Friday, 24 June 2022

Comparison.

My last public post was on January 29th this year. If that doesn't show the headspace I've been in I don't know what does.

At the end of last year, I was getting up early every work day to have enough time to meditate, script, stretch my body and dance. Looking back, I don't really recognise the person I was nor the mental space I was in. I was motivated to wake up early before a 12-hour shift, four times a week just to have this little routine. My mind was different on the days I did this compared to the days I had skipped it. Believe me, I wasn't all 'love and light, peace and butterflies' on the days that I had carried out my routine, but I just felt different. Calmer maybe? My tarot and Oracle decks were being used regularly. After every shift, my partner and I would sage each other after our showers. 

I mean I can go on and on about the me of then compared to the me of today, in a way, shaming myself. Comparison can be effective, sure, but when it comes to someone who struggles with their mental health, life issues, work bullshit and just generally being an adult in 2022, comparison can be your arch-nemesis. Being on a growth journey is notoriously tricky.  You've seen the memes right?? Growth isn't linear. It has its ups, downs and static moments. That's part and parcel of it all. Sometimes you go backwards, which can be incredibly heartbreaking and discouraging. You've come this far just to return a few steps back or to where you started. Trying to be the person I was when I look back and think 'this was when I was at my peak' is useless. I'm not that person anymore. We've been through so much shit, trauma and heartache since then. We've evolved - whether we acknowledge that or not. Maybe a tweak is necessary? Finding what works for the me of today


Learning to care for myself, you know be a little kinder and understanding. Not compare myself to them, Kim Kardashian or even myself. Living in this world where you get to see the highlight reel of everybody's life is exhausting. Checking in with myself each day may be something more achievable to work towards a realistic expectation of my life. Who knows, one day I may be doing a very similar morning routine to what I used to do. But for now? It's too far away. And that's okay.

POV : I didn't plan this post. Getting out my laptop to go on Pinterest and ignore myself and my thoughts is a frequent occurrence. But I opened up my notepad and began typing. 

...

Thank you for stopping by, I really appreciate it xoxo

As always, sending you love and kickassery 😏πŸ’ͺπŸ’‹πŸ’–

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Saturday, 29 January 2022

Pick me.

It may sound silly, ridiculous even, but I am embarking on a journey of choosing myself. 

To date, I always put my self-neglect down to - not having the time, too busy focusing on this person or this person or work etc., too busy worrying about everyone else. 

But those people I was hyper fixated on looking after and protecting for all that time? They're doing just fine without me hovering over them and making sure they're happy. 

I have always thought that I 'always put everyone else first' and while that was painfully true for large chunks of my life, it isn't anymore. In spite of that being a massive achievement, I have come to realize that, yes, I am no longer putting others first (to the degree I was) but I haven't replaced it with anything. Eg: Me. 

I have just been wandering around aimlessly. Living without another person being my purpose is completely foreign to me. 

It's almost as if at every turn of my life when the option of picking myself was available, I have found any and every other reason not to. I have crammed people into the first place in my life - without them even asking(!?!) - leaving me behind. 


I have started implementing healthier choices in my life. Ones that solely benefit me. It feels icky, triggering and completely alien to me. I am really uncomfortable but, I need this. My soul is calling me. It feels like it has been for a long, long time. And I cannot ignore it anymore. 

Thank you for stopping by, I really appreciate it xoxo

As always, sending you love and kickassery 😏πŸ’ͺπŸ’‹πŸ’–

 


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Monday, 24 January 2022

Sick of my own B.S

I'm so sick of writing about having enough of my own bullshit without making any changes. 

I looked back at my old posts, my old YouTube videos, journal entries and guess what? I am the same fucking person.

Sure, I've grown. I've faced unthinkable trauma, fought through difficulties, shed my skin in many ways but, I'm still her.

Still not taking action in my life. Still not thinking about what I want from my life. Still not practising self-love/care. Still complaining about the condition of my life. Still going through each day on autopilot.  

All the while, doing nothing to improve my circumstances. 

