I’ve talked about self care here before, because it’s important. And also because when you google it, you get a lot of pictures of candles, and bubble baths, and hot chocolate. And sometimes those things aren’t very feasible.
Owning cats can really put a damper on your enthusiasm for candles, particularly if you’ve ever had to beat out a cat’s fluffy ass tail. Cats really have zero self-preservation around fire. Also, some people are allergic to scented candles, no matter how much I, cough, I mean, they might like them.
I’m kind of a fussy jerk when it comes to hot chocolate.
And I no longer live in a house with a bitchin’ jacuzzi tub. In fact our current tub is disappointing by apartment tub standards. I have taken one bath in it, grudgingly. I sat there, legs out straight in front of me, stretching the full length of the tub, water about 2/3 of the way up my thighs, glaring at the overspill.
It was, all told, the most disappointing bath I have ever taken.
This includes bathing in cold water with Epsom salts and oatmeal during the bout of chicken pox I had at 22.* That at least felt good.
There is a bathroom remodel in our future. Probably FAR in our future, but I will sell a kidney for this shit. Because, man…
So, what do you do when the usual venues of “self care” are closed to you?
Well, first, revamp your idea of self care.
Self care is anything you do to take care of yourself. This includes eating on a regular basis, drinking water on a regular basis, sleeping enough, and all those other things many people take for granted but that an awful lot of us are super bad at.
As someone in recovery for an eating disorder, this means scheduling my meal times, sometimes eating crap because it’s the only thing I know I WILL eat, and asking people to make sure I eat. It means lining up bottles of water in front of my monitor and promising myself that those will all be gone by the end of my workday.
It means allowing yourself to snack, and forgiving yourself for fucking up and not doing any of those things.
It also sometimes means stress shopping because your brain is an asshole, and reacts the same way to a lack of stress as to stress.
My brain is an asshole.
So, this week I went a little bonkers online, but that’s ok. Because I don’t usually buy super expensive shit.
I buy pens.
Not super fancy pens, although the cool German fountain pen with the touch screen stylus on the end is neat. And I DO have a couple of Namiki vanishing point fountain pens (three). But this time it was the aforementioned German fountain pen in Extra Fine nib, purple, with the stylus point because when my hands get cold my phone decides my fingers aren’t fingers. Two Parker Jotter ballpoint pens, because I am a giant nerd and have a favorite ballpoint pen (and Bic discontinued their extra fine white round sticks. Man, I loved those), and two ClaireFontaine notebooks.
When I was super stressed before I moved to my last job, I bought so many pens, you guys. When I finally moved to the last job, I gave away, I shit you not, three paper grocery bags (the big ones with the handles) of ballpoint and rollerball pens, and one of pencils, as well as a box of crayons and colored pencils and two Xerox paper boxes of spiral notebooks, and another of journals.
Yeah… So this round of stress buying is nothing.
And I know part of it is in response to the migraines still hanging in there. They are slowly tapering off.
But yeah… Just when you stress shop, try to make it things you will actually use (theoretically), that you can afford, that you might not ordinarily buy for yourself.
This round also included some 6g earrings. I hadn’t really bought any when I got my ears gauged up, because I was thinking about going to a 4g. But the friend who went with me, after we left, said, “Wow, that must have hurt. I have never heard you make a noise when you’ve been pierced before.”
Gauging up hurts worse than initial piercing, at least once you make the jump from 8g to 6g.
So, yeah, new earrings, and a pair that is now on my Xmess list, because giant squid ear hooks!!!!!!
Anyway, do what you have to, to take care of yourself, to self soothe, and get through what you need to get through. Just, be careful about it. Try not to hurt yourself, whether that’s by self-harming, or by spending too much and not having enough for bills and rent. Take care of you, and enlist any friends and loved ones who are ok with helping you.
Also, if you are fine and know someone who needs the help, do what you can for them when you can. Please remember to see to your own health and safety first, you can’t help people if you’re out of commission.
*Chicken pox as an adult are horrific. Just, fucking horrific. If you have not had them get the vaccine immediately. I’ve also had Whooping Cough as an adult. Vaccinate yourselves and your fucking kids.