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This Is My Space

When you have a mental illness and life is currently complicated, you methodically move through your days hoping that you don’t stir anymore troubles for yourself.

I don’t need them – the drama – because my proverbial plate is already piled so sky high that my hands physically shake just trying to balance it all. In my head I keep telling myself that if one more thing happens today, just one more thing, I’ll snap.

So I try to avoid the triggers that I know will automatically make my hair stand on end and cause me to shoot unfiltered words from the fiery pits of my belly.

Some days I am successful. Some days I am not.  I am human after all and my dad’s daughter who is the epitome of explosive word vomit. He taught me not to take shit from any man including my child’s ex-bully teacher and the punks who dress in tapered jogging pants and wear sunglasses on a rainy day who park right up against my car.

For the record: Monday April 3rd 2017 was not yo day folks.

My psychiatrist knows about the people who create more stress in my life than help me reduce it. We will discuss and he’ll lean back in his chair, fold his arms behind his head, and so coolly say:

“Tell them to screw off. You can do that you know.”

In other words: Make boundaries.

It only took 8 years but I have actually started doing this – daring to set these boundaries and creating a space around myself.

I have slowly begun to let go of the toxic people and unnecessary things that were heavy and in those places I now hold things that make me feel happy, safe, connected to the here and now –  things that help me honour myself first.

And in doing so, I realized something.  The things that I was starting to place closest to my center were are all the tools that I would run to when I needed to replenish my spirit when I was empty.

When it was already too late.

They were the LAST THINGS when they should have been the first things.

They were on the OUTSIDE of my boundaries.

I wasn’t making myself a priority in my own life.

Now I look around *gestures to everything* I’m surrounded by mostly good things.

Don’t get me wrong though, I am still trying to hold it together with medication, mascara, smiles and the f-word.

I’m fumbling through my days dealing with mental illness and life is happening hard but I know this now –

In my space:

I need quiet, calm, turned off phone, no one in my face.

I need books, journals, socks, tea, wine.

I need music, skirting my feet from room to room while I pretend to clean.

I need hidden candy behind the …

I need short car rides with a journal and a coffee and sunglasses to the park and the windows unrolled just a smidgen.

I need a nap with my dog – never happens but one day maybe.

I need glue, paper, pictures, pens…scrapbook all the things.

I need to be a savage and delete people on Facebook when I feel the negativity…sips on tea…carries on with life.

I need my very super small social circle – ones that are there 100% of the time and not just when I am well.  I trust those people.

I need my son and my husband and to listen to them laugh and to squeeze the ever loving wind out of them.

I need those things and I now engage in those things FIRST because I realized that they’re the oxygen that feeds my boundary- my space – my soul.

They’re absolutely necessary for my survival.

And you better believe that I’ll defend it.

Do you create boundaries for yourself?

 

And this song is my jam right now

31 Comments

  1. I think part of getting older is finally being able to say no and setting boundaries. I noticed that for myself. Its always a work in progress but I’m getting there. My biggest thing is getting rid of negativity… easier said that done but I’m trying.
    Glad you are setting those boundaries for yourself! And naps with the pup are a treasure…

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      I think that’s it too Susi – getting older and knowing when and being able to say no. I am still a work in progress but I’ve noticed changes. I leave my cell phone on silent a lot. I don’t engage in facebook like I used to and when people start ruffling my feathers, I know I can just delete them all together. Like why do I have 300 friends on facebook? Why?
      I just feel good knowing that I am putting myself first now – trying to as much as I can. And to not feel guilty for it. We can do it Susi!!! xoxo

  2. I enjoy your honesty and insight. I also appreciate that these changes don’t happen with a couple of of visits to the doctor. Learning to manage takes time.

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      No they really don’t happen over night. I’ve been seeing my psychiatrist for 8 years and for 8 years he’s been telling me what I need to do. It’s just now I’m finally doing it 🙂

  3. Good for you taking care of you!! I found myself nodding along with so many of these things – especially the “medication, mascara, smiles and the F word.” That may end up being my new mantra. I’ve slowly been learning how to detoxify the world around me too. Sometimes it means stepping away from news and social media when it’s too heavy, or like you said, removing toxic people from your life. And darn it, I want a long nap with a dog too (I’ll have to settle for cats though.)

