Taking Care Of Yourself Is Not Selfish

This blog post is part of the Suicide Prevention Awareness Month blog tour in partnership with Debt Drop. If you are feeling suicidal, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text HOME to 741741.

There have been numerous times in my life I have felt like I hit rock bottom. Or had really shitty years. One of my coping mechanisms in my life, when I am overwhelmed, is to self-destruct. And believe me, I am really good at self-destructing. I have lost jobs, romantic relationships, friendships and money. Lots of money.

But, I have also seemingly kept it together for the most part. I was able to graduate twice from college with a double major in criminology and criminal justice, a minor in LGBT studies and a study abroad program in Israel studying counter-terrorism. I’ve been promoted several times at work in the past four years. I’ve built a successful online business. I have my own apartment with my cat in a hip and fun neighborhood. And I travel. A lot.

But no one sees the days I struggle getting out of bed. The nights I mindlessly hit refresh on my Facebook app because I can’t be bothered to deal with anything else. Days when I’ve only had three hours of sleep. How dirty my house gets. My anxiety attacks when I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer and what I feel is my failing health. The constant worry of being abandoned. Or how trying to find the silver lining in shitty situations is what gets me through them.

Mental illness looks different on everyone. Just because someone seems like they are functioning doesn’t mean they are. And it’s not weak to admit you need help. I couldn’t do what I do without my amazing team of doctors who work with me to help me find balance and relief. I couldn’t do it without friends that are loving and understanding, even when I have faults. And I couldn’t do it without my amazing partner of four years who has seen me at my worst and still holds my hand.

If you need help, don’t be afraid to reach out. I’m here to cheer you on. And so are others.

September Goals

Ahh, fall is here. Or, if you live in Arizona like me, the idea of fall is here. I’m okay with that though, temperatures are supposed to be dropping next week by ten degrees and that alone will be bringing some much-needed relief.

Since my birthday, things have been pretty quiet except on the health front. I’ve been in and out of the hospital and doctor offices for radiation damage done to my salivary glands. I’ve been under going treatment for thyroid cancer since January and while my radiation was in March, I am now suffering from severe radiation damage. It’s very common with the radiation I had but it doesn’t make it any less annoying. Basically, my ducts are swollen shut due to inflammation and a softball size lump can appear in five minutes.

I’m hopeful though. My doctors are amazing, my support system is amazing and my job is amazing. All have allowed me to focus on my health during this time and have respected my new boundaries I’ve been putting in place by valuing myself and my time. Keeping this in mind, I’ve set the following goals for the month.

  1. Continue working on my health. I have a lot of doctor appointments including my six-month scan. I have also taken steps to further cut the crap out of my diet and would like to continue on this path. I would love to be eating 80/20 by the end of the year.
  2. Deep clean my apartment. Since I declared my year of value, I have been cleaning out a lot of clutter from my home. I would like to finish and then do a deep clean.
  3. Enjoy time with my family and boyfriend. Being in a long distance relationship is hard but it’s helpful my boyfriend works from home and has a flexible schedule outside of the summer. He will be here for a few weeks so I’m excited to soak in time with him and both of our families while he’s out here. My niece is turning one and she is the absolute cutest.
  4. Read two books. In the middle of two books and would like to get back into my reading routine at night.
  5. Track all spending.  Financial blogger confession- I just got back on the “tracking your train” and boy, it’s been eye opening. I’ve become participated in lifestyle inflation this year and while I thought I was saving adequately and paying off debt, I could still be doing much more. It’s so easy to get caught up even though you’ve been working on good financial habits for years.

Hope everyone has a good September! Does anyone have anything fun planned?