FullaBella's Journal, 05 April 2013

A funny thing happened on my downtown walk the other day - I passed a psychiatrist's office. I didn't know we had psychiatrists in this one horse town. Geez, we can't have a Whole Foods or a Trader's Joe but we have Shrinks? How twisted is that?

Nonetheless, I stopped in my tracks and stood there staring at their shingle thinking 'I wonder if they take walk-ins?' I did not explore beyond that though; I had an agenda and it didn't include impulse psychotherapy. Good thing I didn't pass a bar though; no appointment required but again, there is an open container law. Shoot.

I'd forgotten about that until I dreamed about it last night. I dreamed I went into the office. Then I woke up. No answers or epiphany; just a reminder of the experience lingering in my thoughts today.

When I was in my 20's a shrink told me I needed serious work done to get rid of the crap from the abuses I endured as a child. "You can either do a little maintenance now or a massive overhaul later..." he warned.

Then again, that may have been my mechanic talking about my Pontiac Firebird. I drank a lot back then; the past get's confusing. Hence my goal to live in the present.

But I'm sitting here wondering if a professional could help me get over a nagging lifelong issue. For it seems, regardless of the progress I make, this ONE thing continues to rear it's ugly head repeatedly and continually mucks with my life.

However, I don't know a single word label for it so here it is in many words.

I always feel like I'm getting caught or in trouble or doing something wrong. No matter how hard I work or how well I do or how much I achieve I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop. The bottom to fall out. The crap to hit the fan. The storm.

Telling myself over and over again 'you're not wrong, you weren't responsible, you're doing okay' seems like false bravado whistling in the dark. I'm just trying to double step back into the light and outrun the demons.

While I have to tip my hat to the things The Thing helped me achieve, it's a pain in the neck. Always feeling 'not enough'. Waiting for the 'gotcha'.

Believe me, if I had a nickel for every 'release the guilt, forgive and let live, live and love yourself' book, article, pep talk or refrigerator magnet I've read and chanted, well, I'd be journaling from my personal yacht in the Caribbean. In fact, I'd probably be sipping boat drinks as I prattled aloud for the hired help to do the typing.

This was the 'thing' I connected today. The feeling. The uninvited, unwanted emotion.

When the ranting over an issue started again this morning I turned and voiced 'I know why I'm so defensive to your criticism. It's because I feel like I'm at work and being called into the boss's office. We keep going over and over the same issue and every single time I give you the same answer but it doesn't seem to satisfy you. You're not mad at me, you're mad because you're not satisfied. But I can't do it. These things happening are not within my realm of power.'

And as he took a deep breath and repeated the same broken record of vent as he has for weeks now, my thoughts wandered and I thought 'Yep, that's it. THE THING. That emotion. That deficit. Whatever it is, that's why I'm aggravated. Because *I* don't want to feel this way. I'm too old to feel like a child being called on the carpet.'

So now I know the why. I still don't know the 'what it will take to fix it.' I don't know if a Shrink could unlock the mystery gallons of Southern Comfort couldn't. I was hoping to get another 100,000 miles off my psyche before the overhaul was needed.

Maybe just the recall of 'oh, that's what this feeling is ...' will be enough to get the smile back in my heart and help me make it through another day.

So the dream must have been a reminder of mercy wherein my brain processed the forgotten event long enough to remind me today 'ahh... it's that THING. That's what it is and why you're reacting this way.'

I don't know if I can continue to outrun THE THING the rest of my life. I'd hoped so. But I wonder if THE THING is going to trip me up and send me backward, yet again.

So for today, all I can do is recognize 'The Thing' is still there. It may never go away. It is my weakest link and I will try to remember not to put too much pressure on it until I can get a welder.

And if you're reading and thinking 'I thought you had a degree' ... well, heck, I've had my driver's license nearly 40 years too but had to take Defensive Driving recently. I can also hook up an IV for therapy but wouldn't want to count on me to perform CPR in an emergency. Even education has a shelf life and according to the children's limerics the Cobbler's wife had no Shoes.

Thank you for reading.
Bella

Diet Calendar Entries for 05 April 2013:
1433 kcal Fat: 91.29g | Prot: 116.00g | Carb: 45.24g.   Breakfast: Egg, Gouda Cheese, Onions, Baby Spinach, Bell Peppers, Nature's Way Efagold Coconut Oil, Libby's Crispy Sauerkraut. Lunch: Libby's Crispy Sauerkraut, StarKist Foods White Albacore Tuna in Water. Dinner: Planters NUT-rition Wholesome Nut Mix (Package), Olives (Small-Extra Large), Part Skim Mozzarella Cheese, Roast Beef. Snacks/Other: Cottage Cheese, Spectrum Organic Ground Flaxseed, Spectrum Chia Seeds. more...
1996 kcal Activities & Exercise: Sleeping - 24 hours. more...

