Hold that thought…

You need what?  Hold that thought…  You want me to what?  Hold that thought…  You took over which part of my schedule?  Hold that thought…  You violated which of my boundaries?  Hold that thought…  Hold that thought, because I’m climbing and doing what I want to do.  You’re offended that I’m ignoring you?  Hold that thought…  You don’t think it’s fair?  Hold that thought…  What’s changed?  Hold that thought…

If you think about the above paragraph, there’s a lot to it.  I don’t want to come across as callous or uncaring, and I’m perfectly willing to help people if they don’t take advantage of my help and run roughshod over my boundaries, but as soon as I don’t get to climb anymore because I’m taking care of something that someone else should be pulling their weight on, that’s it.  I’m going to say, “Hold that thought,” walk straight over to my climbing gear, pack it up, and head for either the climbing gym or the crag, whichever I have the belay partner(s) and the weather conditions to accomplish.  I’m tired of having to check everybody else’s schedule before I pencil in my own few “subject to change” entries.  Once upon a time, I had a climbing routine and it was working really well for me.  I was making good progress on losing weight and on distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and my mental health.  I was getting stronger physically and able to climb better with the excess weight coming off.  Now, I weigh more than I ever have, I feel weak, I don’t get to climb when I want to, and my mental health is suffering for it all.  I feel obligated to do certain things for others, and I shouldn’t.  The decisions that led up to those circumstances being in place were not mine – I didn’t get a say in what happened to bring them about, therefore I shouldn’t feel obligated to fix or mitigate them.  Ethically, we could ask the question if I should even interfere by helping at all!!!  I enjoy helping people.  I really do. I have to take care of myself first, though, and I do that by climbing with my climbing buddies (outside when we have the opportunity) and keeping myself on the road toward better overall health for myself, and mental health in particular.  I can’t help anyone else if I don’t help myself first.  I don’t think it’s my job to fix everybody else’s dilemmas and problems in the world.  I have enough of my own demons to fight, as far as that goes.  Life is hard.  Let’s admit that!  Good, now that we got that out of the way, let’s look at how we deal with it.  I deal with it by climbing.  I need my climbing time.  Every day.  Open-ended timeline, preferably, and with my climbing buddies.  Outside is the ultimate, but inside will do.  If I could get other people to work around my schedule instead of it being the other way around, I’d be a lot happier.  Until that happens, I’m going to have to just say, “Hold that thought…” and do what I want to do with my own schedule – CLIMB!!!

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