Powerless


Well, hello, little blog. It’s been a while, hasn’t it? I didn’t mean to stay away for so long, but it’s so hard for me to untangle the twisted knots of perfectionism and procrastination in my life to get anything done. And when I don’t do what I set out to do, I beat myself up, which, naturally, just makes my perfectionism and procrastination worse…and this leads to more self-hatred and self-judgement. It’s a vicious cycle I can’t seem to break.

The only reason I’m here this morning is sheer guilt. Yesterday I complained again to my therapist about how I desperately want to write and be more creative, but that I’m paralyzed with fear. She made me agree to go home and write, and then text her that I’d done so. I had every intention of doing so, but, instead, I went home, lay down for a “few moments” and fell asleep for hours. The writing never got done. I felt so guilty that I sent my therapist a text in which I lied that I’d written for an hour. This morning she sent me a text which asked perkily, “Yay! How did it go?”.  Blogging this morning makes me feel less guilty for lying.

Part of the reason I blog so infrequently is because I feel that so very little ever changes in my life, and writing makes that painfully clear. All I’ve ever done is write and complain about being depressed, anxious and paralyzed by perfectionism and procrastination. I’ve started to bore myself. This time, however, you might be pleased to learn that I have made some changes to my life. First of all, I’ve started to attend a Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous meeting every Saturday morning. In fact, I will have to log off here in the next fifteen minutes to get ready. I haven’t started to work the steps yet, but I do have a sponsor, and it is helpful to be able to reach out to somebody who has very similar issues to my own.

I’ve also started to attend beginner Zen meditation classes because I know that I need to meditate to silence all the negative, anxious, obsessive thoughts that run through my head 24/7. Sadly, it’s been hard for me to actually sit down and meditate because my perfectionism comes into play. If I can’t meditate for at least thirty minutes, I say “Ach, fuck it!” and I don’t do anything at all. Story of my life right there. Let me make myself accountable to you all right now, then. When I get home from the meeting, I will mediate immediately for as long or as short a period as I want to.

The above steps I’ve taken to get better aren’t really anything new for me really. Hell, I’ve been trying to heal myself since my late teens,  but I’ve never gotten anywhere. I always fall back into the same old patterns. But this time, I feel something is different. I feel like I’ve reached my rock bottom. I am so incredibly fucking miserable that I just can’t take it anymore. I can’t continue to live a life which has had every last ounce of joy sucked out of it because I am constantly trying to attain perfection and hating myself when I naturally fail. I can’t continue to feel so desperately lonely and to crave connection and yet to attach myself to unavailable men because I am terrified of intimacy.

I am so fucking tired of it all.

I have realized that I cannot fix myself. I can’t believe how fucking “twelve-steppy” I am about to sound, but I have finally realized that I am completely powerless to change on my own. I have been praying to a Higher Power* to help me and, hell, sometimes I actually feel hopeful. In the past, the fact that I only “sometimes” felt connected to a Higher Power was my excuse to just give up. I think I expected the hand of God to come down and touch me on the shoulder or something and to hear a loud, booming voice say “Child, you are healed. Go forth!” Of course, that never happened, so I would just tell myself “See, this doesn’t work!”. It never occurred to me that if you want to be on a spiritual path, you, um, have to work at it. You can’t just sit back on your laurels and expect faith to come to you.

Like my sponsor said yesterday, your relationship with your Higher Power is just like any other relationship. You need to work at it!

* I’m not sure how I define my Higher Power. I certainly don’t believe in an old dude with a long, white beard sitting up on a cloud somewhere. I suppose I think of being in touch with a Higher Power as being “at one” with the universe and everything and everybody in it.

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10 thoughts on “Powerless

  1. starrystez March 23, 2013 at 10:49 am Reply

    Thanks for sharing how you feel. I relate to the perfectionism and certainly the fear of writing. It is hard learning to be gentle with yourself I think. Meditation is a good start because it’s not something to be ‘good at’, it’s a way of being. Perhaps you could see it as a time to sit with yourself and any thoughts that come up. Don’t try to avoid them or create a certain experience otherwise you’re setting yourself up to fail. Just notice any thoughts that come up, any uncomfortable or painful feelings. Be with it all. In time spaciousness will arise which will help you feel more aware of yourself and ultimately more in control of your life and addictions, if any. Blessings.

