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Saturday, November 1, 2008

Paradigm Shift

I want to make a paradigm shift. I find myself still wallowing in a mold that is unproductive and unwholesome. A few days go by and I feel ok but the slightest upset and I'm off-kilter again physically and emotionally. People keep telling me to be easier on myself but really I have become a needy, self-centered loser of late and I hate that in myself. The more I hate that, the more I tell myself to snap out of it and find a way to be a productive citizen again.

Lately, MS has become a convenient excuse for my inability to get my shit together. I'm tired, I can always skip cooking. I feel sad, I can always moan about it to someone else. Things aren't going well at work, I can blame the kids or the system. Honestly, the problem is me. Yes, I don't feel that well most of the time but this is my life now and so I need to find a way to accept it and quit feeling sorry for myself. I keep waiting to magically snap out of it but I am beginning to realize that is just not going to happen. It might almost be easier without any good excuses.

I keep resolving to myself that I am going to make the shift. I tell myself that every day is a new start. I remind myself that it's a pretty good life. Fifteen minutes pass and I hate myself again because I can't shut off the negative, destructive thoughts. Something has to give. I gave up the anti-depressants and I don't think I really got worse but I also never thought they made me better either.

I feel angry and frustrated with myself for cycling through the same miseries and pitying myself for the same crisis over and over. Even by writing this, I am wallowing. I realize this and yet I feel compelled to just keep writing it anyway.

I have been tampering with my own marriage. The worse I feel, the more bullshit, insecure things I do. The other day my husband joked that if anything happened to him, I would have to take care of him the way he takes care of me. The idiot in my head actually allowed me to say, "I wouldn't do it." Is that really how I feel? No, I love him to distraction but I curently hate myself enough to know that I wouldn't want to take care of me. In the past he has always said that I am a much better person than he is. That's just not true. I could not tolerate me. I wouldn't want to do the extra cooking or housework. I would resent living with someone who was always down or sick. I would also resent receiving nothing for my efforts. Does this mean I don't love Matt enough to take care of him? No, it just means I am super self-absorbed and self-centered. Yuck, I can't stand people who always put themselves first yet there I am. The more disgusting part... Although I have resolved to think more about others and take my head out of the sand, it is unlikely that I will really follow through with this.

I want a shift but I don't really want to do anything to make it happen. Probably shouldn't post this but...



Some of your statements:
...but I curently hate myself enough to know that I wouldn't want to take care of me.
I could not tolerate me.
I would resent living with someone who was always down or sick.
...I am super self-absorbed and self-centered.
Yuck, I can't stand people who always put themselves first...
Although I have resolved to think more about others...

Here's my thoughts, take them or leave them:
Before you try to think more about others, think more about yourself. Put yourself first. Become self-centered. Learn to tolerate yourself. Learn to love the person inside who is 'always' sick or down. Love yourself enough to take care of yourself.

These are things of which I need reminders too.

pat said...

Oh dear Nadja, your suffering is apparent in your post. I feel unable to address your situation, but I want to cut and paste something from a book I read long ago, which helped me. I am glad you share the things you do as I think once out of the mind and soul and on to paper the better. I wish you peace through this trying time. My next "comment" will include the excerpt from the book, OK? The sun WILL shine again for you. I promise.Hang on tight.

pat said...

We suffer from guilt, continually find fault with ourselves, condemn ourselves for not living up to our own or someone else's expectations. These are all part of the dragon of self-hatred. After so many failures, mistakes, and broken dreams we begin to give up on ourselves and on life. Some of us become depressed, withdrawn, and passive, accepting whatever life gives as a cruel joke that we must endure. Others, angry with themselves, become angry at the world. They become cranky and hostile, taking out their own misery on others.

Like fear, self-hatred is a habit of the mind, an arbitrary way of looking at life and at oneself that leads only to further mistakes, poor performance, and unhappiness. When someone else attacks you, at least you have the opportunity to conquer your adversary by mobilizing the body's defenses. But when you attack yourself, there is no outcome but defeat. You cannot win in a battle against yourself; you only create conflict and suffering. Instead of mobilizing your body's systems to defend yourself, you become depressed, passive and withdrawn.