In the last two years, I have removed myself from an abusive relationship (which was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do). I thought after that, that I would be able to return to myself. Meaning that inspiration, motivation and self-care would follow. None of this came to fruition. 

It seems as though nothing can yank me out of it. 

Even choosing myself in leaving that relationship wasn't enough to bring me back. To bring me back to life. 

It has gotten to the point where I am so miserable with myself that I have even Googled how to 'fix' myself πŸ˜”


Part of the issue I have come to learn about is my fear of failure. Which is pretty self-explanatory.

Don't try = don't fail. 

The other part is familiarity. I know what not making effort is like.

I know what living my life as unassuming as possible is like vs fear of the unknown. 

Like many people, I have been burnt. People and situations haven't turned out as I would have hoped. People have left me. Jobs have been crap. I've been used and discarded when I have no further purpose for people. Taking these things into account, I can understand my hesitation when thinking about bettering my life. What if I fuck it up? What if people don't like me?...

When it comes to other people, I give 1000%. At work, I am completely focused on who I am looking after that I, at times, forget to have a drop of water myself. I wish I wish, I wish I could focus that kind of positive attention on myself. Sure, I can hone in on my negatives. The things that make me a bad person, a bitch etc. But love for myself? Zero. 

And, hand on my heart, I feel like I have written/spoken about countless times.

It's like the worst groundhog day  e v e r




"Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results."

- Albert Einstein

No. I'm not saying that I'm insane. But the thought causes me to pause. 

Not trying, being goal-less, remaining on auto-pilot has given me my current and past experience(s) of life. Resulting in me feeling fairly miserable, to be honest. I have a great family, a wonderful girlfriend, friends, a job, a roof over my head, a fridge full of food and for all of those things I am wholeheartedly grateful but I truly believe that while I am unhappy with myself, I cannot be happy in all aspects of my life. 

I think being sick of my own bullshit isn't the way forward (it's done nothing for me so far!). I think I need to be accepting. To be understanding that this is what I have known how to do. And while that has caused me pain, it has potentially protected me and was who I have needed to be thus far. But perhaps I can let that part of me go now. Being hypervigilant, deeply self-critical and the thing that stands in my own way has served its purpose. 

Old ways won't open new doors. 


Thank you for stopping by, I really appreciate it xoxo

As always, sending you love and kickassery 😏πŸ’ͺπŸ’‹πŸ’–



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Wednesday, 12 January 2022

What happens when you achieve your dream?

In 2018 after months and months of hard work, pain, and tears - oh so many tears - I beat back OCD to the point where I felt capable to reach for my dream. I applied for a job and I got it. I was flooded with elation. After being trapped at home for four long, painful years, unemployed and imprisoned by my mental illness, I had been able to achieve a dream that had kept me driven for so long. 

So what happens when the goal is achieved? Well, it's three years later, still at that job and feeling unmotivated and backsliding. As someone who strives for perfection and is plagued by the need to be accepted by others, it is very difficult for me to feel even a little bit happy while at work. I hold myself to a very high standard so when I don't meet them, I chastise and punish myself. I do the same when I don't meet others' expectations. It's a very vicious cycle - believing I have the ability to provide 100% all of the time to everyone is not only unrealistic but is also damaging to my mental health. It's also crushing my spirit.

The feeling of achievement slipped away some time ago. 

Within the first three months of working, I reduced my hours and was feeling unhappy. I had managed to film two videos in that time and was grossly disappointed with myself. My mental health was already deteriorating and I had begun to fall back into old patterns. By my fourth month working, I was involved in an abusive relationship which had me keeping secrets and behaving in ways that didn't align with myself. The combination of the "relationship" and work had me in a downward spiral in all aspects of my life. 

I looked for pictures of myself during this time but there aren't any.

That speaks volumes to me.

