Dear Takers

Jamie Tripp Utitus
Written by
Jamie Tripp Utitus

Dear Takers,

I wrote a letter before to all the haters and this one is to the takers.

Before I begin this letter, please understand there is no bad blood between us, and for the most part, I am to blame for not saying it strongly enough. But my time is precious, it is finite and not free; I must prioritize. I will also restate, just as a friendly reminder, one of the first rules of managing multiple sclerosis is prioritizing to conserve energy. This doesn’t mean I can’t do wonderful, glorious things and have dreams. Of course I can! It just means, I MUST prioritize and conserve for such wonderful achievements! Hence I get pissed when you take my time for granted.

I prioritize to manage faith, family, my health, and personal achievements.. Under this umbrella falls work because I must help, in some way, to provide for my family. But it also means giving. The good thing is that, even living with MS, I can still serve this world and give, but I must do it wisely. It is a blessing, but I must approach it like I approach everything else. I must conserve and prioritise. I allot a certain amount of time to it, give it my all and keep it moving.

But dear takers, never let there be entitlement attached to the gift I give…my time. If I give you my time, don’t ever say it is “not enough” or “I let you down” or demand more. You are not entitled to my time.

Everyone needs help. Everyone needs love. Everyone needs good health, and not any one of us is ENTITLED to such things. I presume this is why I wasn’t very upset with my multiple sclerosis diagnosis. I have seen people much younger endure the most terrible of diseases and succumb. I have seen people endure awful things and conquer, never complaining and maintaining gratitude throughout. I know people who live in war torn territories with bombs raining on their heads. Who am I to feel entitled to NOT get sick? It happens.

I will take what I am given and I will fight like heck to make peace with it. But remember, that means you should too. If I give myself to help you, be grateful. Make peace with it. Appreciate it. Because between my family, my jobs, my health, my treatments etc…there’s not a whole lot of me to go around.

I can give a lot despite my illness, and I do. But if you take to the point where you are costing me my body, then you are robbing my husband of his wife, my children of their mom, my students of their teacher. You are robbing ME of my health. That’s my line in the sand.

Now to the givers - go kick some you-know-what today and don’t let people take more from you than you have. Time is not free—there is always a cost, like family and dreams that must come to fruition!

Love,

Jamie

PS - You’re welcome wink

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