I thought I was supposed to be transforming, curing myself of my insecurities, my self-judgement and self-doubt. I thought that was what this time off work was about. Well, that and writing.
So, almost four months in, I had been starting to flounder. I was feeling frustrated, desperate. I was sure that I would never be able to “cure” myself. That I would never get “better.” That I had plateaued. That there really was something seriously wrong with me. That perhaps I needed medication after all.
I worried that after four months, nothing had really changed.
Yes, I am calmer and panic less, have almost no panic attacks.
Yes, I know how much I can handle in a day and I do my best to make sure I don’t take on any more than that.
Yes, I recognize it now when I start judging myself.
Yes, I notice when my thoughts are whirring around in my head, making me dizzy, pulling me in. And I try, whenever I do catch myself doing this, to stop, to disentangle myself from their whirling blur and to step back and only witness them.
Yes, my capacity for concentration has improved slightly. And my sleeping and eating.
That sounds like I have made some progress.
Hesitantly, I allow myself a sense of satisfaction. I smile.
I was sitting in my garden yesterday afternoon, enjoying the early October warmth and a pot of tea with a wise woman and lifelong friend. I mean lifelong – she has known me since before I was born.
She advised, somewhat earth-shatteringly, that you can’t be cured of who you are. You will never stop being insecure, you will never stop judging yourself harshly, or experiencing self doubt. Anyone who tries to cure themselves of who they are will find themselves frustrated. But you can change how you let these thoughts affect you. That is what I should be working on.
That seems so much simpler. More logical. Eye-opening.
And actually, if I consider how far I have come in four months, I seem to have been working on this already, without really realizing that this was the goal.
See? Wise woman.
Thank goodness she came along when she did. Until she explained this to me, I really thought I was supposed to be working towards stopping all that negative chatter in my head. I had been reading yogic and self-help books, meditating, doing yoga, contemplating – but nothing banished the chatter. I couldn’t understand why.
Now I understand that the chatter will always be there. That I was working towards the wrong thing.
What a relief!
I don’t need medication after all.
And no need for despair.
This morning, I am redirecting my focus.
I am recognizing all the progress I have made.
I am re-thinking my goals and the things I need to work on.
I am course-correcting and considering all I have read and thought and contemplated from a different perspective.
I still have work to do, but I feel now that my energy is going in a more productive, positive direction.
Thank you, Lady Wisdom.
Searching for Inner Calm (July 29, 2013)
Nuggets of Peace and Happiness (July 31, 2013)
Write to be Fit (August 13, 2013)
I Dream of Panic (August 14, 2013)
A Treatise on Time (August 18, 2013)
On the Edge of Yoga (August 19, 2013)
Motivated and Inspired (August 21, 2013)
Another Yoga Post (September 5, 2013)
Dark Days and the Full Moon (September 24, 2013)