I met a woman once who worked for the court system. Her job was to sit with rape victims before their court appearances. She was a compassionate individual and loved her job. At the same time, she was very obese. She had a handicapped sticker for her car. She could barely make it up a short set of stairs. All her effort went into her clients, yet she was essentially killing herself. Her diet, her lifestyle, her personal connection with herself, these things she ignored. She ignored them on a daily basis. She gave herself permission to ignore them, saying she was too busy, others needed her. I wonder if there’s such a term as “unhealthy martyrdom.” I know it exists because I’ve met social workers who see it all the time. One social worker told me the government hires hundreds — possibly thousands — of these people. She said they all end up on government disability.

I did a poor imitation of Don Draper for 40 years before writing my first novel. I'm currently in the final stages of a children's book. Lucky me.

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