On Not Fixing What’s Broken.January 15, 2013 at 12:34 pm | Posted in Choosing Happiness., Crazy Talk (aka: Therapy), Mindful. | 8 Comments
When my cousin died and I went back to school, I spent most of that next semester in bed.
I cried a lot. I smoked cigarettes, I leaned on friends, I ate too much and drank too much and didn’t go to class.
I did badly enough in two of my classes that I didn’t bother going to the finals – because even if I had gotten an A on the final by some feat of strength, I STILL wouldn’t have passed the class.
My low point was when I got that report card in the mail over winter break. That 1.73? Shamed me.
And I decided that since Amy couldn’t live, I was going to live for her, and make up for my gaping weaknesses.
Since then, whenever something’s pulled the rug from under me, be it an ended engagement 13 years ago, or unemployment, or infertility, or Death – I’ve tried to Make Up for Things. Be a different person, work on getting better.
Like it’s MY fault, somehow, that my cousin died. That my aunt died. That we’re infertile. That I lost my job. That I broke someone’s heart.
I’m a Doer. A fixer. I crave ACTION whenever I feel uncomfortable.
I’ve done it with my friends, when they’re going through tough times. I want to FIX it. And maybe I can’t. But I can be there, all the time, ready for them to talk about it. I can show up at their house with a bottle of wine.
I do it with my husband, too. He’s in a bad place? I tell him to go for a hike. Or take a mental health day. Or drink more water, or get more sleep – whatever. It’ll HELP, I think. Just go DO something.
I’ve been so used to action, to being actively WORKING on things, that I don’t know how to sit with my broken pieces.
I know I keep saying it, but I feel like I have to acknowledge it here again: October’s miscarriage shattered me.
And my first reaction was to go DO something. Which, you know, I did. I got a running coach. I ran 106 miles in December, my largest monthly mileage in all 2012. I joined myfitnesspal, changed my lifestyle, and lost weight.
But I can’t really DO anything else. So I decided, you know, I need to sit with the pain. Because the only way through pain is to sit with it and really DEAL with it, right?
Except, left to its own devices, my mind has turned last fall into this whole STORY of pain – how I’m a big fuckup, my uterus is completely jacked, and how could I have possibly not figured it out by now? Oh, and by the way, Serenity, you’re fucking up as a wife, mom, runner, AND worker, too.
In a way, it’s DOING something, just in the negative. I can’t fix myself, so instead I just allow my mind to run rampant over my self-esteem.
Which is what I posted about yesterday.
It’s funny: yesterday’s post wasn’t SUPPOSED to be my internal monologue. I felt myself slipping, sliding backwards into the black funk, and the title “No Good” was supposed to be about how I still had no blogging mojo and the self-kindness was doing me no good, because I was still miserable.
And then all of THAT came out, and I started to realize, wait a second, I have this voice that’s been convincing me all these years that I am No Good. And holy shit, it has a hold on me that’s deep and wide. I’ve been feeding it all these years.
I think the fix, if there is one, is doing what I’m doing. NOTICING, first, when my thoughts take a bad turn (which they inevitably do). Realizing that my mind has nothing to do, so it’s making something bigger than it is.
Beyond that, I don’t really know what to do. Thing is? It’s not something I can just fix by hiring a running coach or logging my calories.
But I feel like this is Important Work I’m doing right now. Not fixing what’s broken; but not allowing my mind to create stories about myself that aren’t truth.
And maybe, MAYBE, this is the start of figuring my way out of this place I’m in.