I have been struggling lately with being selfish. That is, I haven't been selfish enough, and it has been a problem. Wendy has been struggling with a fairly serious knee injury that just won't heal for about five months now and on the same timeline has been trying to adjust to being an employee instead of a student. Paid work has its perks, but it is a big shift. I have spent these months trying to be supportive of her but I ended up going too far.
I have been trying to provide quiet and calm so Wendy can get the extra recharging time she needs, and I have also been trying to be around all the time so I can assist her, especially when she is struggling with her injury. The trouble is that this has lead to me sitting around my place all the time wishing I could go out and see people or have people over but doing neither of those things.
Trying to give a partner the extra help they need is good, but when the people in my life start wondering if something is really wrong with me or if I have decided I don't want to see them anymore it is clear that I have gone too far. It is easy and natural for me to be the helper, to try to assist my partner when they ask for assistance. Unfortunately I seem to have this tendency to bury myself in that far too deeply and not recognize when I simply have to come out to keep myself happy and functional. I can't be any good as a partner if I am in martyr mode and if my other relationships deteriorate because I don't put the time in to keep them strong.
It is tricky because there aren't clear lines. I like clear lines. Yes / No, North / South, Right / Wrong. When I need to provide just enough support while still having just enough of my own time to keep myself happy I often miss the mark because there aren't good guidelines.
The battle between those things is even more complex because it usually occurs between Passion and The Director. Director always wants to sacrifice, to support, to do what other people need, and Passion wants to just run off and do something fun. Both personalities are very aware that Passion must be let out to play or I will be unhappy, but exactly when he can be let off the leash is a difficult problem. It is almost like parenting - figuring out what to do is easy when there isn't a screaming child grabbing at your leg begging for something or other. Similarly Director is much better able to make decisions when Passion isn't howling at the gates, bored and grumpy.
Wendy and I have resolved that I should have more people over and do more things. Not that I am going to suddenly go crazy, just that I will adjust the normal until it is a bit closer to the optimal point, that elusive spot where Passion is sated and Director is not wracked with guilt.