Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Self Abuse

This post is courtesy of Vickie, Nory, Cindy and Frances. All these folks' recent blogs added to a big burst of insight for me.

I am self abusive. No I don't cut my self or pull out my eyebrows but I abuse my self all the same. My abuse is to my soul. This then translates into abuse (ignoring needs) of my physical self. I abuse my soul by hating it.

I consider my soul to be my mind, my will and my emotions. The following are the ways I go about hating my soul.

I can't stand the way I think. I perseverate on things. Round and round they run in my head. Why did I do this? Why did I say that? Why didn't I do or say this or that? Why am I compulsive? Why am I guilt ridden? I jump to conclusions and am impulsive. I think about me way, way to much. I am fearful and depressive. I am a black and white thinker. I analyze everything.

I don't respect my willpower. My almost super human ability to get things done and my inability to get any thing done. I can't control what or how I eat. I overvalue will power.

I am frequently attacked by my emotions. They blind side me with a club. I feel my way through life. Most of my actions are based on how I feel. And yet I try to avoid feeling because it is so painful. I am drug from pillar to post by my emotions. I do not believe I can control my emotions. I can shut off my emotions.

All of the above result in physical abuse of my poor body that is just trying the best way it knows how to cope with the struggles in my soul.

And...I have seen a light at the end of the tunnel. "Grace for today." Not for tomorrow or next week, just God given Grace for today. How many thousands of times have I heard this preached in my life? God only knows. I live mostly in the future with my To Do and To Worry About lists. Frequently I blanch and buckle under the weight of both lists.

Insight, insight. I am given Grace (strength, wisdom, humor, determination, peace) only for the current twenty four hours. No wonder I am overwhelmed and hate my self. I am living my life out in front of God's blessings. That means folks I am missing the blessings, and to quote Mentor Mary, "I am continually borrowing trouble."

When I live only one day at a time I feel peaceful, centered and happy. This peace stays with me even if the day turns sour . This is how God intended us to live. And (Giant Insight) if my soul is at peace I DON'T ABUSE MY PHYSICAL SELF.

So, what is the upshot of all that learning? I crave the peaceful feeling more than I crave cheesecake. And that's a bunch. I have begun asking for Grace for only this day and then I focus on today. I am also becoming alert for God's blessings in my life. When I get overwhelmed all I see is trouble and I miss my blessings. I am making my To Do list short. Three things that I can get done today. I am trying to think about what I am thinking about. If a thought cycles through my brain more than a couple to times I try to write it down so I can look at it and see if it is even rationale. You'd be surprised how many of my recurring thoughts are not. (Maybe you wouldn't) I am trying to run my feelings to ground and name them. Then I try to figure out where they originated. I am doing one thing at once. I focus on what I am doing. I let myself not think ahead. Most importantly, in the early morning I pray for God to direct my steps for the day and then trust that whatever happens (or doesn't happen) during the day is in the will of God.

God help me to understand that I am not in control, and never was.

Take care. Love Bea


Vickie said...

I think that there are probably people that read my blog and think that I can DO IT ALL - but I can't - and I know I can't.

I do tiny little things - one day at a time.

I focus on those tiny little things - every day.

Some days it is all I can do to DO those tiny little things.

Many days - it is much easier - because they are so focused and so tiny and it is just one day.

Vickie said...

my visits are so few and far between that I could probably name them all - for the last several years - on one hand total - ditto with the phone calls.

Mostly my getting out is my exercise classes - where I can sort of be around people with NO committments. These people don't know my last name - let alone my phone number. No one asks me to do anything and we do not get together. And that feels very safe.

I do three major projects for the girls' school that involve ME. No committee, no meetings, nothing but ME. And those start to phase out this year. In three years they will be moved from me to other people. these are analytical jobs - so I enjoy the actual work.

Been there done that with having everyone over or coordinating something - where as soon as the words left my lips I was wondering why in the world I would have said that. For me - I think part of it was because I thought I was supposed to. And I think a good part of it was because I never really fit in anywhere and I thought that would help. And just like you I over did it. Instead of picking something safe and quiet that involved no work on my part - I would pick something that heaped too much on ME. And then make myself crazy over it.

My son would point that out to me - and not only ask WHY I did that to myself - but ask WHY I did that to all of them too - as I was not very pleasant to live with when I was getting ready for too much. That was an eye opener for me.

I stopped so totally that I am VERY removed. Like I said - almost NIL for the last several years. I have to make an effort to be around ANYBODY. This week - with everyone gone - I made an effort - but it was a carefully chosen effort - one that involved no work on my part and I could have stayed for five minutes and that would have been okay too.

There is a big difference between going somewhere SAFE for a short period of time and building all the floats and leading the parade . . . and that is what I have found for me.

Cindy154 said...

This is wonderful. Staying in today or staying in the moment saves me. Just a little at a time. I always have enough in the moment. Like Vickie I reduce things so I can fathom life. And I forgive myself for not doing all the things I thought I had to do. I love how you can articulate things. Our brains are amazing. I have always had distorted thinking but I did not know it was distorted. Now, the blind can see, so to speak, and we can identify what our minds are doing. It is miraculous. And lifegiving. You give me Gratitude. SElf ABUSE is what I realized I was doing with my eating and my thinking. It was a major turning point. Self forgiveness and forgiveness of others was also essential as a way out. Thanks for posting this. You already know how amazing I believe you are.

Vickie said...

you probably don't have to give up everything. I think that I did. every person has a different path.

I had to scrape myself down to the utter basics and learn how to DO that . . .and some people would go nuts if scraped down to the basics.

I will add back bits as I think I can handle it. So far - can't handle much but the basics. I am a real fooler in that respect. someone reading me for the first time might think that I have it "all together" when actually I have a tiny bit together. but the tiny bit that I have together - I do very well.

so far I can only handle something like margaret - no risk.

Vickie said...

what Cindy said about the distorted thinking is so true - and I guess that explains what I mean - I have only figured a tiny bit of sure footing out - so I stay on that tiny bit.

Vickie said...

you might consider picnics while the weather is nice - no cleaning - easy food choices - a nice walk - your company.

Cindy154 said...

Picnic idea sounds fantastic. I cook outside on the grill sometimes just so I don't mess the I like the taste.

Nory Roth said...

Wow. Just wow! You have given me so much to think about. I really liked the end of your post where you describe writing down your thoughts and analyzing where they come from and if they are valid. This may be just the ticket I've been looking for to get me through a rough patch. Thank you.