Because sometimes “No” is necessary…

Stones,

“No” is a full sentence. Use it.”

-Amy Landino

I have a confession to make: I am a people pleaser.

It has been lessened as I grew older but the tendency is still there. This wonderful tendency results in me putting myself into some very interesting situations.

This makes saying “No” very difficult for me. I always feel like my “No’s” warrant an explanation. But in reality, they don’t. None do.

“No” does not require validation and your reasons are your own. In fact, “No” is essential to mental health.

Think about it. How many times have we spread ourselves paper-thin for fear of using “No” that we couldn’t take on any more? How many times have we been taken advantage of or sacrificed our sanity for the sake of doing more for others that we don’t have the time for ourselves?

You can not pour from an empty cup!

You can not give what you don’t have.

I like to remind myself of this before I put myself in these situations. I like to think that it will make saying “No” easier. Sometimes it does, sometimes I lose the battle. I tend to think in extremes, like black and white thinking. I think that “No” is for extreme cases but the little things matter too.

My recent encounter when I should have used the word “No” early on was on a date that I had. Nothing illegal happened but I definitely should have said no earlier. It was awkward and uncomfortable and I shouldn’t have sacrificed my comfort for his feelings.

You don’t have to spent emotionally or physically to use your “No”. The little “No’s” help build up the confidence for situations that require the big “No”. Then there are no people taking advantage of you and no way to be hurt.

Well, that’s the theory. In a perfect world that’s how pain would end. People wouldn’t be afraid to be vulnerable because when someone would step on a boundary a quick “No” would either end a relationship or the relationship would blossom into a healthy tree of respect. What an easy life that would be.

Until next we meet,

S. Hollisway

Scarred and Faceless

The video I got the quote from. Check out the other 34 tips. This video is not sponsored in any way, shape, or form. I am not affiliated with her in anyway, just a fan.

Because sometimes purging is necessary…..

Stones,

I do apologize for the hiatus. The surgery took more of a toll on me then I had hoped.  It makes it very difficult to post once a week. Hopefully, I am back now for good with the regularly scheduled post on Wednesday. I also unintentionally blocked most of my post which I was not aware of. Thankfully, I fixed that.   I wish I had known that earlier, it’s been like that for weeks now. It’s so frustrating.

Okay, so you know the phrase, “No Good Deed Goes Unpunished”? Well, after a recent experience I highly doubt that.  I went out of my way to help someone and got nothing but turmoil and heartache in return. Worst of all, I have to shell out money to fix a door I didn’t break.  But let me start from the beginning.

My “Good Deed”

So, I reached out to an old friend who was having a rough time. Let’s call her…Bella. Bella expressed that she was in a dark place and was suicidal and couldn’t find her will to live.  Of course, because Bella and I were close once, I was very concerned. She expressed that she had no one to help and that she alone and had devised a plan to end her life.

For those that have been with me for some time, you know my history with mental illness so (before all my post got blocked) and the last thing I wanted was to lose another friend to mental illness.  I suggested that since her living situation was so subpar and she was so alone that I had an extra bedroom and perhaps she’d like to stay with me on a temporary basis (HUGE MISTAKE NUMBER 1).  She didn’t know what to say and doubted the genuineness of my offer. Looking back, I shouldn’t have pressed the issue. A couple of days later she agreed. After talking over the next few days, I found out that she was having serious money troubles (Red Flag Number 1). I told her not to worry and that we would help her get on her feet. (HUGE MISTAKE NUMBER 2).

So, we are talking over the next few days and steadily making plans she tells me that she has absolutely no one in her corner ( Red Flag Number 2).  A therapist once told me that when people are in exile there is typically a reason. I should have asked more questions.

So we reach the day she is scheduled to come and she does.  Things are great…the first night. I make chili, everyone eats themselves silly. We talk and laugh and Bella and my fiance get to know each other. Everything is great, we talk about each other’s triggers. She said that she was still nervous and then I told her I wanted her to be comfortable. I told her to make herself comfortable (GIANORMOUS AND FATAL MISTAKE NUMBER 3).  So we had rearranged the house for her. We gave her my sons’ room because he’s only 1 and he sleeps with us most nights anyway. We brought her a blow-up mattress and new sheets and blankets, the whole nine yards. She had her own space that she quickly made her own and she had that space to be comfortable as she wanted. What could possibly wrong?

