• Katie Hannon

Podcast Review -- We Can Do Hard Things: BOUNDARIES

In this podcast episode, Glennon Doyle hosts a conversation with her sister about boundaries—
We Can Do Hard Things: BOUNDARIES
what are they, why are they so important, and why they are so challenging to set and uphold. Within the brain injury community, boundaries are SO important. Being able to draw lines within social spaces, with family, in the workplace, and essentially all other spheres of life in order to maintain your physical and mental wellness might be one of the hardest tasks to conquer, whether you’re concussed/have PCS or are entirely able brained and bodied. Navigating those difficult waters is where Glennon strikes gold, encouraging her listeners that we can do hard things.

Glennon discusses the concept of having our own “islands,” and how we are solely in charge of who does or does not join us on our islands. By setting boundaries, we have control over who and when we are alone on our island or joined by others. In regards to brain injury, having a strong support system is essential in health and healing. But it is equally as essential to have the space necessary to do that healing. When symptoms are flaring and everything is overstimulating, being able to articulate those feelings and express the need for space is something that does not come easily to all. Glennon speaks to love and loved ones, and how often love is expressed through worry. When we care or are cared about, we worry. We worry our loved ones aren’t happy enough, healthy enough, strong enough. We worry about our loved ones hurting and want to protect them from any danger. But worrying is not always helpful. It can bring anxieties and discomfort that aren’t needed to be happy, health, or strong. As Glennon shares, it is entirely in our control not only who, but what we have with us on our islands. Whether that includes worry, fear, anxiety-- or joy, positivity, and support-- the way to do this is by setting boundaries.

This episode goes into detail about the particular difficulties with setting boundaries, particularly with those closest to us, and the importance of withstanding whatever happens as a result. A hard piece of boundary setting is the outcome and feelings that come after. When emotions, especially negative, arise from setting boundaries it is our instinct to try and “fix” those reactions, which is often an undoing of the boundaries we are trying so hard to set. When we set a boundary, there might be ripples or bumps in the short-term that we must endure to have the long-term outcome we desire. Boundaries enact change, and change can be uncomfortable, and that is okay.

One moment in this episode I think is really important to note for people experiencing concussions or PCS is the idea of setting boundaries being high maintenance. I know personally I have felt this fear of being high maintenance often, or that maintaining my lifestyle had a negative connotation in terms of being “overly needy.” Glennon and her sister break down the falsities within this mindset, and discuss the common fear of boundaries being reasonable and fighting those fears. I highly recommend Glennon’s podcast at large, but specifically this episode on boundaries, as it helped me change my viewpoints on self-care and self-worth, particularly in relation to my brain health.



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