• Erika Dowell

Creating Boundaries is part of healthy relationships

I started therapy in September. This was something that I had contemplated doing for a few years; 2020 brought everything up for me and it was a matter of time.

Life for me is complicated. It’s not easy for me to disclose super personal information and it’s not easy to trust a complete stranger with literally the deepest, most weak points in my life. I'm distrusting of most people and you have to be in my most inner circle to know the real real - otherwise you kind of just get the low-lights as I call them. The real parts, but not the deep lows.

I’m married to a now-social worker. I watched him attend school, read his papers, and all of our friends for the better part of two years were all social workers-in-training.

So, there’s an element of ‘backstage Disney’ or seeing through the curtains per se. I know the ‘tricks’ and I know the ‘tips’ and it can be hard for me to still believe in the magical-ness of Disney if I’ve seen the ‘how-to’, so to speak.

But, after feeling particularly defeated about something for the millionth time, I decided it was time to seek help outside of crying on our bed/couch/office/kitchen/car and ranting to my spouse about the _shit_ going on.

Therapy has just begun for me - I’ve already figured out a lot of healthier ways of dealing with something and also that my coping mechanisms are okay (sometimes). It’s helped me articulate things better, it’s helped me come to peace with things, and in general be a better human (I don’t feel like I want to cry every day and I don’t feel like bursting every 5 seconds).

The focus these days is around boundary setting. I’m a bit of a people pleaser - I want to help, be unproblematic, and be gracious.

Not surprising that I burnt out in September.

So, just a reminder to set boundaries, maintain them and over-communicate them. You know what they say about assuming.

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