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“You’re the best at yourself”: How my beau’s words of wisdom helped me

My boyfriend—ahem, fiancé—is someone I have talked a lot about here in my articles. Since 2006, Jim has been a constant source of encouragement, comfort, and sometimes a few doses of tough love, especially when it comes to my health problems.

Recently we were talking about how I had some important decisions to make regarding my migraine care, my arthritis (which has symptoms that wax and wane depending on if I’m in a flare), and my recent diagnosis of endometriosis.  I was veritably pulling my hair out, quoting from different books and health websites and notes I’d taken at the doctor’s office.

In addition to some hand holding (both proverbial and literal) and nudging to get me to schedule an appointment I’d been dreading, Jim said something that cut through all the b.s. and made me feel infinitely less stressed out about the bucket of health problems that all seemed to have landed in my lap at once.

You know what he said?

“You’re the best at yourself.”

I can’t tell you how much weight I felt lifted off my shoulders and my head when he said this.  I was swimming in the opinions of doctors whom I respected, family members who were doing their best to encourage me to make choices that were right for me but who were concerned about my pain, anecdotes from people online who have the same conditions as I, and the long lists of side effects/potential risks of treatment options.  I felt totally overwhelmed and unable to move out of the mire until I heard those words:  “You’re the best at yourself.”

The concept is simple, but its strength was so profound at that moment.  I was able to take a deep breath, lay down my burden, and go to bed.

And a few hours later I had made a decision (in this case, the decision to have laproscopic surgery to treat my endometriosis and corresponding pain). I felt a calm sense of focus and realized I was already armed with well-researched knowledge about my options and with the support of my family and doctors.  The air felt clearer as I put the focus on myself and my profoundly deep understanding of my own body, my own health, my own mind.  “You are the best at yourself.”

That’s when, at least in that instance, I knew what was right for me and I could move ahead with this major medical decision.

I was so moved by Jim’s words that I wrote them down and scribbled in the margin of my notebook, “I should consider writing an article about this for I wonder if any readers out there have had someone say something so simple and profound that allowed them to look at their situations clearly.”

So now I turn to you:  have you heard or read anything that caused you to pause and take stock of your situation in a different light? Share your story below if you’d like—I know we all can use all the encouragement we can get.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • solove0611
    4 years ago

    I am exactly the same as so many of you out there, and I am also a member of the “I’m good, How are you?” Squad. I rarely answer questions honestly even with my own parents who are extremely supportive. It gets old telling people how I really feel and I don’t want to ‘burden’ anyone with whats going on in my life and how bad my head actually hurts. All of that being said there are two people who see right through me. My mom and my hubby. They are both so amazingly good about being supportive–and also kicking my butt when I need it. I tend to be really hard on myself when I can’t get things done. Whether it’s stuff around the house or having to miss family functions, I tend to feel like succumbing to my migraine is somehow showing weakness. Even when I have tears because of the pain and I’ve pushed way too hard it’s never enough for me. One day while doing laundry a migraine brought me to my knees-literally. I was seeing black spots from pain and vomited whether from migraine or pain I’m unsure. While I was sitting there trying to find my phone to text hubby (who was in next room) that I needed help he came looking for me. He helped me get cleaned up got an ice pack and carried me to our room. I was crying from pain and frustration when he stopped me. His words were so simple and pure but struck so deep. He laid down beside me and simply said “why do you fight alone? I’m right here. See this ring? It means I’m in it”. Even typing the words give me goose bumps. Have a great day, sorry so long.

