I’ve pulled this post up from the archives in 2012 to show me, you, how far I’ve come. It’s amazing what a little (ok a lot) of sleep can do. Then again, it’s been 2 and a half years…something had to give.
Insomnia Isn’t A Good Place To Start
I had the worst sleep the other night. My mind was spinning with all the things I should be doing or I should have accomplished by now. I don’t feel like I’ve accomplished much. And so, I kept myself awake with thoughts of never getting ahead of never getting it right, of disappointing those who are depending on me.
The next afternoon, still reeling and extremely tired, I was having a conversation about finances with the Serious One when I had a massive snap! upside the head.
No, I didn’t wind up and hit myself or anything, rather it was a realization unlike any other. In reality, it was probably the culmination of thousands of insignificant moments that came together at that instance, hence the snap!
I felt like my head was going to explode. I fled the room, seeking comfort in my bed. After about 10 minutes and unable to sleep of course, I realized that I was seeking comfort in another way. I was blaming him for how I was feeling. This isn’t the first time and it probably won’t be the last. I realized that it is a pattern I have created and I want it to stop.
You could call it a lightbulb moment or an Aha! moment, but those phrases are already taken. The point is it happened and it was awful. The funny thing is I didn’t break down and I didn’t cry. I was too frickin’ tired probably.
Here is my truth at this moment.
I am a terrible person. I am a fake. I am a sham. I don’t deserve him. I hate myself.
Writing this down is scary. Sharing it with you is even more so. It’s often hard to catch the crap flying around in my head. The criticisms and judgments, the negative cultural messages that have become part of who I am are swirling around. But when I do catch them, when the Whirling Dervish stops for a moment to breathe, I am often floored by what I discover.
Most of it is extremely painful. Most of it is yucky and dark and awful. And I use it as evidence against myself to prove what I believe about my worth as a person. And I use it as evidence to be critical and judgmental of other people.
This Really Blows
How did I get it so wrong? How did I arrive here? Why am I so bloudy hard on myself?
If you know me well you already know this. And the thing is, I know it too. But it wasn’t until I was in the situation described above that it really hit me like a ton of bricks. I point the finger outwards. I deflect, I react. I am critical of others. And then, when I notice me doing this I use it as evidence to prove that I basically suck at being a good person.
It’s funny. Well not really. What I mean is, how many times do I need to tell myself that I am just great the way I am before I get it. I’m not sure. I know that I don’t do it enough. I have too much evidence to suggest otherwise.
The worst of it is if I treat myself this way, if I continue to chastise myself this way, how can I expect to get anywhere?
I wonder if this insomnia thing is a manifestation of how bloudy crappy I treat myself sometimes. The thing is, I am not at all aware of most of it. That really blows.
Albert Einstein has often been credited with defining insanity as ‘doing something over and over again and expecting a different result‘. But is it really? Sometimes, doing something over and over again could be considered virtuous, or of having perseverance. No Olympic athlete could have gotten very far without this. It could also be considered pathological as in perseveration. In my case, I know it’s not this. I don’t feel the need to turn light switches on and off or that sort of thing. But in my world, continuing to be hard on myself hurts more than just me. My precious little boy, my amazingly patient and gracious partner, they pay the price.
In my logical brain I know that it is handy is label ourselves with definitions to try to move on. But my emotional brain, my heart, takes all of the hurtful things I was told as a child growing up and mixes it with cultural messages about how women should look and be and comes up with a complete lack of self-esteem and loathing for myself. I know I’m not alone here. But that doesn’t comfort me.
Why is it that one negative message or offhanded remark can impact us so much? And how many positive ones do I need to counter them with to undo the painful impact they have? This dilemma is enough to drive a person crazy.
Turning Crap to Snap
What I know for sure is the power of those negative messages is strong. And I want that to change. I want to let go and to heal. But is karma getting the best of me? Are all the crappy things I did catching up with me? Oh here I go, looking for reasons outside myself again. I’ve surely got it all wrong. I need to let it go.
So for today I’ll stop with the judgments. They’re not helpful. Sometimes it’s useful to write down what I am grateful for. It might help if only for a moment or two.
I’m grateful for these things
- The sun is shining
- I have the time to write this and the two hands to do it
- My partner let me sleep in this morning! until 11!
- I feel more rested today
- OLM has come into my life. Isn’t he darling?
Thanks for reading.
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