My divorce journal – saying "yes" when i mean "no"

Posted in Divorce.

Last week I was addressing how I’ve sought approval and affirmation from others.  This week I’m addressing when I say “Yes” but want to say “No”.


Then – 4/2/2004


Journal question – Do I say “Yes” when I want to say “No”?  What happens to my ability to manage my life when I do this?


It isn’t until I’ve said yes and then I am fully involved in something that I realize how stressful everything is becoming.  This year in particular has been tough because I said yes to being one of the 6th grade coordinators with Tammy and unfortunately Tammy’s life has been turned upside down with her divorce and my life has been turned upside down with ‘Carl’s’ alcoholism.  I have tried my best to delegate as much as I can.  Right now I am trying to really finish out the school year with grace and sanity.  I will try to learn my lesson to say “no” because my life has become unmanageable.”


Now – 7/24/11


They say you will keep repeating experiences until you learn the lessons you are meant to learn.  It took awhile for me to learn how to say no without feeling guilty.  At the time I wrote the above journal entry I was using “busyness” to escape the reality at home.  I should have never taken on the job of 6th grade coordinator because it was a tremendous undertaking for just one person however I felt that it would keep me focused on something other than the collapse of my marriage.  I was saying yes as an act of avoidance.


I have come a long way with this issue because the lessons kept showing up over and over.  When I heard the phrase “No is a full sentence” I felt like I was finally given permission to say no, without guilt. 


I have learned to check my motives now before I answer yes to a request.  I have learned to ask myself whether this is a “should” or a “want”, allowing only wants to determine a yes answer.  I have learned that saying no to someone or something is often the kindest thing I can do for myself, which has been the purpose of the lessons after all.

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