  • laurel
    4 years ago

    I am the Poster child for not asking for help. I developed chronic daily migraines as a result of viral meningitis 15 years ago. I have a fabulous man in my who helped me realize that my migraines don’t define who I am. That’s what I have been letting them do. Break me. I lost my myself. I had no idea who I was anymore because I was wearing so many masks. I couldn’t ever let anyone know the amount of pain that I was in. If anyone asked and the answer would be I’m fine. Very well rehearsed answer. I said it long enough that I even convinced myself. Thankfully this man loves me and I finally heard the crap that was coming out of my mouth. The phrase he used? “It’s not the end of the world”. Things feel like that to me sometimes. I’m beginning realize that I’m not broken. Just temporarily bent. And I’m learning to love again – myself too. And I echo the amazing feeling of lightness when that weight was lifted off of my shoulders. Wow! There’s lots of advice out there. Lots of Doctors, treatments, options. You have someone who supports you and tells you to trust yourself because you know what to do. Wow Janet – how blessed are you? And how blessed am I?

  • Trisha27
    4 years ago

    Janet, just wanted to give you some hope! I had surgery for endometriosis 30 years ago. I was told that I would probably not be able to have children. They removed one ovary, moved my fallopian tubes, took out grapefruit sized growths ect.. I have 2 boys(now in college)that were conceived naturally. I did not take any medication for endometreosis. Even with adhesion’s the pain does get better! I am also a migraine sufferer for over 20 years.I am now entering menopause and my migraines are getting better! It took many years but it was worth all the pain. Your fiance sounds like a great supportive man. That will help you greatly! I hid my pain for years, living with it almost daily, not asking my husband for help. Now that I am older( and wiser:) I realize I should have asked others for help years ago, telling them I had this disease, instead of acting like migraine was something to be ashamed of, a weakness. Today is much better! I think you are way ahead of the game! Also, there is some correlation between endometriosos and migraine studies out there. Good luck to you!

  • Jules2dl
    4 years ago

    When I was a kid, I got taunted a lot about my migraines…you know the deal…how come I got to stay home because of a little headache when other people were really sick and truly needed to stay home?
    This just fueled my guilt and depression, until finally my Mom came up with this little pearl of wisdom: “Just because somebody else has cancer, that doesn’t mean your head doesn’t hurt!”
    Those words are not meant to diminish in any way the afflictions of others…many of whom suffer from illnesses I wouldn’t trade my migraines for even if I could. But they helped me to realize that I had a legitimate illness too, and in doing that helped to relieve some of the guilt I felt.

  • LAnnSmith
    4 years ago

    How nice to have someone who knows and loves you that well! That comment is really wonderful.

  • Katie
    4 years ago

    That is the best advise I have heard so far! I am sorry for all of your recent problems! I write this because I have been in the same boat and am tired of people looking at me with pity, not understanding or just plain non belief!
    I too have endometriosis! I was diagnosed when I was a mere 16. I had several laproscopies that helped for awhile but came to the very difficult decision of having a complete hysterectomy at the age of 31. Finally I was pain free! I didn’t have to be a drug addict (which is what I was turning to in my misery!).
    Well I was pain free for about 2 years, then the headaches started. In the beginning they were few and far between. Nothing I couldn’t handle. I mean I have been dealing with massive amounts of pain all my life! Well here we are about 5 years later and been diagnosed with chronic migraine.
    I have tried everything! I have gotten to the point of waking up with a headache and just wondering, “Is this the day I end up in the er?” Just to be looked upon as yet again a drug addict! Well I have finally found the right doctors (after hundreds!) the right bosses (after several!) and the right perspective!
    Being who you are is the best way to be! I am me and me is usually in some sort of pain! But I am funny and emotional and quite. I take life in stride and welcome change. I want to do a lot of things but may not be able to because of my pain that day but fortunately everyone I have surrounded myself with totally understands!
    After botox shots and some nerve ablations I am currently headache free (mostly!) for two months! Now just trying to catch up on the things I missed or slacked on until the next round comes along. And I do know a next round of pain will come along they always do! But like I said I am still me!

  • Tammy Rome
    4 years ago

    You need to keep that guy forever! Do you realize how lucky you are to have the man you love be so incredibly supportive? He is a rare gem.

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