Compassionate Boundaries: Self-Care (Fourth of Series)

Compassionate Love Blog: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness (c)2013  Nancy Virden, Always the Fight Ministry 

We are generally nice people, right? We feel deeply when someone we care about is in emotional pain. Depression and especially suicide catch our attention as they should. If a loved one is struggling with one or both of those, we want to help. 

Here is a story from my week. In two days I had as many conversations with persons who talked about possibly attempting suicide. Familiar with their circumstances, I understood they were already in safe hands and protected.  Otherwise, I would not have talked to them at all. I would have called 9.1.1.  

The aftereffects took my by surprise.  Sleeplessness owns my nights.  

Half a week earlier I was sick.  There was the typical time off followed by the twice as busy catch-up day. Doctor appointments, a social event, handling a funeral dinner for about 20 people, and taking care of a sick husband about did me in.

My recovery is brand-spankin’ new. Therapy sessions are challenging. Because of this week’s unusual schedule, I am missing my support system and feel alone. 

No wonder insomnia has a foothold.  You get the point.

I forgot to care of me. As a result of sleeplessness, both a meeting and a lunch are canceled. This blog is a day late.  Exhaustion threatens recovery and mental health. All this, because I said yes too often and ignored my needs.  

One extra yes leads to another and another in part because situations are rarely as simple as they seem at first. Then we go too far. 

If you read about my week and wonder what were my options, you will benefit from thinking it through. Look also at your days and measure all you are doing for others.

  • Is self-care on your agenda?
  • Do you have enough energy to care for your priorities?
  • Do you even have a life?


Other posts in this series: Friendship (1) ; God’s Example (2)Values and Family (3) ;  How to Say No (5) ; Motives Beware! (6)Refuse Blame (7) ; Refer to Experts (8)  ; How to Say Yes (9)



NOTE:  I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental and behavioral health challenges.  In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.

If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here

If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S.  (for international emergency numbers, go here ), or go to your nearest emergency room. Do not be alone. Hope and help are yours.


*Sleeping by LUSI on

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