It's never too late to learn something about yourself. My most recent realization is that I have a huge blind spot where illness is concerned. My 87 year old mother in law had the flu. I adore her, but I never thought of going to help her out while she was sick. Only after a disturbed night of sleep, where apparently my much kinder subconscious was trying to get through to me, did it belatedly occur to me that maybe I should have gone over and made sure she was okay, or brought her some soup or something.
By and large, I think of myself as a kind person, an empathic person. I care deeply for the people in my world. But, if they are ill, I want them to just "walk it off". I do not want to bring water, soup, aspirin. I do not want to stroke foreheads, hold hands, sing a sweet round of "soft kitty". I want to RUN AWAY and come back when they are better.
It's not self-preservation, It's not some instinct to avoid the sick so I don't catch something. I am no better at treating myself. I do not want anyone to help me when I am ill, I don't even want anyone around me, and I rarely want to help myself. I don't want to take pills, rest, wait for things to heal, or in any way acknowledge that I am not FINE. JUST FINE.
It is a knee jerk reaction, outside of the realm of thought. Now that I am aware of it, I can work on it. I can figure out why it frightens me so much that I shut down.