Sunday, October 18, 2009

Steps and Phases

Looking back on my life, I see cycles - ever repeating, morphing with each turn. If I were to define it as a shape, it would resemble a spiral. I live from experience to follow through to lesson to experience - coloured by lesson - to follow through to new lesson.

It’s human nature, I think, to feel discontented with our lives. We want more money or less weight, more time or less work. We wish we hadn’t squandered our youth… Something is missing and we’re aware, on some subconscious level, of that void. This feeling heralds the beginning of my cycle, if cycles had beginnings, and the Dissatisfied Phase is born.

When I start feeling ungratified by my life, I hide in my addictions. If I have no addictions handy or convenient, I’ll create one. This avoidance encourages more unhappiness, which spawns yet more need to hide. Eventually, all of my ‘spare time’ is eaten and I’ve nothing to show for it. Then, all time becomes spare time.

Once the Avoidance Phase is well and truly established, it’s time to move on to the Recognition Phase. I’m really unhappy, tired and hungry. I have coffee for breakfast and snack on cigarettes all morning and afternoon. I eat once… at dinner… if something is made… not by me. I miss my family. I’ve fallen behind in all of my work. Denying and avoiding is no longer an option. So, I stop denying. I don't stop avoiding yet and I don't voice my realization. If I did, I'd have to do something about it. I can be stuck here, in self loathing, for another week or so. It's my own personal, self-created and nurtured hell.

I don't know where the breaking point is but when I hit it, I snap. The silence that has masked my emotional turmoil becomes charged with all of the energy I haven't spent. I can no longer exist within the confines of my dysfunction. Here I am again and I can't stand it any more!!!

I've come to my Action Phase. I speak. Words are power. A word, once spoken, cannot be taken back. A witness cannot un-hear. "I hate this. I'm wasting everything. I dream about change but that's not gonna make the change happen!"
Wolf's reply to this is in the form of a question. "What are you going to do about it?" (It's gently asked, not loaded with anger, resentment or judgment. Seven years is a lot of time to learn how your partner works. He's gotten very good at letting me get to where I'm going in my own time. God, I love that man!)

I once read a great quote: Be the change you want to see in the world. I've always thought the world was messed up. There is next to no community anymore. Heinous behaviour is to be ignored (not my place to do anything) or glorified (pick any hacker flick). My world is messed up, too. My world originates from within my own person. If I want to change the world, I have to start right here, with me. I know this, of course. I've learned it over and over, consciously since I was twenty-four years old.

A couple of years ago, I decided that the word 'should' wasn't going to be a part of my vocabulary. It was just a long four letter word. I replaced it with 'could.'
"I could be doing the dishes.
"I could be catching up on school reporting.
"I could have a shower, because it's been a week and I'm a slime-ball."

It was liberating. It made my active times feel good because I was choosing to be active. It made my lazy, avoidance times feel good because it was my choice.

Last year, when I went back to work, I lost the choice. I mean, I knew I could choose not to work, but that would leave my family homeless and starving. Had I made that choice, Wolf would have gone back to work and might not be here, today. I had a choice, I just didn't like the possible outcomes of taking the 'easy way out.'

Somehow, I've gotten mired again (*sigh*) in choosing not to engage in my life. I still believe that I needed to take 'should' out of my lexicon. It was imperative that I take responsibility for my own actions/inaction. I do think I kind of twisted the whole thing to suit my needs at the time, and now it's time to straighten out the kinks.

This is step one in my journey to recovery.



Not The Rockefellers said...

Beth, so good to see you back...missed you

change "could" to "right now I will"


Beth said...

It's good to be back.

Thanks Rene.