Living Where We Feel Safe is Part of Self-Care

Self-Care Tip #213 – Live in safety.  Be a friend to yourself.

In My Fridge

Image by Nikita Kashner via Flickr

I love psychiatry because for me it is a safe place.  A place where I am comfortable pushing aside distractions.  The blinking lights disappear and I don’t have to waste myself on B.S.  Some time ago, I told you about how Mom has been when Dad’s been hospitalized in the past.  When she pushed his tubing aside and just got in bed with him to hold him.  All that mattered then was Love.  They didn’t see the clutter any more.  That’s what psychiatry offers.  If we want, we  can come together and be real.  In twenty to forty minutes, we can hune and warp time and find a gravity where we breathe differently.


Image by Andres Rueda via Flickr

Unfortunately, I have found that the longer I do this psychiatry thing, the worse I am with life otherwise.  Whether I’m with the grocer, dog-trainer, my child’s teacher or person in front of me in the coffee-line – I just don’t graze well.  (See blog-post, “Do You Feel Pleasure.”)  I’m always yelling, “Hit it Chewbacca!” and we’re off at warp speed into asteroids of personal information; perhaps inappropriate to the setting.  (See blog-post, “Using The Force.”)  I hate to think what I’ll become when I’m more thoroughly demented and disinhibited.  These things just get more pronounced with age and soon I’ll just be that crazy Auntie with her bra snapped on top of her bathing-suit in winter yelling at the young kids to turn the music down so we can talk.

The truth is, I’ve never been so wonderful in tinsel-town.  I found home and found that home needs to be a place where we are safe.  In fact, this is true materially in the home we live in.  It starts there and diffuses out.  If at home we are able to speak uncensored knowing we respect others and are respected because we are human, not because we have to earn it, if we can enter our kitchen and not fear temptation from chocolate chip cookies, open the fridge and know as an alcoholic the wife or husband didn’t buy beer, argue and trust that we are loved enough to be a priority, we know the issue won’t be lazily passed up, we know we are safe – then there is a ripple and a ring of safety and another ripple and another ring of safety and soon safety follows us because we just aren’t interested in anything else.  (That was a super-sentence.)  We have found home.

Questions:  How do you define safety?  What feels safe for you?  How do you grow your circle of safety?  Please tell me your story.

19 thoughts on “Living Where We Feel Safe is Part of Self-Care

  1. I think I feel safest in my jammies cuddling someone tight, my husband, my daughter, my son. In my pajamas I am Me, especially when I am wrapped up snug. I feel safe reading, either to myself, or to someone else. I feel safe knowing my mom and dad are around and know they will catch me if I fall. Hmmm…I really like this post. I can also think of plenty of things which make me not feel safe, too.


  2. Love this post. Super-sentence, love it.

    There are chocolate chip cookies in the basket on the kitchen counter; I sit in my pjs at my PC writing all day; my hubby putters in the yard or watches TV…

    All is happy and safe in our world.


  3. Bing safe can become anti motivational for some and a haven for creativity for others. Every time I have felt safe and comfortable something else blows up. I don’t know how you can feel safe in your profession because being involved in the ups and downs of others can be draining as you have to remain at a peak of optimal availability and understanding for the people you treat. When I had my triple by-pass I was able to have a long philosophical discussion with a staff doctor. He said he was leaving the hospital to enter family practice because he was tired of seeing severe trauma and death every day. He did not feel comfortable or safe or available to the level required by his station or position. What I am trying to say is “Do you find yourself in moments of contemplation of these things?


    • i can see your point carl. there have been times, such as being attacked, when i didn’t feel safe. but i’m pretty well defended against that now that i don’t see men in my private practice ;). however, in my case, it is my temperament to hune and intrude and zoom lens in on folks. in fact, it’s relaxing to me to a degree because of it. that can’t make sense unless u think about your own activities that u do and have done even before “training.” as a kid, even. for me, i’ve always been an emotion-Jedi!!!! tee hee.


  4. Wow. Wouldn’t it be nice if such a fairy tale could be true– wouldn’t it be wonderful if every one of us could speak freely and be heard not to be agreed with, but just because we are important enough to be heard? I recently saw the wonderful movie “The King’s Speech”. One of the best lines– when the King responds to the question “Why should I listen to you?” with (he yells it) “Because I have a VOICE!”


  5. I feel safest when I am cuddled up with my granddaughter telling her stories, usually just before she goes to sleep. She lets anyone else read to her, but, I started telling her stories from the time she was tiny…some made up and most fairy tales told my way. She very quickly learned to add things to the stories as I was telling them so they become very long sometimes. And we talk about things that are on her mind – sometimes very deep and often spiritual. It’s very often the only time when I feel completely at peace.


  6. I absolutely have to “double-like” this post!
    You mention Star Wars!
    You are possibly the coolest person in the psychiatry industry!

    “Safety” is difficult to define for me at times. I guess sometimes it ties in with the knowledge that that I did all I could do within any given day…
    it builds a foundation of sorts for helping to make tomorrow a ‘safer’ and better day in many respects.

    (I was ”there” on the day the original Star Wars hit our cinemas in the 70s, scary huh!)


    • ah still a padawan? no. u must b jedi by now old man. (i’m pretty sure i’m older than u though – blah. but let that b the last of age-related commentary, K?)

      i really appreciated your “foundation” comment. thanks thys.


  7. For me, safety is having peace and quiet and being able to do whatever without having to worry about being judged. At home, I can be myself, wear baggy clothes, and yell at the video games all I want. In public, I’m afraid of what others think, which is silly, but I can’t help it.


  8. Safety and the tragedy in Japan. I just needed to share that Taylor Anderson, whose beautiful young face is on the internet, and undoubtedly on the evening news tonight, being reported as the first American to have been found dead after the tsumani, was a close friend of my minister’s sister who also attends our church. We have been praying for her as they have used facebook and twitter, among other things, to find her, and I would ask that you who wish to would now pray for her family and friends. She spent her last minutes on earth looking out for the safety of the children she taught before she tried to care for herself by heading home on a bicycle. She didn’t make it like so terribly many others in northern Japan. I didn’t know her but somehow her death has made this so much more personal to all of us who know her friends. Thanks for allowing me to share our grief.


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