Self-destruction

Lately I’ve been feeling very torn. I want a lot in my life and most of what I have now isn’t right. I’ve always found it easy to blame people or circumstance for my life being so far from ideal. Recently I’ve begun to realise that I only have myself to blame.

I am the best excuse-maker in the world. I am slack, lazy. I have no willpower. Most bad stuff that happens, it’s my fault. No, seriously, it’s true. And it’s all because I can’t put my foot down, draw a line. I always have these grand plans, intentions, but they never work out. I can’t pull myself out of my laziness! I am in self-destruct mode.

I am not sure how long I’ve been in self-destruct mode. My whole life? It may even be my natural state. I waste so much time. And then I get stressed because I didn’t achieve anything the whole day. And Mr Chewbacca gets pissed off because he can’t understand why I haven’t done stuff.

My ideal day would involve a healthy breakfast and lunch, home made of course. I would enjoy those meals with my son. We’d do a bit of playing and I’d really be with him, not distracted by anything. He would go down for a nap for an hour during which time I’d meditate and do some yoga and perhaps have my shower quickly. I’d know what I was cooking for dinner and I’d have it ready when Mr Chewbacca gets in so we could all eat together. If the Dude wouldn’t have his nap in bed, I’d put him on my back and read while he sleeps. We may go for a walk with the pram. Some days I would iron some shirts. Others I’d do some cleaning if possible, the bathroom, kitchen. If I had time and Dude was happy I’d try to get some writing done. Okay so this is sounding very domestic housewife-ish and that wasn’t the intention.

What I really want to get across is how much I hate what I do, how I behave, and how self-destructive it is. Yet I feel powerless to take control and change. Because what would I do instead? Currently my day involves getting up and getting the Dude breakfast and just coffee for me. I turn on some crap on the Lifestyle channel like How to Look Good Naked or Sex and the City or Trinny and Susannah and I feed the Dude while he wreaks havoc pulling everything out of drawers and cupboards and I sip my coffee and look at crap on my phone instead of the tv. The Dude plays and I engage with him here and there. I usually make some toast eventually but pretty much stay on or near the couch most of the morning dealing with the Dude, feeding him when he’s hungry and half watching the tv. If he’s not tired, I shower while he plays in the hall. I can’t let him in the bathroom while I shower because he’ll destroy everything. He’s usually happy to play outside and will keep busy by pulling everything off his change table shelves or out of any drawers he can open. He might go into the laundry and turn the washing machine on and off a few hundred times.

Once showered I might feed Dude again and take him for a walk or drive if I have an errand to run or if not he might fall asleep in my arms. I never put him to sleep in bed during the day any more. It just takes too long and often doesn’t happen. If he is really restless and I’m not feeling energetic enough to walk I will put him on my back in the ergo. This never fails to get him to sleep provided there’s not too much noise and I’m moving around. Lately, or at least last week, I’ve actually turned the volume down low, put subtitles on and played Grand Theft Auto on the xbox! Oh the shame in admitting that!! But it’s true. What a loser.

Anyway, while watching mindless tv, playing stupid games or facebooking is entertaining and all, I don’t think any of that is even remotely healthy or constructive. It’s achieving zero for me in my life. If anything it’s actually zapping energy. In fact I think I choose those activities deliberately as they will zap energy faster and more effectively than anything else. The question is, why do I want to rid myself of valuable energy with nothing to show for it? Why don’t I choose activities that at least achieve something positive?

I don’t really know the answer but I am willing to find out. I want to be excited about my day because it’s fulfilling and another step toward a fantastic goal. I want to achieve. And the insane thing is that I’m not one of these stay at home mums with enough money to do it. We are really struggling financially and it would make a huge difference if I did some work and brought in some money. So I really shouldn’t be wasting time for that reason as well.

I’d like to do something about moving forward and I know it won’t be easy because I haven’t been successful in making change happen in my life many times to date. But I must at least try. So I’ve decided to get started, albeit six months late, on this fantastic Simplify Your Life challenge from the awesome Home Life Simplified blog. I don’t know how I’ll cram 12 months worth of simplification into six but I’m not focusing on that because I don’t think it matters. It’s about whether I actually effect change. The other thing that has coincided nicely is that I’m finally reading Louise L Hay’s You Can Heal Your Life. Her philosophies make sense to me and I’m willing to be open to the process. Some of what I’ve read in the first three chapters has made me cry; and some of it has frustrated and confused me. I don’t ever remember my parents telling me anything negative and I’m not sure if I think I’m good enough or not. But as I said, I’m open and willing to make this change. It may take time to make total sense.

