Thursday, April 13, 2006

The butter melts out of habit; the toast isn’t even warm.

I am adamant that I remain engaged in my life.

It’s a constant effort. An insane amount of work to achieve something that seems like it should be no work at all. I mean, this is my life. I should be engaged in it, right? And yet, the struggle is exhausting. A trek forever uphill, and forever in danger of landslide should I get discouraged or distracted. And that can be frustrating: the realization that something that seems like it should be effortless does, in fact, take so much effort.

But I do it, because the alternative is crap.

The alternative is shutting down and doing nothing. And while I certainly can’t fathom the point of this life, I am quite sure that that is not it. So I live it, forcing myself through one thing after another, in the hopes that at the other end of each experience I will have been glad to have gone through it. I will have found something to embrace.

This is especially mind-boggling, considering that my life has no shortage of things to embrace; mine has everything a life should have. Not only are my basic needs met, but I’m lucky enough to be able to say that I have incredible things like a loving and devoted family, loving and devoted friends, I’m in a loving relationship, and I even have a job that I can honestly say I enjoy and feel good about doing. In other words, this life is overflowing. There is nothing missing.

And yet, when all is said and done, it takes effort to force myself through a lot of it. Or worse, I move through it by sheer force of habit. And that bothers me.

And then I saw my therapist. And she had a lot to say on the subject. Including:

I actually am engaged in my life.


Here’s the evidence: I do, in fact, care about things, and have an abundance of people and activities that I care about that consume my time. I like my job, and unlike many depressed people, I actually go to it every day and work hard at it. What’s more, I’m devoted to and work hard at other things that I’m passionate about, like running, cycling, pottery, writing... Unlike many depressed people, I do have hobbies.

Huh. I have hobbies. Who knew?

I do stuff. I travel. Wherever I am (including here), I actively explore my surroundings. I jump out of airplanes. Hell, over the weekend, on a whim, I baked a pie. I don’t bake pies! Well, I guess, now I do.

Her point was, it’s human to have misgivings about following through on things that are outside of our personal comfort zones. And yet, somehow, I seem to have an incredible amount of strength when it comes to pushing the boundaries of my own. As hard and as painful as it can be, it seems to her that I just about never don’t do it. (I love sentences with an abundance of negatives that somehow still make sense when you think about them.) And the more I think about it, the more I realize that she’s right. For me, being engaged and active in my life isn’t the issue. It’s that, for some reason, I seem to have a really hard time accepting the fact that accomplishing these things can be hard; that it’s human to experience these things as difficult or even annoying and unpleasant. It’s like, I see as a sign of weakness the fact that I’m experiencing difficulty, rather than focusing on the strength it takes to overcome that difficulty. As I always ultimately do.

I cut myself no slack. While I cut everyone around me an abundance.

Fucked up, no? Next time, we plan to examine where exactly this harsh treatment of myself comes from, so that hopefully I can start to turn it around... Ugh. It sounds long, and arduous, and painful, and annoying, and I really don’t feel like opening that can of worms...

But I know that I will.


Blogger e.e. said...

Shit I do the same goddam things.

Wassup w/ that????

2:16 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home