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  • Writer's pictureHayley Robinson

The power of putting yourself first

Updated: Apr 4

Late last year I came down with some flu-like thing which landed me in bed for 4 days. During that time, the most I was capable of doing was watching Netflix and Youtube like a mindless zombie (I very much felt like one too).

On Youtube, I came across a wonderful talk delivered by the great Dr Gabor Mate, in which he discussed a common personality characteristic amongst people whom develop auto-immune disorders, cancers and other diseases. I listened intently, hanging off every word he spoke, as I myself have Hashimoto's disease.

In one of his opening lines, he stated "...who gets sick and who doesn't is not accidental..." in reference to his learning through observation during his time in a palliative care unit. He went on to detail the personality trait which seems to develop diseases more than any other. He stated that individuals whom have "a compulsive and automatic concern for the needs of others, while ignoring your own, is a major risk factor for chronic illness". I froze as this resonated strongly with with my own characteristics. I continued to listen. As he elaborated this concept and dove deeper into his observations, it became apparent I possessed so much of what he spoke. I began to emotionally unravel, like a poorly wrapped gift and I lay in my bed sobbing into my pillow.

For the whole 56mins I listened to Dr Gabor Mate I felt empty. The thing I had done my whole life (putting the needs of others first), was highly likely why I had Hashimoto's. For as long as I can remember, I have been a people pleaser. I have given and helped and contributed, often to the detriment of myself. I never spoke up. I never voiced how I was feeling. I internalized and withheld.

Thoughts raced through my mind at the cessation of the presentation. I already have one autoimmune disease and I certainly don't want another, or worse still, cancer. It was in that moment I decided to change. I decided to alter the way I conducted my life. To put myself first.

On my bathroom mirror I wrote a quote from that presentation of Dr Gabor Mate's, to remind myself each day "I AM MORE IMPORTANT THAN MY ATTACHMENTS"

You can listen to the full presentation by clicking the link below and exploring this fascinating concept which Dr Gabor Mate presents:

Big love, Hayley. x

Please note: this blog is an expression of my personal experience and is for educational and philosophical purposes only. It is in no way intended to diagnose, treat or cure. Please consult your medical professional for information.

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