Attacking ourselves is only a habit of the mind, a consequence of the way we learned to see ourselves as we grew up. We can always find many reasons to punish ourselves for the mistakes we make and the expectations we fail to realize. Like fear, the dragon of self-hatred feeds on our lack of self-awareness and skill. We strengthen the dragon by constantly reminding ourselves of our weaknesses and mistakes.

But as long as we continue to feed this dragon of self-hatred by paying attention to it, it continues to breathe fire and create misery for us. The secret is to stop feeding the dragon by experiencing your own inner strength.-- An extract from Phil Nuernberger's book The Quest for Personal Power (Full Circle)

Jen said...

And now of course "Practical Jen" will try to shell out practical information: Have you or your therapist thought about you trying another antidepressant? I'm really not a pill-pusher (I merely take an antidepressant and my shots at current time), but I'm just curious whether you would try another one with a different composition. Mine's a selective seretonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) and I know a couple of people besides myself on it with no gastro problems. There are several kinds of antidepressants-- SSRI being one of them. Just putting the thought out there, because maybe if you find a different one that correctly works for you, it will help lift you out of this funk. Sometimes people also take them temporarily to get them out of a rough patch.

And of course: love yourself, dammit! Ha ha...I love ya, Nadja (I still have rampant PMS and am highly emotional and lovey-dovey.)

Anonymous said...

Oh, I just got into reading your blog, and I'm going to like you, I can just tell.

Since I know you read mine, you won't be surprised when I tell you that I stand firmly against the "love yourself first" brigade and am much more of the objectivist, "get your own SHIT together first, then talk love" mindset.

That said, Aldous Huxley, when speaking of remorse as a pointless state, said "wallowing in the muck is not the best way of getting clean." So at a certain point you do have to move past the recrimination of the self and onward.

Your clothing thing fascinates me, by the way.

Diane J Standiford said...

Hey, girlfriiend! I agree with previus comments and will just add---self doubt/hatred/fear, is a path you have made in your brain; right now (I don't know how long) it is the path of least resistance in your brain; so naturally "you" go there first. You must make a new path, travel it often, and as I have suggested b4--embrace your MS, for it is YOU now. I struggle with having to be ok with my partner caring for me, even though I was her caregiver for our first 15 years...guilt that I can no longer do my part, self anger, but it is a new path and not easily accessed---my challenge is to keep it that way. Until you love/accept yourself, well, you just have a hard time seeing the bright side of life. I'm sure your guy understands, but always make sure he does.

Denver Refashionista said...

Thanks Lisa. I think you're right. If I can't even tolerate myself, how can I do better with others.

Denver Refashionista said...

Pat, wise as always. My mother said something similar. I am making things worse for myself with all the guilt and self-condemnation. One way or another, I have to accept where I'm at and be ok with it.

Shauna said...

All the things you say about yourself are coming from a "sick" person. Whether that's a depressed sick or physically sick is for your therapist to determine. But remember, a body suffering stress makes irrational statements. Depression manifests itself physically and mentally, so that what we would not normally think of saying or doing, we say or do.

Once you climb out of the abyss you may feel and act differently from right now.


Denver Refashionista said...

Thanks Jen. I have considered this and if I don't find a way out soon I think that may be my next approach. I too have the PMS, thanks for the love. Maybe once all the hormones clear things will look brighter.

Denver Refashionista said...

Thanks Ms. Waif. I like your no nonsense approach.

Denver Refashionista said...

Sage advice Diane. I think you are right that once I quit railing so hard against what now is a part of my life that I will feel a lot better. I still want to be the me of over six months ago instead of this woman who seems to find doing life so hard.

Bubbie said...

Nadja, I was cleaning my studio this weekend, throwing out anything that was cluttering my space (very cathartic) and found an old sketchbook that I journaled in from 1991. The account I read was very similar to what you posted. I couldn't "get over it, feel better, get moving" and hated myself. Not to say that it takes decades (it doesn't)but the feeling is almost necessary, in the way that you relate to yourself and others, to know the dark and the light, the good and the bad. I think it's the loss of our illusion of control. So much has blown us off course and without a map!
I can intuit that you are sensitive and enlightened in many ways. You will find your power and your strength through this.Love and be patient with yourself.