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Wonder woman retires


Debi Noye shares how she learned to give herself a break.

I’ve been a workaholic trying to save the world. I am physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted.  I cannot continue to do everything for everybody any longer.  If I don’t start taking care of myself I’m going to crash.  I’ve decided to hang up my golden lasso, trade in my red boots for comfy loafers and ditch these tights and this ridiculous armored suit for some roomy jeans and a tee.  

I cannot continue to do everything for everybody any longer.

I’ve realized that I’ve never taken vacation and I have no hobbies.  When people ask me what I do for fun I look like a deer caught in the headlights.  I don’t do anything just for fun.  

As a young girl my mother expected great things from me and began grooming me for success.  Nothing less than perfection was acceptable.  Growing up I had few friends and was not allowed to take time for activities such as sleepovers or school dances. When I wasn’t working on my physical strength and speed I was studying.I excelled at everything in an effort to gain my mother’s approval.  Happiness, joy and affection weren’t part of the equation.  Being strong was acceptable; being emotional was unacceptable.

Being strong was acceptable; being emotional was unacceptable.

I’ve started to make some changes.  While I still eat healthy foods I also enjoy some ice cream and chocolate.  I want to remain physically active but I am cutting the training down to a few times a week and will take leisurely strolls. Instead of swimming against the current until my muscles can’t take anymore I’m going to play in the waves.

I’m making a list of some hobbies I might enjoy.  I don’t really know what I like because I’ve never tried anything. My favorite cousin is going to teach me to knit. My girlfriend is going to help me with gardening and show me how to make pickles.  I’m looking into volunteering in my community and I’m going to check out the classes offered at the local mental health clinic.

I’m starting to learn that it’s okay to do something for me and that I shouldn’t feel guilty for it.  Managing my own expectations of myself has been more of a challenge than the expectations of others.  We’re always hardest on ourselves.  I am ready to give myself a break.  I deserve it.  

"I’m starting to learn that it’s okay to do something for me..."

I don’t need to be a super hero to be wonderful.
About Debi Noye

Debi is a writer, a mental health consumer, and a suicide attempt survivor. As part of her recovery, she has found freedom in embracing her creative side (painting and creating mail art as well as writing), which allows her to be open and honest about living with a mental illness. Debi is passionate about playing an active role in the mental health community, not only as a consumer but also as a friend, resource, and advocate for other consumers. She lives in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.