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Author Topic: PERSPECTIVES: What does it mean to take care of yourself?  (Read 16729 times)
lbjnltx
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« Reply #20 on: October 18, 2010, 11:35:13 AM »

do for others only what you are happily willing to do...anything else can create resentment and hostility.

btw:  the silent treatment is a form of abuse.

lbjnltx
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« Reply #21 on: October 19, 2010, 08:59:17 AM »

 Thanks lbjnltx. I used to be happy, willingly doing some of these things but then the more I did for him the less he seemed to do for me. I feel like a housekeeper now. I am making changes...slowly and I am taking steps to get stronger mentally and physically with a view to leaving eventually. I admit I hadn't seen the silent treatment as abuse...interesting. How do I get out of this irrational fear? The silent treatment  freaks me out more than aggression and that does not make sense.
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lbjnltx
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« Reply #22 on: October 19, 2010, 09:24:29 AM »

dear jenny50,

here is a link to a thread on the silent treatment:

http://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=70004.0

lbjnltx
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« Reply #23 on: October 19, 2010, 02:09:01 PM »

Thank you...it makes much more sense having read that. I heard last week of a woman who was getting the silent treatment from her hubby. This went on for a couple of days then the woman started searching the house opening and closing cupboards and drawers. Eventually her hubby could stand it no longer and in a very cross voice asked "what on earth are you searching for?" " Oh it's ok" she says "I've found it now, I thought I'd lost your voice"  lol grin
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lbjnltx
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« Reply #24 on: October 19, 2010, 03:39:02 PM »

 grin cheesy
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« Reply #25 on: October 20, 2010, 07:42:28 PM »

For me, taking care of me started as doing nice things for myself and making sure to do things outside of the home.  Now it's both of those things and more.

 Taking care of me means:

 that I maintain boundaries around how I am treated by others

 that I respect myself and my needs

 that I speak up about my needs if they are not being met

 that I respect others needs and boundaries

 that I work to resolve issues as they come up as best I can

pennifree
 

 
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briefcase
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« Reply #26 on: October 28, 2010, 03:30:46 PM »

After years of depression, isolation, and verbal abuse, I arrived here in very bad shape.  I had to start "taking care of myself" at a very basic level.  

I reconnected with my parents, my brother and other extended family, and friends.

I read Stop Walking on Eggshells.

I made a point of taking care of myself physically.  I got a physical.  I ate healthier foods.  I exercised daily.  I tried to get good sleep.  I lost about 30 pounds (some of which, I am sorry to say, I have since found again).

I found a good therapist and went to her for about 18 months.  It was a very positive experience and worth every penny.  

I hired a divorce lawyer and learned about my legal options.  

This one sounds a little weird . . . but I actually had re-learn a lot of little things about myself and what I like and don't like.  It felt a little like recovering from amnesia.  I would be taking my evening walk and thinking about what my favorite foods were, my favorite colors, hobbies that I liked, music that I liked, favorite authors and poets, etc.  Lots of little things that I once took for granted, I actually had to spend time remembering because my life had not had room for those kinds of thoughts for such a long time.  

I then spent time making sure I did some things that I liked, such as watching TV shows and movies that I enjoyed, eating food I liked, reading books, etc.

These things helped me regain a seperate identity from my wife and the marriage.  I got emotionally stonger as I did these things.  I kept reading and learning about BPD too.

As I got stronger, "taking care of myself" started to include more organized efforts to reconnect with and communicate with my wife.  I started with boundaries.  Then came validation.  These things took a lot of practice and still do.  I was also able to tackle other problems in my life.  I paid off debts.  Focused more on work.  Protected the kids more.  I imagine for those who take a different path, this stage might also include ending the relationship.

Right now, I am trying to make sure I am still on a path that leads somewhere.  So, "taking care of myself" now includes things like thinking about goals, considering what "happiness" means to me, and thinking about the future.
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« Reply #27 on: October 28, 2010, 04:11:26 PM »

Well said, Briefcase!

I, too, was lost for a while there and completely forgot who I was, what I was about, what I liked or disliked, and who my friends were, and had to re-learn all of those things.  It was not fun to discover that I had become sort of a shadow, with next to nothing left of myself, so-to-speak, as I'm sure you know.

I found that, by taking care of myself, I regained the power to regenerate, like a lizard growing another tail.

For me, it was very much like recovering from amnesia, as you describe.  Maybe I'm still not entirely "there" yet, but am confident that I'm back on my path, which feels good, and genuine, wherever it may lead.

