I’ve been struggling with boundaries. I forgot that I am a person that has needs too. I think as a mom and a woman that I try to make everyone else happy and ok. Guess what? It’s ok to say ‘No’ to protect your peace. However, I know how hard it is to say ‘No’. I am learning that the ability to deny requests is going to be required for my own personal well being.
What About Me?
As a mom I’m constantly tending to my little people. I’m making sure everyone else is ok. As a manager at work I want to make sure my employees are ok. The list goes on. Suddenly, everyone is taken care of and I find myself at the end of the day physically exhausted, mentally spent and emotionally drained. I’m not selfish, it’s not about me, and it never has been. When is it my turn? Saying that out loud makes me feel selfish for even putting myself as a priority. That’s ridiculous! I deserve to be on my own list!
Wake Up Call
How did I decide to make myself more important to me? Well, I haven’t fully committed to doing anything honestly, but something has to change. I had a wake up call. I’m killing myself slowly by giving my everything to everyone else. That’s not dramatic. Unfortunately, that’s just the truth.
The past seven days I had ten hours of sleep total, I worked 60+ hours, helped my ex husband get into drug rehab, tried to care for my threefold, fix all my work problems, made sure everyone else got a day off, and maintain a relationship with my partner. I hadn’t eaten enough to sustain myself. I was too busy to drink a bottle of water. I totally forgot I was a person who needed to stop and take care of myself.
The Breaking Point
My breaking point was a cabinet truck that I had to unload by hand. I worked hard and got through it, but it took the rest of my strength. However, I kept pushing through the week. Suddenly, my body was in ketosis and I was dehydrated. My muscles were locked up. My anxiety was sky high. Also, my legs were swollen like I was 9 months pregnant. Yet, I still wouldn’t stop. I had blisters on the bottoms of my feet and had completely depleted every nutrient in my body. My diet was caffeine, ibuprofen, and the chaos around me. Enough!
Sounding the Alarm
Hello!!!! SOS. HELP! Everyone saw it and asked “are you ok?” When my answer changed from yes to no, that’s when it changed. I’m an adult, a grown woman. No one can force me to take care of myself or stop until I decide. My choice. My fault. My consequences. However, it was clear I was not ok for a long time. I didn’t know how to stop doing what I’d been doing for months.
Something’s Gotta Give
I’m figuring out how to change my habits. It’s easier said than done. Saying no to anyone that you care about or want to help is difficult. It’s easier to rationalize the yes than the no. saying yes to myself feels selfish. I’m used to going until I crash. I crash, recover, and repeat my cycle. It’s not going to continue to work if I want to be able to keep going.
It’s Ok to Say ‘No’
Self care is something people say. This involves more than taking time for yourself. I am not going to book a massage and pedicure. There is no mom vacation without my kids that is on the horizon. Going to the store alone, or sitting and meditating to clear my brain is self care. Is it all there is? NO! It’s more than that, but it starts somewhere!
Self Care for me the past 24 hours has looked like a lot like stuff people should do, but for me it’s difficult. My goals to keep myself going this next week are minimal.
- Eating at least 1 meal a day. If I eat with my kids at dinner then I’m accountable to eat.
- Drinking water and having something to drink around me at all times.
- Sleeping. I’ve slept 12 hours. Yes 12. And I will probably sleep more. However, deciding to be done and sleep and getting at least 4-6 hours per day is a goal.
- Take my day off from work and try not to worry about work.
- Spend time with my kids doing something other than appointments or errands.
- Work at work only
- Take some time for myself
- Say no if it is something I can say no to.
- Stop saving everyone and save myself.
Now, I sit and prop my feet up. I try to keep food down, because my body doesn’t feel like it is ready for this. I sleep and I allow my body to adjust to not going. I have guilt for doing these small little things, but my guilt is due to my own inability to slow down and be ok with not being ok. ☮️❤️😊~M