I’ve got a lot, but I am. I have been for years.
Sure, I can continue to wrack my brain, analyzing the hell out of my memories and ripping apart my actions looking for meaning, but that hasn’t gotten me any closer to the truth, happiness or to a level of satisfaction with who I am, my place in the universe and even a reason to keep going. It can’t, I’ve been lying to myself for a long time. I didn’t really realize it. When I was small I told myself a lie, a story, and I went with it. Then life became it, and finally I did too.
That isn’t good enough for me anymore. There is more to this world than these distractions I’ve been seeking and compulsively indulging.
My therapist suggested that I make 2 lists, one of the why’s and one of the what if I stop. I thought it would be tough, and it was kind of, I crumbled and cried and the self-loathing seemed to grow exponentially. But I had a lot to write and the ease at which it flowed out of me help me see that I have been ready for a sometime, but just afraid to step off the cliff and drop to my death. I liked the old me, but he was selfish, scared and offered only conditional everything. Those who knew me saw that things weren’t right, those who knew me really well would leave. My family and close friends were the only constants, and of the friends, only those who engaged me like an Adult, without judgement remain. And that was key unlocking the gate and convincing me to take the leap. I AM an Adult and it is okay to forgive myself for my past actions. Further self-judgment here is pointless.
The why’s of my compulsive behavior:
- Predictable outcome – good or bad, I knew what would happen and there is some sense of security in that
- It created a false me / them dynamic that helped me feel like I was different
- It closed me off from other people, which helped me feel like I didn’t belong
- It is wildly isolating, alienating and paradoxically not the person I presented myself to be
- Being isolated allowed me to indulge my thoughts without outside perspective to balance them
- It helped me feel different and deviant so not as good as anyone else
- Doing it helped me feel a sense of shame that I could wear and feel inferior to others
- It altered my emotional state temporarily so there was some escape for the emptiness / insecurity that I felt
- It was childish and was a calling for some sort of love that I didn’t think I was getting
- It was proof that I wasn’t okay and therefore not worthy of the things that others may enjoy
- It helped me get a very nice body that I thought would compensate for my lack of confidence
- It was easier to keep doing what I was doing vs. put the effort in to change
The what if I stop my compulsive behavior:
- I will save money
- My teeth, skin, and body will look better
- I will feel my baseline, whatever that is, and be able to get the help I need to adjust that
- I will improve my spiritual health as I become reconnected with the universe and the people on the planet
- I will save a lot of time
- I will feel my emotions clearly and in a timely fashion allowing me to properly engage and parse them for the information they are revealing
- I will be free of the anxiety and guild associated with indulging compulsive thoughts
- I will be able to recover from my fathers death more effectively
- I will be acting with self-love and treating my body, mind and spirit with compassion
- I will be acting more like my mentors
- I will not be harming myself
- I will have removed the monkey from my back and will have stopped doing something I am ashamed of
- I will have gain the knowledge of just what these compulsive behaviors have been doing to me
- I will be acting responsibly, I will be acting like an Adult
- I will no longer be acting in a hypocritical way and this will restore my integrity
- I will be thinking more clearly, my body will be functioning more clearly and I will be reducing a number of very serious health risks
- I will be in a position for find a partner who complements my life but does not give it purpose
- I will have a better idea of my actual worth and be able to take more effective actions to help me achieve my goals
- My public self will match my private self and any dissonance between the two will be eliminated
- I will not need to be living and managing two separate and incomparable lives
I looked at the lists when I was feeling absolutely crap over the last few weeks, picked an item and mediated on it. It didn’t take long for my chest to puff-up and for the fighter in me to come up to scratch. My actions are my choice so stopping is as easy as just not doing it anymore.
However, there is something going on inside my brain that this exercise was supposed to bring to light and my therapist was happy that it came out. I’m not necessarily afraid, but I am anxious.