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Healthy boundaries

Guest Author: Kim

This content contains explicit and sensitive information that may not be suitable for all ages.

The month of June is often a very busy and stressful time of year for many of us, not necessarily all in a bad way though.

For me June is the beginning of my favorite season, the time of year that I can finally hang up my winter coat!

It is also the time of year for acknowledging that I am turning a whole year older whether I like it or not.

My anxieties and fears kick into full gear.

For our family, June is also the time of year for organizing and packing up three teenagers to venture off to sleepover camp for seven to eight weeks. It sounds like lots of fun to those of you who have never experienced this before and still keeping in mind the satisfaction for all parties involved that comes from the end result, but it is my living hell getting to that point. The endless trips to WalMart or Costco or the Mall for those last minute must haves and wants. My anxieties and fears kick into full gear.

While this is going on, June is also the time of year that final exams and final assignments need to be studied for and completed as well, intensifying the aura in our home. Last June we added not one but two graduations into the mix, making this year a walk in the park only having one graduate to celebrate and honour. By the time June rolled around (and did it ever come quickly) my emotions run very deep for me and those emotions can go from zero to one hundred within seconds.

During the course of the last couple of months I was placed into a group for women trying to make changes in their lives. The ten week group discussed topics on how important it is to set proper boundaries and how to make healthy choices regarding our mental health within those boundaries. I have always known that having healthy boundaries in my life is very important in building self-awareness, increasing self-confidence and building a better foundation for success in my relationships.

A boundary is defined as knowing what is ours and what is not ours.

However, I have done nothing short of destroy all of that over the past few years.

A boundary is defined as knowing what is ours and what is not ours. It is knowing what we are responsible for and what we are not responsible for, and lastly, a boundary is knowing what is in our control and what is not. Having boundaries does not make us selfish, but instead it teaches us about self-care therefore enabling us to have the ability to look after others as well. A prime example of this is how we are taught that if an emergency were to occur on an airplane we need to put our own oxygen mask on first before helping our loved ones to ensure we are in full control of the situation.

Throughout the month of June my ability to set boundaries was put to the test on a daily basis. I dealt with constant conflict and tension, which in turn created feelings of severe anxiety, irritation, guilt, worthlessness and lots of anger. I was given a foundation during my weekly group as to how important setting boundaries really are in protecting oneself, keeping us safe, and trying to let others know and understand our limits. It is still a work in progress for me, but what I have learned recently couldn’t have come at a better time as I feel so damaged and in turn continue on a vicious cycle of damaging so many aspects of my life.

 It is not my responsibility to give what I don’t have to give.

I know now that it’s okay to say no, but not only how to say no but to do so without having to justify myself to anyone. I know now that it is not my responsibility to give what I don’t have to give or sacrifice my integrity to anyone by conforming to unreasonable demands. I know now that I can no longer let the weight of the world land on my shoulders or retain unhealthy relationships.

As I stated above this is a work in progress and due to certain events that have occurred in the past while, I have had several opportunities to use the skills and strategies I have learned in order to begin to unravel this disease one boundary at a time.

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Ann
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Thank-you for sharing. A small yet big gesture of sharing, helps us all feel less alone.

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