Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Winning the battles

Just a picture of me.  Excited I haven't succumbed to scissors-to-the-hair, and that it's getting long.  Finally.

I know I talk about my mental health.  A. LOT.  And I'm not going to stop any time soon.  I also know I'm all over the map with regards to what helps, what I think is helping, and what helps for a minute.  Until I figure this shit out, that's how I'll continue to roll.

I read a quote about a month ago and I felt it so deeply, I wrote it in my journal in big letters, scrawled across the whole page.
"Peace is the result of retraining your mind to process life as it is, rather than as you think it should be.  ~Dr. Wayne Dyer
I also saw something on Twitter that I loved, and it said 



Ok, so with the quote about peace firmly in my psyche and this other little gem about a new direction, I decided to merge the two together.  For 37 years and some change, I have been at war with myself, fighting between what I think I should be doing, and what I actually want to be doing.  "Rules" that have been imposed by society grip me tight around my chest, because sometimes what my soul is telling me to do is not what society says I should be doing.  I haven't been able to breathe...  

Until now.

I'll give you an example:  Sleep.

I was shamed for napping in my marriage so much that it's taken a couple years for me to allow myself to enjoy a nap and not feel guilty about it.  To sleep is to be lazy.  It's to be unproductive.  To sleep is to be unfair to the rest of the world who is not sleeping.  

So lately (and I brought this up not long ago) I have found myself glued to the bed after the kids leave for school.  Before my E.N.D. I would go back to bed and sleep for a couple of hours, waking with the dreaded internal war, because Shame on me I was sleeping when I should have been doing SOMETHING.  Shame on me for being so lazy.  Shame on me for not trying harder.  And that's how I would start my day.  Feeling ashamed for being a slovenly piece of no-good shit.

So when I decided to end the war, to surrender to what my soul needed instead of what society's "shoulds" demanded, that war gradually ceased-fire.  If my body tells me to go back to bed, that's what I do.  I keep the room dark, turn on a fan for background noise, snuggle into the most comfortable bed ever, set my alarm for whenever, and I allow myself to finish charging my batteries.  When I wake up I lay there for a few minutes, enjoying the natural unfolding of my day.  

I need sleep, and LOTS of it.  I am taking the time I need at this moment to allow that sleep to happen.  Maybe it's a phase and it's just something I will "grow out of."  Maybe it's my body's way of healing after the stress of the past few years.  Maybe trusting my body and my soul is the best thing I could be doing for myself right now.

Exercising - oh the guilt that comes with the whole exercise thing!!  My internal war when it comes to exercise and body image is a brutally bloody massacre.  It's one of the worst, most ugly, longest wars in my history.  I want to look good.  I want to feel good.  BUT - I should accept myself the way I am. I should exercise.  I have zero motivation to exercise.  But I want to look and feel good.  But but but but


I have a few ways I've almost completely ended the exercise war.  First and most importantly, I run because it helps with my depression, not because the end result will be a great ass.  I get at least twenty minutes in, and if I'm not feeling it on a particular day, I keep it nice and slow.  But I do it.  I've been running two days a week for a few weeks now.  Two days a week is no marathon, and I'm very aware of that.  What I'm more aware of is, I've been running two days a week and that's a big fucking accomplishment for me.

My inner dialogue changed as well.  As soon as I changed "Fuuuuuuuck I don't want to go to the gym today," into "I can't wait to go for a run today!" my attitude and motivation changed.  BAM!  Just like that.  I say it and I mean it, because I know that sometimes just getting into the door deserves applause in my little world.  It's about walking over the dead parts of my soul that have been sacrificed in the decades-long war.   It is progress and it feels wonderful.

I'm taking such baby steps it's a wonder I'm getting anywhere.  But baby steps towards inner peace and a healthier me is proving to be so much better than leaps in the completely wrong direction.  I am retraining my mind to process my life as it is, not as I (or society) think it should be.

I have surrendered to the needs of my soul and am waving the white flag of peace.

I am finally learning to breathe...


Stacia said...

I can relate on the nap thing, as an ex I lived with would crucify me for napping, and even resorting to flipping the couch when he caught me. That was 5 years ago, and now....naps are in! Glad you are writing!!

Steve said...

Kim, I am proud of you! Your story reminded me of a couple quotes I'd like to share with you. "The number one cause of pain and suffering in the world today is failure to accept what is" and, "Don't should on yourself." You may not realize it but it takes a lot of courage to to do what you're doing, at least in my mind it does.One more quote. "When in doubt, follow your heart."