Thanks for putting it so well into words!  Uke
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« Reply #28 on: October 29, 2010, 09:35:02 AM »

For me, relearning who i was, and actually starting to live differently also coincided with growing apart from my wife. There was a lot of additional drama included. But as I started trying to be an independent individual, she complained I wasn't the same person any more. (i thought, "Good!") I feel like i was so ingrained into her, that once i started pulling my identity out of her, she didn't "feel" the same. I wasn't "nice" any more b/c I didn't enable her to hurt me or other people for the sake of her comfort or wishes.

I think the growing apart was really just naturally moving to the point that we already would have been had we not been so codependent and dishonest with ourselves. It's kind of a shame b/c since we didn't have a healthy relationship, and didn't have our own identities, we weren't able to make adjustments and improve our relationship as it went along. Instead, we both added more conflict, and when I finally started acting in a healthier way, enough damage was made that it seemed it didn't even make sense to be together any more.
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« Reply #29 on: December 14, 2010, 12:10:46 PM »

February 2010.  That was about a month or so I think after I first learned about PDs.  Based on what happened between then and now, everything I wrote here was 100% intellectual exercise and HOPE...and not actually how I was living.  I was not out of the FOG...not doing my own thing...still totally wrapped up in her.  Addicted.  And codependent as hell.  This is all evidenced by the lack of any real change or extinction burst until about August of this year.  From February until then...pretty much status quo.  Obviously working on it, learning, maybe even small attempts...but yeah, just more of the same.  It really wasn't until about August that the lightbulb clicked on.  Which was evidenced by a major extinction burst...and a lot of change...and now finally over the last month or two...lots and lots of resolution and stability.  Now that I see what works - it's not really intellectual anymore, just becoming habit and the way I am and live...
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Steph
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« Reply #30 on: December 14, 2010, 12:47:09 PM »

 Some ideas for baby steps..

Take care of your health.

Have that physical, see your dentist, get your hair trimmed.

change your diet so that you are eating well...not too much, not too little, and eating a balance of healthy stuff, veggies, fruit, etc.

Exercise...walking, running, join a club, dance, Zumba, something..anything that brings you to your body and you start taking care of yourself in a significant way.

Find ways to do something fun with your kids, friends, family and reconnect. Thats vital.

If substance abuse is an issue, get help.


Just come basic ideas to think about.

Excellent topic!
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« Reply #31 on: July 19, 2011, 10:29:58 AM »

I just found this link - WOW - i can't tell you how much this has changed my thinking or should i say re-enforce my belief that i need to make some changes for me -
This has given me hope, hope that i can start to take back my life again, find the " old me ", this time though, i am alot more aware of my shortcomings of the past and really what i want in life - its a work in progress, and hopefully will change my life for good.
Thank you everyone who contributed to their own stories - very inspiring ! Doing the right thing   
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« Reply #32 on: July 19, 2011, 10:19:34 PM »

Taking care of myself can be rather difficult. Both my DH and I work shift work and opposite shifts at that. The shifts go around the clock and 7 days a week.

Makes it difficult to join a league on tues nights (for example). So I have to find other ways.

I know that for me my stressors are the kids - mainly my SDs. (13 and 11).

So because its only one of us at home with the kids at a time, it also makes it difficult to actually leave the house to do things.

Their bpdmom takes the kids on sat nights (but not consistently). So when I'm not working on a sat night (once every 6 weeks) AND she takes the kids, then I make plans.

In the meantime, I take an extra long shower in the morning. I really take my time just standing under the steamy water. smiley

After the kids go to bed, I might sit outside and have a cup of tea on the porch and listen to the crickets.

If I can even get 15 mins (between dring to lessons and pick up) then I'll cruise down to the river and sit and listen to the waves.

I try to get a pedicure once a month.

I ask my DH to rub my feet if we happen to be home together.

I treat myself to the expensive coffee shop once in a while.

I love crafts and scrapbooking and sewing. So I will sit and plan a scrapbook page after kids go to bed.

I set up my crafts in the laundry room wink so I can go down there and tell the kids I'm putting in laundry. And I can sit at my crafts table while I wait for the load to finish.

Lunch time at work, I sit outside and close my eyes and feel the heat of the sun.

While driving (alone) I crank the music and sing like no ones listening. (ALL the time).

And I always have a book or 3 on the go. Always read before bed.

I splurge on teas. And I always have tea every night.

And sometimes I just curl up on the couch and do NOTHING. Every once in a while I will just watch movies all day if the kids are gone. (This doesn't happen very often so when it does, I take full advantage! POPCORN BABY!) 
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« Reply #33 on: January 19, 2012, 03:21:55 PM »

To take care of myself, I went to a support grp meeting for depression. he actually thought he was going to go with me!  rolleyes. The next week I told him I found another one so I would be going to two that week.