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Comments 
The nameless anxiety that you describe also dogs my steps. I used to drink, too, to avoid it. I don't drink any more and I meditate a lot, but it's still there. I'm in therapy and we talk a lot about self-compassion. The sessions do help me to speak more loudly than the anxiety - much of the time, though not all of the time. I also attend a type of "lay group therapy" where we all recognize that no one is an "expert" but that we can all relate. This helps me to relieve the pressure a little bit each day. I've seen that many women (men too but to a lesser degree) have this type of anxiety. Hope it helps you to know that you're not alone in it - we are all just taking it a breath at a time some days. Love to you, my friend, Ce 
05 Apr 13 by member: Sweet Ce
Yes, I think we all have a THING in our lives to tolorate life with. That's why my closet is full of tote bags, expensive or plain to help me carry my THING around in life.....just self examining here! You are not alone and self forgiveness and letting go are sometimes lifeless words. some days i feel like i am going to jump out of my own skin. take care of you, you're worth it!  
05 Apr 13 by member: dixiebelle49
And, I, too, saw myself in your words... there's definitely a pattern here & Angel you are definitely onto someTHING! I'm trying to be more open with my DH about my THING with sugar which is someTHING I've been avoiding for fear of him being critical, not getting it and/or trying to fix it. But, this time I'm prepared to try to explain to him that while I'd like to share more with him, what I want is for him to just listen & be there. I've closed this part of me off from him for too long, am finally feeling strong enough to at least attempt to broach the subject in baby steps judging his reaction as I go. That's my THING which in no way really compares to yours, but hope knowing you aren't alone, we're here for you & that once again your sharing inspires us all! After the playdate with our inner children & a game of baseball, should we introduce our THINGs?!? 
05 Apr 13 by member: Ruhu
Holy sheep dip; your THING sounds a lot like my THING! All the way back to when they found my five-day-old bagged lunch (with black banana) in the second grade closet, my burning shame as I was caught out; I had to have eaten a hot lunch that day without paying! So many things behind that abiding feeling that I did something wrong.... I've examined my past, my inner self, in therapy. I learned a lot and achieved some measure of peace, but some part of me believes I deserve that THING since it lurks in the shadows, never quite banished. I am my mother's daughter. I am smart, strong, and determined; have faced inner demons and banished them one by one. There is more work to be done, over time... Yet, still, that little red-faced girl lingers, metaphorically speaking.  
05 Apr 13 by member: crabby Kat
Love that your thing has a label. Maybe knowing what it is and journaling about will help prove to you what you need to know to feel better or let it go or put it in its place. I have given up on competing with my demons or let's just say I have beat most of them and have chosen to talk myself into feeling good so many mornings that it is actually starting to be true. Unbelievably I actually feel contented all the time - ok 90% of my waking hours. I feel crappy lots of bedtime because of leg cramps or lack of sleep but I'm mentally good these days. Thank you for sharing this important journal and I really HEAR you and appreciate how well you are doing. 
05 Apr 13 by member: Neptunebch
Without reservation, I will say that the most difficult thing I've ever been asked to do is forgive myself...I'm getting better, finally, because I now have lots of years of good choices to reflect on, but once in awhile, my "thing" rears its ugly head for yet another string of accusations...(sigh)...thanks to ALL of you for posting your thoughts. It DOES help a little to know we all carry some emotional baggage, and that we CAN get better. 
06 Apr 13 by member: Baxie
sometimes all one can do is write in the sand, and wait for the cleansing tide.  
06 Apr 13 by member: cerobit
Bella - I forced myself to sleep before responding to your journal. As you know, I have struggled mightily these past three weeks with my own personal crisis. I was run over by a steam roller (too bad it didn't make me skinny!!) of emotions, soul searching, self loathing, and introspection. I toted around "my thing" thinking that I was the only one who has had to deal with this or suffered in such a way. I am not. While I don't know of anyone in my inner circle that has dealt with this, there are lots of folks outside my circle that have. There are hundreds of people in support groups. There are even more that have sought the counsel of a professional. We don't have problems selecting an accountant for taxes or a lawyer for legal issues - why do we shudder at the thought of getting someone to help us with something far more important - us! You are dealing with so much. You have a husband to care for, a business to run, and family drama that has persisted for decades. Just as you have embraced serene and mindful eating, try taking a similar approach with your psyche. And it may involve professionals. It may involve talking about your "thing" with strangers. You would be amazed at how helpful people are when they are able to look at it from the outside; without the excess emotion. They can help you with coping skills - I call it "tools for my tool box". It may help, or it may not; but at least you will know more. We admire you Bella and want you to take care of yourself as you take care of others.... 
07 Apr 13 by member: RiverRes
What an awesome, thought provoking journal! I hope your writing about your anxieties has helped you begin to confront them and give you the strength to begin to confront those feelings that raise their ugly head from time to time. This was so eloquently written that I felt I was reading the beginning of a novel. The heroine was an extremely interesting person and I was captured to read more. This could be the way to fight the demon that haunts you. You have a wonderful talent, Bella!!! Please do continue to write out your thoughts. I think you might have a mission. We are all here for you as you have been for us. Stay strong, lady... I think your future is very bright. :) (((Hugs!)) 
08 Apr 13 by member: Mom2Boxers
I have no words of wisdom Bella, only that I hear you and sometimes that is enough, just to be heard. Getting these thoughts out and down on paper is a huge thing in itself, hopefully makes it easier to deal with when you can actually see the thing you have to deal with, giving it a name so you can put a handle on it. As always I stand in awe of your insights.  
08 Apr 13 by member: sarahsmum
Hi Bella! I too have no words of wisdom. Writing your feelings down can be very helpful. We all have days where we feel unable to cope. I think you have to have faith. Faith that day by day things will get better. I know it's hard sometimes when the voices in our heads try to control what we think and do but we need to focus on all the positive things and little by little release the negative. All the experiences we have had have made us the people we are today so take from them what you have learned and release the rest. I will be praying for you Bella.  
08 Apr 13 by member: chattycathy1955

     
 

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