Many years ago I recognized that the needs of others are infinite but my capacity to give is not. I have had to learn how to internalize my sense of self and not constantly seek external confirmation that I am a good mother, wife, sister, daughter etc. by always being there and by always doing whatever it is that others think needs doing.
I spent a lot of my life being the conscientious worker, the compliant patient, the good daughter, the perfect wife, mother and friend. All the while hiding my illness and my resentment and living with the expectation that my doctors would somehow see how sick i was even though I never complained, that my family would see how tired I was, even though I was always there. I think I was always waiting for someone to take the burdens off me.
In retrospect, I think my behavior was emotionally immature and not really fair to everyone in my life. Why should I have expected the people in my life to get it? It really wasn't fair to expect anyone to rescue me. I had to rescue myself.
For me it has become about setting boundaries, doing what I have the capacity to do, and doing it eagerly and with love. Doing what I am able to do, when I am able to do it is enough for me. I know I am a good person, a loving friend, wife, mother and daughter. I will never meet all the needs of everyone in my life. It is often less than perfect, less than might have been expected, but for me now, "less than is good enough".
30+ years living with Crohn's.