I think I’m having a fairly serious identity crisis at the moment. Everything that I talked about with Therapist 2.0 on Monday is rolling around at the back of my head. I’m just off the phone from a spectacular meltdown with Hubby because I’m questioning absolutely everything – my motivation, conscious and otherwise, my beliefs about myself, about what I’m doing with my life, where I’m going with it, where I might end up…..

The speed at which time is passing is actually frightening. My working life is all but half over, and what have I got to show for it? Never mind my working life, my actual life. I’ve been living in my safe little bubble for so long now, I can’t actually tell whether I’m genuinely not ready to come out, or I really don’t want to and so I’m scuppering myself, subconsciously or otherwise.

In an ideal world, I would be able to make writing my career. I just love it. I love the energy it gives me, the response that it gets, the doors that it’s opened. I love the advocacy work that has come my way, the opportunities that has given me. But we don’t live in an ideal world. We live in a world where bills have to be paid, debts are crushing and choices always come back to money. There’s what I want, and what we can afford. Writing doesn’t pay. Public speaking doesn’t pay, at least not for me. Work does. Hubby maintains I’m not ready to go back to work. Occupational health agrees. But is that really true? Am I not ready, or am I not willing to give up the capacity this time off has given me to focus on writing, on self care, on doing what makes me feel good?

I had a fairly epic cry about all of this a little while ago. I’m so, so confused. I was on the phone to Hubby at the time, and he told me to write this down – ‘The fact that I’m getting so upset at the thought of going back to work shows I’m not ready’. But it’s so much bigger than that. Everything that I’ve learned with Therapist 2.0, all the knowledge she’s given me, is leading me to the conclusion that I was right with where I started all those years ago. The situation that I find myself in is my own fault. I know what I need to do to keep myself well, but I’m not doing it consistently enough. There’s no chemical imbalance in my brain, other than the one that drugs have given me. I’m not sick. I’m just coming at everything arseways.

My homework for this week was to look at this whole situation from my compassionate mind. How would it respond? The problem is I’m not sure there’s space for compassion in this equation anymore. Compassion belongs in an ideal world. We live somewhere very, very different.

 

This article has 8 Comments

  1. How would you react if one of your children was saying this about themselves? My guess is that you would enfold them in your arms and say “It’s okay, I will look after you “. Catholic theologian John Powell wrote “You don’t have to change, grow or be good in order to be loved by God. ” Can’t remember the rest except it went something like “you are loved exactly as you are, exactly where you so that you can …..”. Go gently and be kind to yourself 💜

  2. This could be something I wrote – the thing that makes me quesiton myself/be so hard on myself seems to be a lack of self esteem – NO ONE who knows me (or I believe YOU well- can understand why I am so hard on myself – I’m just off books having messed up 3rd Year in TCD, have no assessments to show for the work I did do – ran myself into the ground trying to attend etc. Thing is – I’m not well, have anxiety and stress issues, as well as mobility and pain issues and ignoring them, pushing myself was what I did because I felt like you seem to – like I’m faking it or lazy or too easy on myself – It’s simply not true – nor do I think it is of you – have read your stuff for ages and this inner critic we share is what leads to thoughts – critical of course – which then affect behaviour, mood and this then throws shadows on behaviour – the not doing enough QUOTE I know what I need to do to keep myself well, but I’m not doing it consistently enough. There’s no chemical imbalance in my brain, other than the one that drugs have given me. I’m not sick. I’m just coming at everything arseways.UNQUOTE – OK so maybe not a chemical imbalance but fact is that you are not well, have been depressed and very overgot for sometime – if you can’t be kind to yourself, accept that you deserve compassion and also accept that you do have health issues you’ll go back to the blame game against yourself again and again – I have been there, done that – you have to find a gentler way of being you and if that means being as compassionate to yourself as you would be to a friend then please learn that – I’m slowly doing that and I’m much the better for it. Good luck, Fiona xo Cathy

    1. You make so many valid points Cathy, and in the last few weeks I’m really starting to come to a deeper understanding of all this. So much so that I wrote this -http://sunnyspellsandscatteredshowers.org/im-me-not-broken-not-cracked-not-mental-just-me/
      I hope you’re doing and managing to be even half as compassionate towards yourself as you are towards me x

  3. I had the same thought about compassion and self-compassion..that it sounded lovely in theory but wasn’t really practical.

    It sounds like you’re blaming yourself for having mental health struggles but try to view it a non-judgmental manner..that yes, it’s difficult but that you don’t want to feel this way, that you’re being proactive by going to therapy, that the emotions you’re experiencing are painful and that you need support to deal with them in an adaptive manner.

    I realised that I was so hard on myself that it wasn’t a balanced or rational way to think..that I had to inject some self-compassion into my life in order to balance things out…that it’s precisely when things are hard that I need to be self-compassionate. If things are going well, it doesn’t matter as much but when I feel low, being hard on myself is like digging an even bigger hole for myself..that it just makes the problem worse.

    1. Yup. Everything you say makes sense. There’s been a huge shift in my thinking in the few weeks since I wrote this. I’m finally starting to realise how much of this legitimately isn’t my fault, or anyone’s really. A lot of it is just circumstance, cemented be years of believing all kinds of nasty things about myself. Self-compassion is hard, but the alternative really doesn’t work all that well.

  4. I can relate so so much to this right now battling something very similar in my mind. Thank you for sharing, keep breathing x.

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