I have such a hard time setting boundaries. I always have. I am so proud that I have been able to begin to set boundaries for myself. I looked back over the past year of our lives, that of mine and those of my threefold and realized my weakness in setting and maintaining boundaries was hurting them in big ways. Not only have they needed more from me but they expected it and after all they have endured this year and throughout their childhoods they deserve it. I’m proud of my growth that seemingly began to come together all at once.
These past few weeks have been a struggle and a true test of my strength. I needed these last few weeks to show me just what I am capable of. I brought myself to the edge of a breakdown and stared down at how far I would fall with all I had to lose. I wondered where I would be if I just let myself free fall and allow the stress to consume me. I’m not proud that I wondered if it would be easier to just allow myself to lose total control and touch with reality. I wondered if anyone would be there for my family visitation or if I’d have a ride home after discharge. Ultimately, I decided that I had far to much to lose and nothing to gain except more stress and I got terrified of the consequences. I’ve been through a psychotic break. I’ve lived in fear of hitting the ceiling of my stress and anxiety a million times in the past 11 years since that 4 week psychiatric admission.
I had a total of 8 panic attacks in 3 days over the course of last weekend. I had 4 more happen at various times over the next 2 days. By Tuesday I had been put through the ringer. I had a toxic argument with the Exhole that I engaged in and fed into for the first time in nearly a year. I have lost countless hours of sleep working into the night on everything in my head. I took off 2 days from work because I couldn’t focus for long periods of time on anything at all. My anxiety and ADD were fighting against me. I was unfocused, anxious, and near manic. I realized I was going to force myself into psychosis if I didn’t gain some order and control back over the chaos that was enslaving me.
I was physically ill. I had the sinus infection of the century that I couldn’t seem to kick for months along with a double ear infection. My energy was zapped and I was left feeling like a zombie due to dehydration, lack of proper nutrition, and running on 2-3 hours of sleep and some nights none at all. I had multiple nights where it was seemingly too much. I ended up starting to let every little thing eat at me and consume me. I couldn’t keep going this way. If I didn’t end up in a psychiatric facility I was going to end up in a hospital because my body couldn’t continue functioning while I abused it to the extreme.
After my 4th panic attack Friday night in 8 hours I knew I was in for trouble. Everything set my anxiety over the edge. I couldn’t shove anything else down. I stayed up all night Friday night with a racing mind that I couldn’t shut down. I couldn’t even meditate because it made it worse to sit still as my mind wouldn’t clear. Saturday I wanted to make everything stop. I had an emergency session I scheduled with my therapist. I began telling my dad and my fiancé that I was on the verge of needing to go to the hospital. I scared them and my threefold with my erratic behavior. I couldn’t see that sleep and a break was what my body and mind were begging me for. I saw the light last Sunday. I slept some, more than normal and woke up feeling more relaxed. My unicorn as he has been tokened at work and now at home by my threefold and I, the trusted PPP had a long cathartic talk about his concern for me and I told him everything I could think of that he needed to know about my past, my trauma, struggles with addiction, grief over my mom’s death before we had a chance to heal the childhood pain she caused me, my marriage, the abuse, nearly everything that I had never admitted to anyone before. I was ready for him to tell me it was all too much, but instead he spoke with sincere faith and love, he infused me with supportive and positive energy. In that moment I fell in love with him all over again and thanked God for giving me the gift of what I can only define as true love. I vowed then and there that I would move mountains to make sure that I didn’t mess this up for my threefold or I.
I still didn’t sleep Sunday as I prepped for the first day of school. I was still scattered and unfocused. I wanted to be better and began figuring how I was going to make my words match my actions as I know too well that your intentions have to be both heard but and seen in order for change to take hold. I decided to work through what I needed to do in order to make my struggles feel less like they were controlling my life. Something clicked as I finally began to see that my need to feel in control of every single thing was in fact making me lose control over the things in my life that I could control.
My breakthrough made me set boundaries that had been needed to be in place for a long time, but my fear and my own insecurities were had been keeping me from setting those boundaries and enforcing them. It was past time I did what was best for my threefold and I, as well as our new family unit. I restored my strength and realigned my focus as I began to reflect on what I could do right now to make all of us feel safe and instill confidence as we faced the beginning of a new chapter in our story.
Breakthroughs and Boundaries:
- Focus on each day as it comes with emphasis on where we are headed instead of where we have been.
- Set myself and my family up for success by establishing routine and a schedule for our day to day lives.
- Accept that I need help to care for my threefold and ask for it when needed. When received acknowledge it and show gratitude for the support received.
- Meet people where they are as much as possible, being more understanding of their own struggles and the frustrations those struggles bring. Give those around me the allowances I give myself while recognizing those that may take advantage of the good nature of that goal.
- Validate my threefold in their feelings and offer solutions that are action based in a compassionate manner.
- Let go of things I cannot change and focus on the behaviors and actionable steps I can take to improve my situation in this moment.
- Manage priorities and make lists to gain perspective on what I need to do each day. Have a list for home that is separate from work. This will allow not only me to notate what I need to accomplish, but also show that I am accomplishing things throughout the day, remind me to focus on what I can do now, serve as a way to put the thought on paper so I do not forget it when I can work on it, allow me to focus fully on each task and redirect my focus when I feel scattered. If the thought is out of my head it will lower my anxiety by knowing that I have notated it which means I will get to it. This lowers overwhelm of trying to remember everything and be more able to refocus when distracted.
- React differently and from a place of thoughtful consideration.
- Listen and hear what others say when speaking to me. Soak in the words and allow them the full opportunity to speak before formulating my response.
- Give myself grace during this time to fail, fall and be flexible with my methods.
- Reassess and reevaluate how I can do things as I see something may not be working.
- Proactive planning will be my priority as I look to manage my time. I can set limits and timers on the amount of energy I need to give to any task.
- Set aside a chunk of time for myself to rest, relax, and recharge each day.
- Communicate openly and honestly with my family at home and at work about anything I speak about.
- Accept myself with intentions to change anything I don’t accept.
- Be grateful for everything good in our lives and realize that anything else is teaching me how to be a stronger and better person.
- I am doing my best each day. I’m doing so I am giving 100% to everyone and everything that I can that day. Understanding that my best some days will be higher or lower on the scale depending on what I feel. I am never going to be or maintain perfection and no one expects more from me than I expect of myself.
- I am safe, secure, supported and loved every second of everyday. I am healing and progressing.
- Boundaries are important for us all to feel comfortable. Establishing boundaries and maintaining them makes others see that I prioritize yourself and therefore they should respect those boundaries as they are how I feel most secure right now.
- It is my job as a mother to set boundaries for my threefold as they cannot be expected to have to set and maintain them if it concerns their health, safety, or to protect them from being hurt or hurting others.
- Everything is coming together to show us the purpose and plan for our journey. All we can do is have faith and know that everything happens for a bigger purpose.