Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Forward Movement

"[The spiritual journey] keeps us moving toward instead of away from. Even when it drags into view our deepest and most shameful wounds, our most fiercely guarded secrets, it does so in the service of that forward movement, that progress toward the light. Without seeing ourselves as we are, we can never see ourselves as we were meant to be."
~ Paula Huston in The Holy Way

I'm trying to accept where I am on the journey today, doing good self care while being right here, knowing how I feel today is not a lifetime sentence. I feel a bit adrift. The old coping mechanisms, the old defenses not only never took me to a healthy place, but I have a new way of seeing that makes running back to them pointless. Well, unless I want another lesson on just why they don't work. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Knowing that doesn't stop insanity looking rather attractive some days though.

One of my biggest hurdles lately has been "awfulizing". I took several sessions of Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy in treatment and awfulizing is that thing I do when, for example, the guys are late coming home and I have their funeral planned and everything, while they just decided to stop for coffee and there really was no car crash. The kind of thing that has me jumping to conclusions effortlessly, conclusions not based on reality. I've been battling that lately. Stopping it really, as soon as I realize I've gone there again. I am thankful that I don't expect myself to not go there, that bit of perfectionism is dying, thank God. And I am also thankful for the grace to recognize the pattern when it starts. But it requires a constant monitoring of my thinking that feels exhausting. I have a friend who used to say to me "Hope, worry about how things are, not how they seem to be." I need to phone her and tell her that after a good 7 years of telling me that, I get it now.

How things are has so much less drama.

A week ago I had my interview at the sexual abuse counseling centre and I can trace my mood nose diving since then. I feel very vulnerable and curling up in a ball pulls at me. I've wrested with several days of sloppy self care. I've had to force myself to do those things that are pivotal if I don't want to relapse. Do my reading, prayer, meditation. Shower, get dressed, eat healthy, exercise. This is where the journey gets rocky. Investing all my energy on doing the simple things that will help my journey move forward instead of stagnating in old ruts. My family doctor assured me yesterday that the people he's known who go through the whole counseling process at this center come out of it being able to cope much better with what life throws at them. Their ability to cope with how things are improves drastically.

Okay now that I've got that out of my system I can look again at how things are, instead of fixating on how they might be in the unkown future.
Thanks for listening.


Anonymous said...

Holy jumpin' catfish, Hopey, you've done it again. You went and put a name to that overblown-crisis-creating-imagination thing that I do. "Awfulizing"... there it is. I have to consciously tell myself to get a grip.

In the back of my mind, I know that this is a coping mechanism because of past upsets/fears. If I expect the worse, somehow, stupidly:

a) I think I'm preparing myself
b) if the worst doesn't happen, I get to feel relieved.

Yes, it is important to "see ourselves as we are" in order to be able to, one day, "see ourselves as we were meant to be." Thank you, dear Hope.

"Knowing that doesn't stop insanity looking rather attractive some days though."

LOL. Yup.


Hope said...

I didn't coin the term - it was given to us in treatment "awfulizing". I've had such practice at doing it too. :)

Poor Mad Peter said...

I've heard it as "catastrophisizing", and have struggled with it all my life.

Sue said...

'Awfulizing', I love that! It explains it all so well. I have been guilty of the same a time or two and looking back I can see how irrational it was, but while you're in the midst of it it just seems like you are preparing yourself emotionally. Meanwhile I've wasted all this time and energy on something that never happens. sheesh!

onionboy said...

I can look again at how things are, instead of fixating on how they might be in the unknown future. --

For different reasons, exactly the space I am in.

O | luminousmiseries.ca | onionboy.ca

Grace, Every Day said...

'Awfulizing' - new to me, as well. I like it.

It's hard to adjust to living without drama; for me, that's what 'awfulizing' is - creating drama to get your adrenaline in place to drive me forward, to make me FEEL something, to create a poor excuse for what feels like being 'truly alive'. It is so hard to accept settled, quiet peace as a reality - but I'm getting there.

Thanks for sharing your process - it helps me!

daisymarie said...

ah, awfulizing: my old friend.
i hate it. i do it. it wastes so many spoons. (insert deep knowing sigh)

i need to check my self care...thanks.

you're so good to know! ")