Imagine someone close to you has been afflicted with a severe disease. You would feel awful; perhaps you would feel worse than if the disease had affected your health. You may feel their pain; you may pray for their well-being. More importantly, you may be ready to do absolutely anything you can to help ease their pain.

But let us say the disease can be handled, not cured but controlled. By working with a health-care team and with family and friends, you embrace every aspect of their treatment and help your friend live quite successfully with their disease. Let's say the condition is Type 2 diabetes …

  • you may provide your support and help them learn about Type 2 diabetes and how to better manage its effects.
  • you may help them put something they have learned into practice.
  • you may go out of your way to keep them accountable with their physical activity regimen. While you usually may not go to the gym, you may go with them because it will ensure they are getting the physical activity they need to help build their muscles and lower their blood sugar.

If you could treat the disease for them, you probably would.

Now let us take a step backward. Would you put forward the same commitment if the person diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes was you? It is not a trick question, and be careful with your answer. Would you? Often people are not nearly as caring or disciplined with their health as they think. In fact, we are much more likely to care about the health of those close to us. The reasons for this are not simple, but basically, it tends to come down to how we see ourselves. We know we are not perfect as we are possibly selfish and thoughtless: this can cause us not to hold ourselves in high regard.

Why is it so many people will not take their prescription drugs as advised by their doctor? If they even get the prescription made up: a surprising number of people do not make it that far. This is not the case where our beloved pets are concerned – most of us will do absolutely anything we can for them when their health and life is at risk. Even financial sacrifices are made to ensure their well-being. Why do not we treat ourselves the same way?

No matter how “bad” you think you are, or how undeserving you feel, it is not right to treat your loved ones better than you treat yourself. The best favor you can do for your loved ones is to take care of yourself because you can add to their happiness with the knowledge you are as healthy as you can be. Your family and friends are kindly willing to take care of you during any hard times, but more often than not, it is up to you. As hard as it can sometimes be, treat yourself as you would your loved ones.