    • petrichoric March 23, 2013 at 10:23 pm Reply

      Hello, Starrystez. Thank you so much for leaving your comment. You wrote it just a few moments after I’d posted that entry, and I was feeling sad and lonely, so it was so great to be able to read a comment right away.

      Thank you for the meditation tips. You are absolutely right. I just have to stop setting such impossible targets for myself. Even just meditating for five minutes a day would be better than what I’m doing now. But I just can’t seem to shake my “all or nothing” thinking. If I can’t write/meditate for an hour, then I’ll just do nothing at all.

  2. williamx March 23, 2013 at 8:30 pm Reply

    You are absolutely correct in saying you haven’t the power to change on your own. But I feel it is important to acknowledge that unless you start the process of change, on your own, change is impossible. Give yourself a little credit, I am saying. Sounds like you are on the road to well.
    I like your idea of higher power. It’s a little like karma, I’m sure you noticed.

  3. petrichoric March 23, 2013 at 10:32 pm Reply

    I really hope I’m on the “road to well”, Williamx, I really do. I can’t continue to live the way I am.

  4. xul March 25, 2013 at 9:39 pm Reply

    I really must be psychic or something. I was just thinking about you the other day–my mind went off on a rabbit trail. I thought I’d check in here and Lo and Behold! 😉

    I’m a bit exhausted at the moment but I’d just like to offer you one little morsel that helped me get over my fears and anxieties: Do it afraid.

    I know it sounds ridiculously simplistic.

    Another thing: Just write! Who cares if it’s shite? I’ve been writing a fanfic recently. Can’t get any nerdier than that. (That’s what made me think of you…I was wishing I had your natural ability!)

    And just curious…is your perfectionism your shit or someone else’s?

    • petrichoric March 30, 2013 at 12:09 am Reply

      Xul, do you know that you’re a Buddhist? Your advice to “do it afraid” is pretty much what Buddhists say – that we’re always trying to run away from our fears instead of just trying to embrace them, and get through them. You are completely right, and I’m definitely trying to work on what you say.

      Who cares if it’s shit? Well, sadly, I do. I know I shouldn’t, but I do. Hopefully I’ll get over that eventually.

      What did you mean exactly when you wrote “Is your perfectionism your shit or someone else’s?”?

      • xul March 30, 2013 at 3:04 pm Reply

        Buddhist? Well, I have a Chinese martial arts background so I guess there’s a bit of osmosis there. 😉 I’d say more of a Zen-Christian, though. 🙂

        My question about the perfectionism is due to something I’ve discovered in my self-help journey in the past few years. I was quite a mess and tended toward perfectionism. Well, the root of it was actually my attempt at trying to people-please and get approval. It wasn’t my own expectations but those of others. And what was my payoff? Nada! So I finally got over it.

        I don’t know if anything I say to you helps. I’m not so arrogant to think that I have all the answers or any for that matter. Just offering a bit of personal experience and hope it helps. I’d just like to see you get to the root of your problems so you can go forward to something better.

        • petrichoric March 30, 2013 at 10:39 pm Reply

          Of course the things you say help. It’s always nice to hear another person’s perspective and to feel supported. As far as my own perfectionism goes, I wouldn’t say it’s because I’m a people pleaser. I want to be perfect for myself. I’m not sure why. My mother certainly expected a helluva lot from me, so perhaps that’s where it comes from. At this point, I don’t know if analyzing the whys and wherefores of my perfectionism will help. I’m hopeful that maintaining a regular meditation practice will.

  5. lifeismisery March 27, 2013 at 3:03 pm Reply

    Petri, the tone of your post sounds optimistic, even if you’re struggling. These things take time, and it’s no use wearing yourself out trying to reach some obscure goal.

    Listen to your inner voice, write when you need to write, meditate when you need to meditate, and sleep when you need to sleep.

    Stop trying to be perfect or making things perfect, things won’t be or ever be, and it’s egotistical to try to be. Just accept things as they are, and keep working on the things you want to change.

    Love,
    lifeismisery

    • petrichoric March 30, 2013 at 12:06 am Reply

      Hi, lifeismisery.It’s good to hear from you again. Yeah, I know that my desire to be “perfect” is all an ego thing, but, well, it’s easier said than done to get over my perfectionistic thinking. Thank you for the support, though.

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