I have an addiction. I am addicted to making others happy. I am a people pleaser. But I am in the process of recovery.

How could bringing joy to people be wrong? It is wrong when helping others means hurting yourself. As a woman, I believe we are predisposed to certain innate characteristics, one of which is being a giver.

Yet, is it our destiny to sacrifice until our last breath? Are we supposed to grow up and take care of everyone around us? The answer to these questions, without a doubt, is "no." This is where I have made a huge mistake.

So where exactly did I go wrong? How did I transfer watching strong, creative, female role models into thinking this meant being a "yes" person? Maybe I didn't do anything wrong. Maybe I developed the "Yes Syndrome" from habit. If so, then I could easily understand how I allowed unhealthy patterns to repeat themselves throughout my life.

I was always so busy saying "yes" that I forgot to ever ask myself if I wanted to be the chair of a committee, if I had the time to become a "taxi" service, if I was able to volunteer for another fundraiser. What happened to taking care of me?

Helping others is important, but does charity not begin at home? I had forgotten myself. I'm important too. Saying "no" politely is not a sin by any means. Be it as it may. I have been blessed with a wake up call from Above.

I've heard the definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over again and expect different results. That was me. The old me, I should say. Always mixing red and black paint and then standing there surprised when it didn't turn blue. Like it was really going to. Well, have you ever noticed how G‑d is miraculously efficient in creating the same set of circumstances to keep us in our situations? I do adore His sense of humor.

I just sat down to relax and the phone rang. It was a gentleman calling to raise money for firefighters. A worthy cause. I didn't have the heart to hang up on him. But just the week before someone else called on behalf of policemen, and the week before that someone called to raise money for cancer research. All three of these are very important causes for our country. How could I refuse? As I listened to his speech on why I should give a donation to the firefighters, I thought yes I should.

Then, it happened. I gathered the nerve not to be a victim of the "Yes Syndrome." I graciously said, "I can't this time as I'm having financial difficulties." I embraced my fears as a woman with class. The man on the other end of the phone tried a bit more, but I nicely helped him understand that it wasn't going to happen today. He gave up. The earth did not cave in and the sky did not fall. There was something about learning that I had the right to say no that gave me back my self respect. After all, it was mine to start with. I had just always been too busy giving it away.