To take care of myself, I started saying No.
Then he left. But it had to be done.
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schwing
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« Reply #34 on: May 17, 2012, 03:02:19 PM »

"Taking Care of Yourself" is such a loaded phrase for me.  And I totally understand why some people might get frustrated whenever they read this and just simply want: "Just tell me what I need to do to feel better."

And that's the rub.  There is no tried and true forumula.  What works for one person may be "meh" for another person.  Even worse, what works for you for several months becomes "meh" for you later on.  The point is, I think, IMHO, we need to go about bothering to figure it out for ourselves.  And we need to demonstrate *to ourselves* that we are worth the bother.  And not just worth the bother, we are committed to make ourselves a top priority.  Think of all the sacrifices we make that communicate to us, that we are *not* the top priority.

Consider this: How do you think someone whom you are trying to "take care of" would feel, if they found that you kind of just settled on a pattern of things to do whenever they feel not so well; like taking them to the same restaurant, or going to the same walk, or giving the same foot masssage, or saying the same "hope you feel better" words to console.  Without change or variation.  On the other hand, how would they feel you *really* listened to them each time and engaged with them, finding out how this time they feel blue is very different from the last time they felt that way.  And if you bothered to come up with a new and different excursion to take them on to cheer them up; some place they had never been to but had always wanted to try?

Now pretend that person is you.  And it is up to you to cheer up, or inspire, or take care of yourself.

This is a creative endeavor.  And as I see it, if you are not very creative to begin with, then maybe your task is not quite so bad.  But heaven forfend if you are deep down inside creative, or *gasp* an artist, then it will be quite a challenge to keep yourself well stimulated, well nurtured in order to cultivate that mustard seed of happiness you may or may not have.
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« Reply #35 on: May 21, 2012, 11:37:05 AM »

And that's the rub.  There is no tried and true forumula.  What works for one person may be "meh" for another person.  Even worse, what works for you for several months becomes "meh" for you later on.  The point is, I think, IMHO, we need to go about bothering to figure it out for ourselves.  And we need to demonstrate *to ourselves* that we are worth the bother.  And not just worth the bother, we are committed to make ourselves a top priority.  Think of all the sacrifices we make that communicate to us, that we are *not* the top priority.

I have recently become aware that many of the sacrifices I make are really NOT about taking care of the others in my life - eveyone, not just my pwbpd. They are often a coping strategy that really just doesn't work well any longer. Like I give up something, thinking that it is helping someone else, when it really is about 'asking' for someone else to notice my needs and take care of me. Instead of me taking care of myself. When I am able to effectively meet my own needs, and they are real and deserving, then I find that I am so much more available in a calm, rational way for the others in my life. I can then model all the wonderful tools I have learned here at FTF including validation and personal boundaries (ie. boundaries that preserve my values, not expecting any outcome of change in the other person). Taking care of me is so about validating myself instead of expecting others to do that for me.

I will try to come up with some examples of this. Anyone else understand what I am trying to say here?

qcr xoxo
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« Reply #36 on: November 05, 2013, 09:25:53 PM »

Taking time outs are good, but was only a temporary relief, for me. I have been trying to tell myself not to deny my own feelings and emotions, but at the same time not show it because they see it as invalidating theirs. It's like an oxymoron, it's alright to be sad or angry, and still feel happy about it, self validation. That's what makes it insane. It's like accepting a situation and not being judgmental or feeling resentment, something was said or done, but we don't rent out space in our head for it to plant roots in there. Then we can go on to do other stuff and be ourselves.
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« Reply #37 on: November 06, 2013, 08:06:15 PM »

It's like accepting a situation and not being judgmental or feeling resentment, something was said or done, but we don't rent out space in our head for it to plant roots in there. Then we can go on to do other stuff and be ourselves.

In 2012, when I posted last on this thread, I was doing better with this. At least I believed so. 2013 was tougher. my BPDDD27 was so much more dysregulated in breaking up/making up with exbf and somehow I let myself get caught up in her spiral down. How did I let myself get so enmeshed with him too?

My discovery to regain my core belief in myself has been to reach out to the supportive people I have in my life. I am such an independent thinking person - old patterns of being self-sufficient. This really failed me this year. I am slowly picking up the pieces as I seperate my 'self' from my Dd's 'self'. She cannot live in our home for many reasons, this is a very personal one. Yet, I still want to keep a connection with her. A real paradox for me right now.

qcr
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