Tuesday, November 19, 2013

enough is enough

there are times, like now as i sit before my computer, when i tell myself i should be doing more.

more what, you ask.

fuck if i know, but whatever it is, i should be doing more of it.

housework, maybe.

yard work, definitely.

running and general exercise?

the point is that there is always something to do.  there are tasks that need to be completed, or addressed in the least.  but time keeps slipping away.

i should not beat myself up of not doing enough.

since i started working at Costco in July 2012, i went from a nowhere real estate career and pulling twenty to twenty-five hours per week at the store, to full-time supervisory status within six months.  we finally moved into our own place, back in May, and are doing our best to pay our own way through life.

for forty hours each week i am doing the best i can to hold my mental, emotional, and physical shit together.  some days i walk out feeling pretty good, about myself and the job i did.  other days, well, i slink out barely a shell of the man that walked in.

when i need to hear it, i recite to myself the following affirmations:  i do enough, i have enough, i am enough, and i am good enough.

if any of those don't apply, then it will have to be.  because unlike in previous professions, i give all i have.  most days it is good.  some days it is great.  then other days come along and nothing works and whatever does happen materializes in a slow motion sort of way.  like a train wreck on one tenth speed.

admittedly, i do not run as much as i want.  the housework - which i do because A is up to her gills in school work - gets done.  not as fast as i'd like, but who can i blame but myself.

over the last few years much of my anxiety and self-loathing was born of the concept of "enough" - i did not do, have, provide, nor was "good enough".  i supposed that people projected these thoughts upon me.  it took a long while for me to admit that the only one projecting was me.  it was my voice saying such horrid things.  if anyone else had similar thoughts, they did a fine job of keeping them to themselves.  mostly...

here is the thing.  there are people that accomplish more than i could ever dream.  there are also people that do far less.  the point is that i do what i do and am okay with the results.

because sometimes enough is enough.

Monday, November 18, 2013

another piece in the puzzle of me

i decide what is toxic to me.  

i decide that what is toxic to me has no place in my life.

upon deciding that what is toxic to me has no place in my life, i move to carve what is toxic to me out of my life.

once what is toxic to me has been cut out of my life, a craving fills the void and i want nothing more than to regain what i carved out of my life.

while this may seem confusing, it is crystal clear.  the unfortunate aspect of being me is that my brain will not turn some things loose.  at least not easily.

i have to consciously not think about the toxic objects of my desire.

only time will tell if i will succeed.  as always, i have to think of other things.  i have to divert my attention.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

rethinking overthinking

The most frustrating thing about being me, aside from beating off all the admirers due to my ravishing good looks, is my tendency to overthink a situation.  Usually I am compelled by my subconscious to reconsider some past event, one that went horribly awry and was nowhere close to the resolution I would find to my liking.

I know these two points to be true:  1) I cannot change the past by thinking about past events, and 2) I cannot alter future events by thinking alone.  The past is done.  Continuing to reflect on those events will bring nothing new or useful to my life.  And the future, well, action trumps thought every time.

My problem is that overthinking is a compulsion for me.  A thought takes hold and rather than let it go, it tumbles over and over, like steel beams inside a cement mixer, clanging and banging, demanding my attention.  To quiet my mind I mistaken treat the invading thought like a puzzle to be solved.  Foolhardily I think that if I "solve for x" I will be able to move on from that thought.  Not so fast, my friend...

What I have to accept is that there are no solutions to many of these thoughts.  I realize that most of them simply circle around, waiting for a moment of weakness to strike.  Talking them out is no longer an option either, as I have broached these subjects in private therapy, support group settings, and one-on-one conversations.  There is nothing more to say.

However... rather than overthinking a subject, I ought to rethink the overthinking.

A few days ago I stumbled upon a new mantra, for when the self-hate or self-loathing or destructive negative self-talk kicks in:

This will not be resolved today.

This does not have to be resolved today.

Not today.

Not now.

Just for today I will put this thought aside and focus only on what I need to exist in the present moment.

This tactic is not me bottling up or suppressing my feelings.  More to the point, it feels like I am a ignoring the neighborhood bully that thrives on attention from his victims.

So whenever that bastard comes around again, I'll stare him in the eye and say simply "Not today, motherfucker.  You won't get at me today."

Saturday, November 16, 2013

vigilance has a price

I must be willing to give up what I am, in order to become what I will be. 

This quote is tattooed on my chest, over my heart.  Once I decided to get a tattoo, I searched for something that had particular meaning for me.  Whatever I chose had to be a guiding force me for years to come.  It had to mean something.  At least once per week, like a two-by-four to the face, this quote finds a new application in my life.

Give five miles more...

This quote is on my left forearm.  The words are a paraphrase of a plea made in the dark of a Texas night by a dear friend, in a moment that I needed to hear such words.  It was a moment that I wanted to quit, when I wanted to quit on myself.  Giving myself five miles more to mulling things over, over and over, allowed me to delay the decision to quit, till the task itself was done.  This quote stays with me, as a reminder in everyday life to not quit, when that is all I want to do at that moment.

Life is about decisions.   What to do.  How to act.  When to act.  What, when, or how NOT to act.  In the moment any decision may seem inconsequential.  Only with the passage of time does one gain the perspective necessary to see whether a decision was right, or oh so very wrong.

It could be a huge decision, a game changer.  Or it could be a series of baby steps.  Paper cuts instead of full amputation.  One leaves the sufferer in immediate shock, while the other is unnoticeable till moments or hours later.

Everyday I have to weigh options and consider the future impact of those decisions.  That is the nature of my job.  On a daily basis, what I do at 6am may have repercussions twelve hours later.  Literally, that is the nature of my job.  The past Me was often paralyzed by indecision, fearful of making a mistake or taking a misstep.  The current Me has to decide and act, without hesitation.  Later, in a quiet moment of reflection, I can look back and consider what I did right and what I did wrong.  Making mistakes is how one learns to avoid future mistakes.

The last few fears have witnessed me make many mistakes.  Regretful decisions reexamined and over-analyzed.  However, there is little denying that I am less who I once was.  I am becoming more so who I will be.

The worst part about making a decision - or even a promise - is sticking with that decision.  Turning words into reality is not one of my strengths.  I am full of want, less so of results.  My track record is abysmal.  I want that to change.  Fuck it, I need that to change.

I must be willing to give up what I am, in order to become what I will be.  Give it five miles more...

I want to make this change, but it will not be easy.  Not because of outside pressure, but from internal forces.  I have to repel compulsions, impulses, and basic want.

I want to drink, but I want more to not drink.  This is a simple statement, but it is anything but simple in practice.

Vigilance has a price, precisely because I have to give up what I am, to become what I will be.