Self Care: A Basic Human Right

It can be great to see how productive you can be when you got up at just before 3am.  I was able to spend time with my partner (L) and her family last night.  I was fun for the most part.  I was able to spend so special fun time with L and then time with L’s husband (J) their daughter (H) and their family.  It was a simple dinner at a pizza buffet place not to far from their home.  It’s the kind of pizza that’s not all that great but filling while hitting that spot that craves “bad” pizza.  About 20-30 minuets into dinner most of us were done eating.  I had reached sensory overload.  I excused myself and went outside. The moment I cleared the building, up came a good portion of dinner.  Part of this was because of my nerves but a larger part was because I had eaten far too much.

Now I can feel many of you asking yourself right now, “What is the point of all this Karissa? Other then telling us about your night with your partner and her family, where are you going with this?” This is a good question that derivers a good answer. Good or not is up for you to decide but here is the answer I can give.

This was one of the first times that I was able to actually put the needs of my mental well being about that of the social and convention norms. I was able to say that I needed to remove myself from the source of stress without feeling guilt or shame in doing so.  For those of you that suffer from depression and anxiety, as I do, will know just how hard doing this can be.

It was this moment that I could tell that the time that I have spent these last few weeks working on my mental health had been effective.  Before I would shutdown and just sat there.

Through this time involved with an in-patient and day program, I have learned that the person that I need to take care of first is myself.  I have the right to give myself permission to remove myself from a situation that makes me uncomfortable.  I should not feel ashamed for not “being able to cope” or “being weak.” Both these judgmental phrases are not only unhelpful but wholesale untrue.  The fact that I was able to recognize that I was not able to handle the situation and take appropriate action to care for my mental health needs are a sign of mental awareness and strength in the fact that I was willing to do what I felt was needed in spite of expectations.  Just because I was “not able to cope” had more to do with my sensory-neurobiology then my strength.

WE as people all have that limit.  WE as people all have that point that we are just not able to handle something.  That something could be a noise, a smell, a feeling, the temp of the room, etc.  The list is literally endless. These limits are not weakness or failures.  These limits are simply boundaries that your own bodies impose on us for our own wellbeing and health.  WE are not so unalike.

So here is the take away from todays rambling. Please remember, before you make a comment about someone being “weak”, “too sensitive”, a “snowflake” or anything of the like, think about how your have your hard limits too.  Just because their limits are at a different location then yours does not give you the right to judge them for theirs.

Go Out, Be Well And In All Things, Do Good!



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