The Demise

The next morning, I woke up to my entire kitchen rearranged. Cabinets were reorganized, food was moved around and thrown away, tables were reorganized and all without permission. It was chaos. My fiancee has OCD and likes things a certain way and Bella also had OCD and wanted things her way.  There is nothing wrong with compromise but as a guest, you would think it needed to be discussed first with the owners!  Things went downhill from there. She made unsolicited “suggestions” about our parenting style, was wasteful with food and toiletries, and interjected herself into our private disagreements.

You have three adults with mental illness living in one house, there are bound to be disagreements but this was unbearable.  They argued over everything; tobacco, coffee, my son, our relationship, her being the oldest,  everything! They got into an argument so bad, it resulted in the door being broken! It was just terrible. Then, the pettiness started. Things were hidden, things were stolen, and kept in rooms. Things got pretty bad and I didn’t know what to do.

Then one day, like magic she found another place to live. She said she couldn’t do it anymore and someone had offered her a house to live in. I was relieved and asked when she was leaving. She said she would let me know. She promised she wouldn’t leave without saying something. That same day, I had a health scare and had to go to the hospital. I got back and she was gone. She took all her belongings, plus the bed we bought, and for some reason, I’m sure just to be petty she took all the sugar and all the creamer.

The lesson learned

I’m not playing the victim. This was my fault. I made a snap decision and made a rash judgment.  The good is, we don’t speak anymore. I purged her from my life and my world and she doesn’t exist to me anymore. She was toxic, always played the victim. It got old really quickly. But again my fault. Sometimes purging people is necessary. Purging all the toxicity out of your life should be a daily practice. It could save you a lot of drama and theft.

I hope you enjoyed story time. Until next we meet.

Bleed and Exist,

S. Hollisway

Pick up Scarred and Faceless Here

Storytelling is important sometimes because…

Stones,

I feel as though storytelling is for the masses.  Certain stories just have a way of resonating with people in a way that benefits them. This is not a happy story.  It doesn’t have a happy ending. It has an ending that is typical because life is typical. Although every story is unique, no story is special in the sense of tragedies. Everyone goes through them. Everyone suffers.

“Life’s a bitch, and then you die.”

-Narrorator of 1000 Ways to Die

Being homeless in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania was an adventure, to say the least. I wouldn’t dare use any word synonymous with “enjoyable” nor would I recommend this experience to anyone. It’s almost like going to prison, an experience you would exchange for just about else.

I was one of the lucky ones. I never completely got engrossed in the lifestyle. I had a job, had meager funds to buy things, and wasn’t active in my drug addiction  (over 2 years clean and sober!)

There’s so much to know about being homeless. So many unspoken rules to follow. So many secrets you need to know.

Like I mention before, I had a job.  So I’d wake up, go to work and endure the nonsense of earning a paycheck. I loved my job. It was a break from all the craziness and the politics of being outside.

On days, when I didn’t work, I’d go to the local homeless shelter where you could sleep and eat lunch a noon.  It was like being in school. There were rules that had to be followed and monitored very carefully by staff. There were all sorts of things you could do there. Like take a shower, get clean clothes, get mail, get your hair cut, it was a homeless paradise.  There was also tones of trouble you could get into to, so they kicked us out at.

Then it was back to killing time til Dinner time.

There were always people coming to feed the homeless. Some people were forced to but the majority were just decent people. They’d bring huge spreads with a variety of foods for us too. Granted with the amount of us it wouldn’t last but it was, it was still delicious. After dinner, all there was left to do was kill time until nightfall. And nightfall was when all the drama began.

Nightfall was when the drugs and alcohol came out. It was when all the drama started. There was no shelter to it. The best you could do was stay out of it.  It helped to stay with people who had a sense of immunity to it. Or at least people who favored you enough to keep you out of it. I was lucky.  I ran with people who had jobs as well. People who could separate themselves from the drama. People who took care of themselves. When you are homeless, it’s important to remember to put yourself first and not get absorbed into the world around you.  Always remember, that you don’t want to make this temporary situation a permanent one.

Mine was temporary. After about 3 months, my father invited me to stay with him. Things worked out for a while, but not permanently. My point is every situation, however good or bad is not permanent. Things change in the blink of an eye. Stay ready, and be prepared.

Until next we meet

Breath and Exist,

S. Hollisway

Pick up Scarred and Faceless Here