I didn’t want to go to Eden today. I was adamant that I don’t need it, more than that, I don’t want it. I don’t like accepting the implication of my being there – that I’m someone who needs support because of self harm, because of suicidal impulses. But however much I might like to avoid it or pretend it’s not real, there’s no escaping it. I do need to learn better coping mechanisms than hurting myself, emotionally, physically or otherwise, and I do have a tendency to jump to suicide as an option when things are bad (although there’s a big difference between ideation and actual intent – I haven’t felt actively suicidal for months, it’s more that the thought comes to mind a little too easily when I’m overwhelmed). I also need to learn to want to look after myself, and to put that into practice.
So, I went. I was really hamstringing myself on the way in, I had already decided it wasn’t going to be worth my while, so I was far more on edge than I had to be. I was apprehensive as well – we’re a new group, we’re still finding our way, and there has been some confusion as to the scope of what can be discussed as it’s not a therapy group. I think that was finally resolved this morning, and I feel much safer in the group now. If it was group therapy there’s not a hope in hell I’d be there as I know there’s no way I could handle that, but now that we’re clear about what should be brought where (ie, personal issues go to private therapists) I feel less threatened. Do you know what, it’s only as I wrote those words that I realised that’s a huge part of what the problem was. I’ve been feeling threatened, by my ability to cope with other peoples’ emotion without absorbing it, by the possibility of being judged, by feeling worse because someone else’s situation seems so much more worthy of attention than mine……. It’s comforting to have had all that taken away. I even came out from behind my scarf!
Once all of that was cleared up, we were able to move on to today’s topic – food, exercise, mood, and the relationship between the three. Again, on my high horse before going in I was dismissing the topic because I already know about all of this. Duh, who doesn’t at this point? The intention wasn’t to teach us what we don’t know (I think) but to remind us what we already do, and encourage us to be more proactive in making better choices when it comes to diet and exercise. Of course, while the conversation was in full flow I was leaping ahead to my standard all or nothing mode – I’m going to walk every day. And I’m going to do yoga every day. No, even better, I’m going to start getting up at 6am and get back to running. Every day. As for diet? No more junk, ever. Nothing remotely unhealthy shall cross my lips from this day forward………..and on and on and on
Thankfully, part of the exercise was to commit to making small changes in the week ahead, and I know enough about myself at this stage to be aware that if I set the bar as high as all of the above, there’s not a hope of success. Instead of doing all of it, I’d miss one of them, and then decide there’s no point to any of them (that would be the nothing part). So here’s my commitment – I’ve taken my diet in hand this last week, and I’m going to try to continue that. I will give yoga 5 minutes a day, for sure. I can do that. And chances are, once I’ve done my 5 and I’m enjoying it, I’ll keep going. But if I decide at the outset that I’m going to do an hour, it just won’t happen.
The third part, which just occurs to me now – I’m going to try and go easy on myself. A glass or two of wine is ok, preferably just at the weekend. The odd bit of Easter egg (house is still sinking under the weight of them) is ok. I don’t have to be perfect. I just have to be good enough, by my own standards.
Was today worth going to? I think all of the above makes that a resounding yes.