“Fuck it. I’m going to the Bahamas.”

After months and months and more months of a nightmare of harassment involving my downstairs neighbor, it culminated with proof to me in court last week that neither I nor the police could do a damn thing about the situation.

Emotionally, this came really close to full on breaking me. I needed to get my mental health together, and knew that I wouldn’t be able to deal with that AND work – so I asked my boss if I could take the rest of last week off. OF COURSE he gave me the time off.

Mental health is as worthy of sick leave as any other sort of health-related illness and while it shouldn’t BE that I am lucky to have a boss who understands that I understand that I am lucky to have him.

Anyway. There I was. Relieved that I had the time off, but still practically in tears because I was still going to be HERE. Still having to deal with my neighbor during a time when I was on the verge of a full-on mental breakdown.

Then I realized something important. I didn’t HAVE to be HERE. I could be somewhere else! 30 minutes later I had a hotel booked and a plane ticket to Nassau, in the Bahamas.

Less than 24 hours after that I was on an airplane. And that next evening I was on an island in the tropics surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean.

It made me think how I have thought about self-care up until this point. I never thought I could, let alone DESERVED, the level of self-care that I provided myself last week.

I would have accepted those couple of days of sick leave (which by themselves would have been hard for me to ask for any time before recent years). I would have maybe asked into the void if any of my friends wanted to spend time with me (not being able to reach out to anyone directly because of my fears of rejection). I would have said that this was me taking care of myself. And I would have still been miserable.

The me from 20 years ago might have seen those words I wrote on Facebook, “Fuck it. I’m going to the Bahamas. I leave tomorrow and I’ll be back Sunday.” She would have seen them, and she never would have believed that SHE wrote them.

But I did. It was spontaneous. I got lucky that everything lined up perfectly that allowed me to get the necessary visas and paperwork. But I did it. And a week later I still can’t believe that it happened.

My improved mental health reminds me that something happened, though.

And the photos I took show clearly how much it can and does help when I see what I am capable of doing and honestly believing that I deserve good things.

Published by loribarett

Coffee addicted charismatic geek with a penchant for tattoos, books, and listening to people tell their stories.

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