At work I feel unappreciated and like my efforts are somewhat pointless. Unfortunately, that has seeped into my personal life. I have been completely unmotivated in all aspects of my life and feel as though I am on some kind of un-energetic auto-pilot. I feel that since I have been working I have come to the realization that perfection isn't possible. And rather than that being something positive, something freeing, it has been the thing that hurts me. If I can't have perfect mental health, what's the point? If I can't be praised for the hard work I do, what's the point? If others won't appreciate me, what's the point? My need to be accepted by everyone masks the fact that I am unwilling to accept myself. I search for acceptance from others as I find it too difficult and in some ways selfish, to focus on myself. 

Before I started my job I was the closest I have ever been with myself. 

This picture is from June 2018. Look at her 😒

My relationship with myself was blossoming. I was becoming aware of my emotions, accepting of my difficulties, and fighting for my dreams and goals. My recovery was my main focus. When I started working, I lost a lot of time due to the shifts which was the first bump along the road to my unravelling. On my days off I was/am absolutely exhausted and had/have zero energy to do anything. Over time the person I was in 2018 - pre-work me - was a very distant memory. I remember one day angrily thinking "I can't have it all!". I signed up for my dream, my dream was to have it all. The job, the great relationship with myself, good mental health, money, free time, hobbies, and continuing with my writing and YouTube channel. In truth, out of that list, I can't really tick any of them as done. 

By pushing myself to over-extend when it comes to others, I have paid the ultimate price - My relationship with myself. In needing others' constant approval, it shows me that I have returned to a point where I no longer accept myself. As a result, my need for others' validation is pretty much a constant craving. 

While quitting my job sounds delightful and I can pack my rucksack in a heartbeat... It's just not feasible (for obvious and not so obvious reason). So what can I do? 

Well, I'm trying to make incrimentle changes. I am taking my breaks. I do with those what I like - writing, editing, watching Netflix, hanging out with my girlfriend... WhateverπŸ‘IπŸ‘likeπŸ‘. I have started to wake up a little earlier on work mornings. Giving me enough time to wake up slowly, make a cup of tea and chat to my girlfriend. I have also started meditating, stretching and dancing in the morning (real talk - I haven't done this routine since just before Christmas but going to be changing that very soon!). On some days off when I am feeling like shit, I am trying any way. I get glam, take pictures, film a video etc. I am trying not to hold everyone else's opinion higher than my own when it comes to myself and my life. That is a really hard one, but I'm trying. 

I am trying to learn from the past version of me who wanted it all and made it happen. She was amazing. 

Thank you for stopping by, I really appreciate it xoxo

As always, sending you love and kickassery 😏πŸ’ͺπŸ’‹πŸ’–


 
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Monday, 6 December 2021

All this sacrifice and for what? | steps to healing

In a conversation with a co-worker, they mentioned how other people at work like me. Which they then corrected to "most people". 

For the rest of the chat, all my mind was fixated on was the fact that not everyone likes me. It made me feel sad to think that there are people around me that don't like me. I started thinking - why not? what's wrong with me? what did I do wrong? I bend over backwards for others. Often ignoring my own needs to make sure they have a good day so what more can I do?! Round and round the spiralling went. When the conversation was over, I thought "I don't like every single person I know so..." which then lead to me criticising myself for being a 'mean person' for not liking every single person 100%. 

But why did I take it so personally? While I am a flawed and unperfect person taking such things so personally is a daily occurrence for me. And this is - as I'm sure you can imagine - painful and exhausting. In the back of my mind I have always had a thought that if you do good, you are owed good. It started from a young age as - Treat others the way you wish to be treated - but it then morphed into some kind of self-torture. Where, if I am not exhausting myself, neglecting myself or making sure everyone is happy other than myself, then I am a bad person. 

How can a good person be gifted with good things? Where is the penance? 

I have wanted to know for so long why I am the way that I am. That’s a pretty vague way of putting it but in truth, I have struggled my whole life with thinking the way I do, and I’ve never known why. Logic dictates that if you’re repeating a behaviour/thinking style that is having an undesirable effect on you and your life, you change it. But try as I might I’ve never been able to get to the root issue.

Heaven’s reward fallacy.

