Real Self-Care Chap. 2: Why It's Hard to Resist the Seduction


Chapter 2: Why It’s Hard to Resist the Seduction
The ways we turn to Faux Self-Care

The three most common reasons we turn to Faux Self-Care:

  • Escape
  • Achievement
  • Optimization

It’s a reasonable coping mechanism during times of overwhelm. As usual, it’s about our desire to control our lives and circumstances. I reckon when we’re living through this world with a person who has a substance use disorder, we also have adjacent stressors and a whole big bag of feelings….

In my case, until I realized I had very low-hedge boundaries with my children, I took on a lot of worry and catastrophe. I am a good schemer, idea sharing, puzzle solver. The author suggests that the faux self-care treats we give ourselves don’t really treat the basic underlying needs or are not sustainable over a long period of time. Ozempic? Spa Day Everyday?

Faux Self-Care for Escape

When you use Faux-Self-Care as a coping method to escape you don’t have to make any real-world decisions at all.

So we go to wellness retreats and spa days and they are simple and like a bubble. We all have decision fatigue. These structured places and activities frequently exist for us to pamper ourselves and put our needs in front of those who we usually care for , i.e., everyone in the world.

That is why I like it!

Faux Self-Care as Achievement

You might be using faux-Self Care as a measuring stick to track your performance if you engage in hyper intense yoga, Instagram posting, fitbit tracking, etc. This may be a performative defense against feelings of unworthiness. It might be, or it might be a concession to not being a drug addict/alcoholic. Maybe doing very highly data-capturable activities is your little -ism.

Faux Self-Care as Optimization
You might be using faux-self care services, like meal delivery, productivity trackers, and time management to make your time optimal and then you will have MORE time (to do more). Somehow, you might think you will become a more swell person, not just who you already are. Hmm.

QUESTION: Do the Drivers Identified in this chapter sound familiar to you?

I fluctuate among all three of these drivers. I think that is perfectly normal. However, the author is still saying that we’re measuring the wrong thing that will really bring us long term balance, satisfaction, whatever- but that’s in the Next chapter. She says" the system" is to blaim. I thought I was trying to have a nice bubble bath . Gee Whiz.

Real Self-Care, Chap. 4: Taking Back the Reins

Yes! Like most females, I was well trained by family, society and my church to put the needs of others before my own. Being productive and being a selfless caregiver means being worthy.
Even when I think I have accepted that it isn’t true, and that it is OK and even healthier to consider my own needs, I find myself judging myself harshly, as well as others, who prioritize their own dreams first.


Yep, and I think they’re all perfectly okay as long as there is some balance. There’s nothing wrong with a little escape, or a sense of achievement, or making more time for yourself through services. I have someone clean our house once a month and I totally file that expense under “mental health care.”

I’m interested in what the author says in the next chapter!

For those just tuning into this thread, here are the related topics on @Thinkstet’s Book Club for the Exhausted :books::nerd_face:


@Alair- feel ya. I also think that in our generation (I’m 60) the whole “Service as a responsibility of those to whom much as been given”, was the underlying justification for a lot of servitude and putting dreams on pause. I have learned the difference between good care and selfish behavior, and while I will never be a Gordon Gecko I am glad to have these final years to indulge my interests. It does help me to get older, after all.