My Christmas present to myself


As ACONS or victims of narcissistic abuse at the hands of others, we can be nervous, hypervigilant, and constantly feel stressed out and overwhelmed. It’s so hard for us to relax and just feel happy and in the moment.

Sometimes it’s the simple things that work best and take us to a place where we feel more at peace and more sane. We need to seek out and savor these small things.

The other day I received a gift card for Cracker Barrel. I have to admit, I love their country stores that are always a treat after pigging out on their heavy country cooking.

This morning I had to go have two of my tires changed and get an oil change. I hate dealing with servicing my car, but it had to be done. I already felt better knowing at least my tires won’t skid off the road, even though my car is 13 years old and the transmission is starting to slip.

Blasting rock music and singing along to it on the way home, I remembered my Cracker Barrel gift card and decided to stop by and buy a few things with it.

I adore candles and always buy those big scented jar candles at the dollar store, K-Mart or Walmart because usually those are all I can afford. Those are fine, but today I decided I could afford to splurge and buy a $20 Yankee Candle. I had a tough time choosing an aroma, because they all smell so great, but I finally settled on a new scent called “Silver Birch,” which smells just like woodsmoke and reminded me of a crackling fire.

I also love bath products, so I bought myself a bottle of JR. Watkins apothecary bath salts in Menthol/Camphor with Eucalyptus oil. The bottle, charmingly printed in a late 19th/early 20th century style, says it’s great for soothing colds and flu, but I’ve tried it before and it’s great for everything. It makes your body feel energized but relaxes your mind at the same time.

So when I got home, I decided to take a long hot bath, and just let the scents and warmth of the water swirl around me and bring me into the moment, only the moment. I lit the candle and placed it on the sink, poured a handful of the scented bath salts into the water and mixed in a little vanilla/lavender scented bath gel (cheap from Dollar General) in there too to make the water softer for a little moisture. Then I slid into the tub and literally sighed as I settled in. I lay there with my eyes closed for about an hour, just letting my mind wander and focus on the moment. I also said a little prayer of thanks for small blessings like this.

I nearly drifted off to sleep, but finally, when the water began to get too cool, I dried myself off, put on some comfortable clothes and decided to write a blog post about the bath from heaven.

We need moments like this to validate ourselves. We need to give ourselves little gifts every day if we can. If we didn’t get the mothering and nurture we needed, or we’re still surrounded by narcissists who don’t give a shit about how we feel, we can still give ourselves comfort and nurture every day in small ways like this

It’s not even necessary to spend the kind of money I did today (and the only reason I had it was because of the gift card I received). You can get the same effect with cheaper products from lower end stores. I always find great stuff at the Dollar General a few blocks away Their candles are limited in variety but smell really good. You can also mix a little baby oil with a cheap scented bath gel. At some smoke shops and other stores, you can buy little bottles of scented oil, or even learn to make your own (I’m sure there’s plenty of how-to instructions online).

There’s nothing like a long, hot, leisurely, great smelling bath to soothe your nerves and make you feel normal again, at least for a little while. And make sure you light a candle while you soak.

I’m still feeling so relaxed I think I’m going to nap for about an hour.

22 thoughts on “My Christmas present to myself

  1. Sounds like you had a good day 🙂 I picked up a few nice candles in a half price sale recently. I have parrots so can’t burn them downstairs so obviously they have to go in the bathroom. I like to listen to music while I soak. My only problem is trying to stop the dogs jumping in with me!

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  2. Aww, what a lovely post. Thanks for sharing the bath tub joy. Those are my favorite things too, hot running water and scented candles. At the moment I haven’t got a bath tub, only a shower, so it was quite nice to live vicariously through yours, LOL.

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  3. Wonderful post Otter, as usual. We all need to spoil ourselves in our own way sometimes. I love candles and salts in the bath. Love the relaxation, and add a glass of lovely red wine. Sheer Heaven. 🙂

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  4. Reblogged this on Marilyn Munrow and commented:
    Wonderful post Otter, as usual. We all need to spoil ourselves in our own way sometimes. I love candles and salts in the bath. Love the relaxation, and add a glass of lovely red wine. Sheer Heaven. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh my. Yankee candle mades a candle scented “Before the Storm” or something like that. I don’t remember, I can’t find it anymore, but it smells exactly like before a rainstorm, it was dark blue. Oh, and I used to be able to buy a bubble bath that turned the water dark blue. I miss those.

    I’m so glad you were able to treat yourself this Christmas. Hope you have a great rest.

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    • Oh, that sounds heavenly! Walmart has something like that–I think it’s called Rain or something like that. i remember some kind of bath bubbles when I was a kid that turned the water different colors. I’ve never seen anything like that as an adult though. Let me know if you find out what it is.


  6. I’ve been feeling burnt out lately and I had a bath with a candle and some bubble bath. It was a situation almost identical to yours. It really is a bath from heaven. It has been a few days and I still feel good and not burnt out. My whole view on life was getting so negative, that one “hour of peace” is what I call it, worked wonders for me. Disconnecting from everything and just being in the moment, forgetting all the many worries and things that have been weighing on me for just one hour has helped my whole week. It’s quite amazing.

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