LET’S TALK ABOUT: HOW TO SAY NO

Hi. My name is Barbara and I am a workoholic. (my mothers daughter my father would say)

I would work 24 hours a day, seven days a week if I physically could (not even exaggerating right now, I get job offers all the freaking time) but Hello, sleeping and Netflix are life.

For those who know me (not on a deep emotional level) and follow me (and my overly enthusiastic quotes) on Instagram probably noticed that I always smile and joke. I’m always trying to boost people’s moods and to motivate them as being a person is hard as fuck. But let me be real with you (AND never expect less from me), I am not always this bubbly, smiley, forever happy flower child I like to represent myself as.

BECAUSE you know, some days are shit. Life overwhelms you to the point you fall on the floor crying and you can’t get up anymore.

To be precise, two weeks ago when I finished my usual 60 hour work week (you did this to yourself gurl) and felt so emotionally paralyzed. At this point I was so emotionally and physically drained I felt like a bloody raisin. I once again got ill and was prescribed antibiotics. So everything I was fit to do was sitting in my shower and let the rivers of Babylon come both out of my shower and my eyes.

After aprox. 20 minutes of what felt like Dante’s ninth circle of hell pouring down my back, bloody cold water started rushing out making me feel like I about to turn into an ice sculpture. And it sounds like almost cathartic experience, but no it wasn’t pleasant at all.
It made me weep even more.

As I was about start feeling numbness in my limbs, I decided to pick myself off my shower floor and place myself on my bed. All wrapped up like a little burrito of sadness I decided to call my mum thinking: Hey, if anyone knows how to make me feel better it is a women who pushed me out of her vagina, nursed me and loved me until I was ready to take on this cruel world. However, this is also a women who after she makes me feel better and helps me to solve all my life problems puts down a phone and worries about me. So, being an adult I aspire to be, I made a sensible decision of not calling my mother but to figure my personal shit on my own.

You see, I am great at figuring out shit.

You got boy drama? LET ME TELL YOU WHAT TO DO.

You broke? Listen to my advice.

You tired and over-worked? You should definitely do this.

YES.

I AM AMAZING AT SORTING OUT PROBLEMS. OTHER PEOPLE’S PROBLEMS.

I am a unlicensed but devoted psychotherapist, personal love guru, life coach and fitness trainer to the people in my life. To all the people, but me.

So there I was, laying like a fetus on my bed, unable to move, trying to suffocate my crying with a Coldplay song (oh the amounts of time “Fix you” didn’t fix anything for me) and waiting for the universe to give me an answer on how to feel happy again. Or just too feel would be nice for starters. And to completely surprise you with what came next, NO universe didn’t do shit. It only let me dwell on my misery even more until I was left with dry mouth and wet bed sheets.

So I tried breathing it out. I mean that’s what they teach you to do in yoga? Connect your thoughts with your breathing, slow down and release. UM, IT’S WAS A NO FOR ME.

I tried turning on my essential oil diffuser and let “Calm down” blend do it’s magic. IT DID NOT WORK.

I put on my very loved classical music playlist that usually calms the fuck out of me. NOT this time Mozart.

I even considered ordering “Five Guys” from Deliveroo and binge watching “Grace and Frankie” on Netflix, but I wasn’t even remotely interested in what usually is a gold combo for me.

And as I was about to surrender and let the darkness take over my mind, as I was about to take an antidepressant (I hate taking but my doctor prescribed me to take when feeling like Snape when he saw Lily died) and go to sleep at 9pm on a Friday evening I kept wondering why, why, why am I feeling this way for no obvious reason??? What is wrong with me? Am I just a big drama queen?

So haunted by this questions I put on my comfy pjs, made myself a cup of mint tea, turned off Chris Martin’s depressing voice (FYI, I’m your fan no. 1) and took out a notebook and a pen. I started writing about how I feel. And most importantly, WHAT made me feel that way?

I was very confused. My life routine has been same for months now and it seemed to be effective. I was happy. I was always very proud of how good I am at balancing it all out, work, gym, meals, social life, etc.

BUT WHAT CHANGED?! Somewhere along the way I stopped being happy. I stopped feeling fullfilled. I stopped enjoying little things in life. I stopped focusing on what matters. I stopped living in the present. I stopped going out. I just stopped.

WHY? I don’t know. People change. I changed.

To fast forward, it is 2am and I finally got my shit together. (well kinda) I wrote down every good thing about my life, and everything that I’d like to change because it makes me miserable and not happy at all.

It all led up to next decision.

  1. Quit my third job to get some “me time” during the week.

Of course I slept on it. It was not easy for me because I really like working. It was not easy because less work means less money. It was not easy because although I get job offers all the time, it is never easy to actually quit one. I felt very ungrateful and scared of being judged as “lazy millennial”.

BUT I DID IT. I QUIT THE JOB. And it was quite hard. I got offered more money. Different timetable. I was even promised less responsibility. But I told myself I am not going to be scared of saying NO.

NO to things that I actually don’t want to do and NO to people I actually don’t want to spend time with.

I have right to change my mind. I am allowed to start thinking differently. I am allowed to get rid of things in my life that no longer serve me or make me grow. I can do whatever the fuck I want.

And although it’s only been two weeks (one of those weeks has been me on a very deserved holiday) I have to point out that I feel so much better. I don’t feel trapped or like there is a massive lump in throat.

I realise there is no shame in what I did, admitting I needed to slowdown.
It feels so good to be on top of your life everyday but it also feels good to step back and realise you don’t have to bring your A-game every day.

And this is your reminder that you’re not failing in life if you need a step back.

Are you allowed to say NO? Abso-fucking-lutely.

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