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      I have a hard time listening to the news. Very hard time. It is always negative and the images – EEKS! But it’s the people who really weigh heavily in my life right now. Hockey parents were the absolute nightmare as of late and I had to stop going to all of my son’s practices because of them. I just couldn’t hear the women belittle little 8 year olds anymore. They’re on my facebook and i removed myself from their group. I had to do it.
      Cats are good snugglers too aren’t they???

  4. So many things to comment on.

    First, your doctor sounds incredible, and also like a straight-shooter, which I always appreciate. He’s so right, you know. You don’t need to surround yourself with the things or people that/who don’t lift you up.

    UHM, THIS SONG IS AMAZEBALLS! I don’t know it yet! THANK YOU. That Alicia… I’m pretty sure I went to camp with her… did I tell you that? Of course, it may have been someone else who happened to be called Alicia and played a mean piano.

    That dog of yours is too cute 🙂 And yes to stepping away sometimes. It helps you be a better you. I promise <3

    Love you, momma.

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      If you did go to camp with her – I’d roll over and die! DIE! She is my everything. Her voice, music, lyrics…sings right to my soul.
      I am taking baby steps to better my surroundings and to learn to say NO. I haven’t been putting myself first.I’ve always been a pushover. Now that we have some family things going on, life is so chaotic that I need to focus on me. I have to be well in order to take care of everyone else. What I really really want to do though, it move – be a hermit with my family. In Hawaii. Sun. YES! xoxox

  5. i don’t believe in deleting people. i’ve bipolar disorder, according to one shrink, and major depressive disorder, according to the most recent one. i kind of think the former’s morphed into the latter; it’s medicated (wellbutrin and, when the going gets really rough, clonazepam), and i’ve reduced my liquor intake to next to nothing [wassail at a christmas party, a hot toddy sometime in february made with whiskey when i was dying from a severe case of sinusitis and on st. patrick’s day a mudslide sans ice cream (an ounce of each: tito’s vodka, kahlua and baileys… my favorite drink in the world( anyway… before it was regulated, when i’d get in the everybody-hates-you-you-don’t-really-have-any-friends mode, i’d delete people. and then i’d get sane again and realize that was juvenile and stupid.

    i don’t like half the shit i see in my facebook feed because it’s predominantly political bullshit. i’m of the mind that you vote for the person you like the best and you keep your political opinions to yourself. they’re YOURS; don’t impose them on others. but… the majority of my friends feel the need to cry foul, and so i let them. i’ve UNFOLLOWED a few of them, yes. but i would never delete them. because they’re not trash. on my mac, deleted files go into the trash bin. i’m not putting people there.

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      I guess I’m the juvenile one by taking all these negative people who weren’t really my friends to begin with to the trash bin on a social media app?

  6. now that i’m older, have more things to worry about, and i found confidence in myself – i’m TOTALLY COOL with saying “no” and setting boundaries. in my early 20s, I was all about saying “yes” because I was young.. and care free.. and i wanted to keep my friends. by as life happened, friends whittled and took different life paths, it was easier making myself a priority. purge all the negativity! we have too many things to worry about and do in our every day lives!

    • In my 20’s I was awful at it too!
      I think age plays a big role in it as well!
      We truly do have so much more to worry about than all the little nitty gritty things – let it go!

  7. Beautiful post! It’s taken me awhile too, but I’ve definitely come to realization that certain people shouldn’t be in my life because they aren’t good for me. I have to take care of myself first and foremost. And oh gosh, I LOVE naps with my dog! You must make time for them. 🙂

    -Lauren

    • Yes! We come first! I always felt guilty for this. My pain specialist’s wife sat down with me in February and talked to me about my health. She said that I didn’t look well and I divulged what was going on. She told me that I needed to put on my own oxygen mask before I could help others and something clicked.
      I’m still working on setting boundaries and saying no but for the most part, I think I’m on the right track. Xox

  8. So glad you are able to work out what you need. Unfortunately sometimes it can be hard to keep those things up when life gets tricky.

    • My life is currently very tricky and these are the things I’ve identified as my tools that I need to survive. It’s when I was running on empty that I realized I was going to these things LAST because I was putting myself LAST.
      My boundaries weren’t set. I’m definitely still working on it but I now know that it’s OK to say no to negative people and to put my needs first.