"The "Heaven's Reward Fallacy"
manifests as a belief that one's struggles,
one's suffering, and one's hard work will
result in a just reward."
- positivepsychology.com

What is it? In basic terms, it is a cognitive distortion. And a cognitive distortion is – "Research suggests that people develop cognitive distortions as a way of coping with adverse events. The more prolonged and severe those adverse events are, the more likely it is that one or more cognitive distortions will form." While I do suffer from other cognitive distortions, Heaven’s reward fallacy is definitely the one that affects my life the most – and not in a good way. I had an amazing childhood. I felt loved and had all the makings of what a child loves. However, I was witness to another person's inner struggles and suffering. While living with poor mental health is difficult, seeing someone you love more than anything go through it feels so much worse when you are a child. Things I heard and saw affect me to this day. It was traumatic and the healing is ongoing. I began to take it personally if I weren't able to pull them out of their dark times. I would feel failure when I did everything I could possibly think of to show that person love and to see it solve nothing. I think this was the beginning of a belief system starting: Give 100% to everyone around me and don't focus on myself. That's what 'good' people do. 

"Heaven's reward fallacy -
expecting all sacrifice and self-denial to pay off,
as if there were someone keeping score,
and feeling disappointed and even bitter
when the reward does not come"
- Beck 1976

Sacrifice and self-denial are old companions of mine. They have been with me for as long as I can remember. Even as a child I would struggle with thoughts that if I do x, y and z, then that means I am a good person. I have always felt the need to seek out the 'proof'. When I have been in abusive relationships there was always an undercurrent of me feeling like if I endured all this pain, something amazing will come my way. If I am still kind, understanding and loving to people who treat me like shit, then that proves that I am a good person and therefore will be rewarded positively in some way. How dangerous. In all seriousness, I have tolerated such disgusting behaviour from people just to confirm to myself that I am in fact a good person. 

Before knowing about Heaven's Reward Fallacy, there was a part of me that felt it was religious in nature. I grew up feeling that I was drawn to Christianity and would carry that out in the form of prayer, repentance and stringent ruling. Around the age of 27-29, I became less drawn to Christianity. I'm not sure why, but it just seemed distant to me now. That was followed by guilt and shame as I believed that I couldn't be a 'good person' without a God or religion in my life. I now realise that this was because I felt I needed someone/something to hold me accountable. To judge my actions, lack of and even my thoughts. To keep a scoreboard. There are things I have done/said and afterwards, I think: "why the hell did I do that?!??" or "how could I have done that??!?". And I think that comes down to 1) my lack of connection with myself and/or a higher being and 2) not to seem like I'm playing the blame game but, Heaven's Reward Fallacy had skewed my view on absolutely everything that I have had no freedom to be just a 'normal', flawed human being. 

"No amount of self-improvement
can make up for any lack of self-acceptance"
- @antiloneliness

I have given so much of myself away for a belief that doesn't even sit right with me. 
In truth, I don't give to receive and I don't expect others to go above and beyond for me. Doing the best you can, trying to be a good person is enough, surely? And to be honest, wouldn't we say that if someone is striving to be their best self, isn't that reward enough? They can look at themselves in the mirror and feel pride and happiness in the knowledge that they are the person they want to be. As people, we aren't perfect - far from it! and that is okay. It is something that I find very hard to accept. I hold myself to an excruciatingly high standard where perfection is achievable and what I allow as the bare minimum. Heaven's reward fallacy has made me my own worst enemy. Making me believe that my good enough, isn't good enough. 

I feel that I really need to allow myself the awareness and understanding that trying is more than enough. Nothing and no one is perfect and doing my best is perfectly acceptable. I can only imagine what my life would look like if it weren't controlled by guilt, shame and punishment but having spent my whole life up until this point living this way, I feel I owe myself the opportunity to live life minus the obsessive belief that I don't deserve any good in my life without massive self-neglect. 

Thank you for stopping by, I really appreciate it xoxo

As always, sending you love and kickassery 😏πŸ’ͺπŸ’‹πŸ’–

 
 

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