

This year has come with its own set of challenges in addition to the pandemic, and I realize that fear is finding its way into the little cracks and crevices of my life. The question I must — and will — answer is how do I flush it out of there? I am all about solutions.

Currently, I don’t want to fully commit to anything, but I have ideas that must come to fruition, and I am determined not to allow fear to keep me from accomplishing my goals, no matter what lupus does to my body.


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