  9. Liv Liv

    I’m constantly creating boundaries – especially with my ex. And I’ll make him toe that line too.I’m glad you’re taking your power back too.

    • Oh girlfriend…that has to be one of the hardest of all. Your one post – story – about the pick up….girl…I don’t know how you do it. Xoxox

  10. I just added Superwoman to my running playlist. That baby has to play as I train for my runs. Sunday it is going to play at University of Michigan Football field as I set a personal record for a 5k race.

    You are an inspiration always. You gave me one of the first songs that let me breathe life–Dog Days Are Over by Florence and the Machine.

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      OOOOOhhh add all of her to your playlist. Alicia Keys is my girl. But I LOVE Superwoman. Yes. You’re going to do wonderful.
      And Dog Days will forever be on my playlist too – along with FLorence. She’s the best. Kick ass this weekend. Hopefully no rain!!!

  11. I’m terrible with boundaries and self care, but this inspires me to be a little more thoughtful about it.

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      I think being so ill all the time I needed to refocus and figure out why – why was I not pulling myself out? Because all the toxic things were being taking care of first before I was. I won’t lie and say it is easy. It’s hard. The biggest challenge is saying no. We are going through a family crisis too so it makes things even harder. So focusing on self care is really important. Even if you do little things for yourself once a day, it does make a difference xoxo

  12. Kim Kim

    Girl! Somedays mascara and cuss words are the best I have to give. And thankfully those that are closest to me love me anyways. Such an inspiring post. Reminding me that I need to get back to writing from the heart and sharing my story. A while back I shared a bad day and got tons of backlash over it and for the first time in my life, I let others opinions stop me from doing something. I just haven’t been able to share much anymore. Hate that! You got me all fired up now! I hope the rest of your week is awesome!

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      I am so sorry that you got a lot of backlash for writing something – for pouring your heart out. Sometimes people forget that these are our words and our feelings and our thoughts only and we are just people. But people feel like they can judge them very harshly. I mean you can totally keep scrolling but NO! they have to leave a comment -ugh. Please don’t let it discourage you from writing what you feel in your heart needs to be out there. People are listening. You do YOU FIRST – put that mascara on girl xoxo

  13. I feel that if you take care of yourself first then you will be better at taking care of the people around you!
    Lianne| Makes, Bakes and Decor

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      Absolutely. I don’t know why it took me so long – for that to sink in!!!

  14. Hey Kim,
    I’m hoping your week has improved some and you can breathe without that weight….
    Boundaries are absolutely necessary and something I learned not long ago. Ya just need to for your own wellbeing and sanity. For far too long, people used to walk all over me, use and abuse me. They took advantage of my kindness and being one of those “doers”. Over time and with therapy, I’ve learned that some relationships have expiration dates and that’s totally okay. They were meant to serve a purpose and that’s it. It’s been a struggle coming to terms with walking away from friendships and while I do admit I can be lonely at times and would love a best girlfriend, I’m better and happier for ridding my life of that toxic garbage bullshit.

    Sending love and hugs to you, my love.

    xoxox

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      I wish that we lived closer! I really do! You totally get me. I nodded at everything you wrote.
      My circle is very small and I’m ok with this because I can breathe.
      Anyways, this week was hairy canary and yes I marched right into the principal’s office – my child’s school is going to give me grey hair – and I’m waiting to see a new specialist for something that another specialist found and I kind of want to barf. I’m sure it’s nothing. oy. I’m looking forward to the weekend AMEN.

      Love you girly xoxoxo

  15. I have goosebumps, Kim. Good for you for setting those boundaries with a few f-bombs! I have done same when I divorced and then again about five years ago. It has made a world of difference in my confidence and I’m using my time more productively. Rather than spending time and money on people who don’t value me, I spend more time alone, creating, writing. Loved this post so much!! xoxo

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      Oh Lisa…xooxo. I had a wake up call when I went to my pain specialist at the beginning of the year and they had pointed out that I looked like garbage. I mean they didn’t say that in so many words but I did. I really did. She told me that I needed to put on my oxygen mask first. So that’s what i did. That’s when I deactivated my facebook account and re-evaluated what I needed in my bubble to pull myself up and out.
      It’s hard still to remember to pull back and say no. It feels good though – like there’s no smothering. Even Shawn says that too.

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