⋆。゚☁︎。⋆。 ゚☾ ゚。⋆

realizing limits

Something changed over the past two years.

I have always been used to doing things alone and having to handle crises alone; I grew up an only child, rest of the family far away, parents unreliable and neglectful. Asking them for any help would end in judgement, using the info against me, or never letting me forget about the time they needed to help me. It seemed like a huge burden to them and they would dramatically sigh and act annoyed throughout it all. Peers were nothing to rely on as well, especially for more complex issues.

So that puts a lot of pressure on you to be able to do it all alone, and make it work somehow, even going to the limit. And it becomes so normal you don't even realize that you're working on your limit. And because this works (you resolve situations, get stuff done, no matter the cost to your physical or mental health etc.) you think you don't need help.

It is ingrained in us that we need to be completely unable to do things to ask for help. Like we need to fail or lose control of it completely to be deserving of help. And we don't even notice the coping mechanisms we have built to handle it all. Internally, it's like: I don't need help with cleaning or shopping, since I don't starve and my home isn't messy or filthy. I don't need help with walking the dog sometimes, because I still manage it every day and getting it done by someone else is lazy and I would just be a bad owner. It's much better to guilt myself into going and drag myself everywhere, especially because I don't wanna go soft and rely on anyone, and if I don't manage something on my own, I am just lazy!

Since I have someone in my life that I can always ask for help without guilt, without feeling like a burden, without fearing like it will be held against me, I've noticed how much I suffered attempting to do it all alone and how much my wellbeing improved in comparison.

I feel much safer, I have much more energy, and I am more relaxed. Knowing someone could technically take over and help made it easier even when I don't end up using the help offered. Even just knowing it's there is great. It's hard sometimes to give up control and let someone else do it and working on trusting the other person to do a good job, but it's overall a good experience.

Things I unconsciously did that were (also) coping mechanisms and restrictions for my overload and trying to do it all alone:

I think it's sensible to look to optimize your household chores. Of course everyone is happy when things get easier or can be done quicker, and you gotta know your boundaries and not go overboard. But instead of these just bringing improvement or limiting excess that anyone would struggle to manage, they were done out of necessity to even do things at all; as a bare minimum to not fail. I have a high standard in regards to cleanliness and tidiness, so that made it even more necessary.

It made me realize in general that a lot more people need help in their household than we think. We think a household help is just for old people or disabled people with a high(er) degree of disability, when it could also be needed for us. I hope in the future, I can invest into more devices that help me (roomba, dishwasher, vacuum that is lighter and without the little trolley you drag behind you etc.), as well as into occasionally hiring people to help (yearly deep clean, windows), and relying on other people in my life for some help during rough times or flareups of pain or depression.

Things that are still difficult to manage are both making appointments for me and the dog, and keeping an eye on reordering medicine and dog food on time so nothing runs out. It's been successful so far with two close calls in regards to the meds due to a miscalculation and some supply difficulties. It would be far easier if any of the food and medicine sources would offer me a subscription for set delivery times/intervals. Sadly, they don't. I also wish more places would offer the option to make an appointment online, so I don't have to remember to call during the appropriate day and timeframe, and remember to retry throughout the day when I can't reach anyone. If I remember at 10pm, I can just make one online then and I only have to remember once. I wish we did more as a society to recognize that many things are not just a financial commitment or a time commitment, but also drain energy and are a commitment that needs to somehow be compatible to existing issues around mental and physical health, attention span, executive function, and so on. New medication for my dog, for example, is less a financial problem and more a problem of another medication to keep track of and another time and dosage to remember and commit to. It shouldn't just be a question of "Can it be done financially" but should consider the mental load associated with it, too.

𓇽 ° . ༻ 𓈒 ꒪ ๋ ° .𓏲⠀ ๋࣭ ♡ ͘ ࣭⠀⸰ ⋆ ֗ ִ ᨒ .⋆゚. ͘ ࣭⠀⸰ ♡ 𓂂 ◌ 𓇽 ° . ๋ 𓂂 ⠀✼ 𓇽