When I was miserable, I used to turn to anyone who’d listen to my tales of woe.
Every time my boyfriend Edgar was making me hysterical—which was pretty much on a day-to-day basis—I’d frantically call my sister, my aunt, my mom, or one of my friends until I found someone home. I’d cry, dissect every one of Edgar’s words and actions, and beg for non-stop sympathy. When an account canceled an ad program in the magazine I ran, I’d reach out for comfort from someone, anyone. If I thought my world was falling apart, I needed to talk on and on to feel better.
That was two decades ago. Now that I’m Fab Over Fifty, I’ve learned that the only person who can make me feel better is me. Of course, it’s nice to have a shoulder to lean on, and someone I can hug, but I can’t expect anyone else to hold me up when I’m distressed. After I discovered a lump in my groin last year, I didn’t call a single person except the doctors I needed to see. I didn’t even ask anyone to accompany me to surgery. If it had turned out to be serious, I was going to do what was necessary. Hysteria isn’t necessary.
It puts a burden on others when you try to unburden yourself on them. Everyone has his or her own problems. It’s okay to baby yourself a bit and ask someone who loves you to baby you a little, too, especially when you’re upset and afraid. Then it’s time to stop the “poor me” routine.