I am apprehensive because I start a lot of things and don’t finish them (in fact that’s one aspect of my behaviour that I’d like to change) but I am focusing on now as much as possible. And we will see what happens.

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Concealment, diversion and truth

I had a friend growing up who was a compulsive liar. I knew her from about age six to age 14. Everything out of this girl’s mouth was questionable, so much so that when she told me about the mechanics of sex (one of the only things she was honest about, having witnessed it first hand in her mother’s bed, I later discovered), I didn’t believe her. I almost believed her when she told me there were flying, magical My Little Pony unicorns living in the hedge at the end of my street. I was suspicious when she told me it would be quite acceptable to steal some cool pink rubber stamps from the newsagent. I held the ones she and another girl stole while they went on the swings to celebrate their thievery. She forgot I had them in my pocket and I kept them. But I told my mum what she’d done and that I’d refused. My mum later told me that when she confronted this girl’s mum to tell her about the awful thing her daughter had done, she just laughed. She then proceeded to boast about all the ‘free’ furniture and whitegoods she’d acquired by being sneaky, lying and generally manipulating anyone expecting payment. She lied too, and stole, and was proud of it.

I recently spent a lovely weekend at a close friend’s and we got to talking in depth about my issues. She was obviously curious about it all as we’ve talked before about my general unhappiness with my weight and my inability to eat consistently well. She’s a very intelligent woman and we’ve known each other for about 22 years so there isn’t much we can’t discuss. We chatted about making choices to eat badly and I reiterated that my bad eating habits have almost nothing to do with meals or appetite. She was suggesting ways of choosing healthier options but I explained that even if I ate healthy meals, which I do, more or less, I’d still eat crap because it has nothing to do with satisfying that physical hunger and the urge to eat crap doesn’t go away with my physical hunger. It certainly makes it less intense though.

Eventually she came to a conclusion I came to years ago: find something you’re passionate about and apply your drive to eat crap to that activity instead. I then had to explain the depressing reality that there isn’t anything in this universe more compelling for me than the urge to eat crap. She reeled off various things but no, none of them are better than or could replace the food. Even writing, the one thing I’ve known matches me for so long.

We didn’t get to wrap up the conversation properly because the Dude woke for the fourth time and I went in to get him back to sleep and she’d gone to bed when I came out again. Secretly, I was glad our discussion was cut short. It was hard for me to discuss, upsetting, confronting, and it’s been playing on my mind ever since. I didn’t lie to her about how badly I eat, but I deliberately avoided being explicit about just how much rubbish I do consume. This is a person who has probably never eaten McDonalds in her life, so it’s pretty difficult to admit that I sometimes eat it a number of times in a week. It’s not that I feel inferior because I like shit food, it’s more that I respect her ideas about health and agree with her, so I’m admitting to terrible hypocrisy when I reveal my food choices. It’s shameful as well because I think McDonalds is one of the worst organisations in the world, the way they manipulate children especially is disgusting.

But this is where I am now. I lie. I lie to cover my serious addictive and self-destructive behaviour. Why? Because deep down I feel as if it will never go away. And deeper still, I’m afraid to let it go. Who or what will I be without it?

My lies, to my loved ones and to myself, are worse than any petty thievery or skipping out on credit card debts. I am deceitful, the worst kind of lie. This disorder, for want of a better word, has such a hold on me. It’s like an evil cloud is hanging heavily above me, following me around, stopping me from seeing the light above.

I am like my grandmother. I was angry at her for her lies and indulgence in bad habits. But I am just like her. If I continue like this, I will end up spending 20 hours a day in my room, a wardrobe full of junk food, a stack of library books, a heavy body and everything I say will involve some sort of lie. People will tiptoe around me, wondering when I’ll next explode, agreeing with my lies, and feeling relieved when they can get away from me. It’ll just be me and the cloud.

As my mum would say: “Up with this I will not put!” But where to from here? I refuse to do what I’ve always done, get all motivated, vow to make a change, plan what I’ll do, write a list, tell Mr Chewbacca that this is it… And then fall back into bad habits within 24 hours. I need to make a big psychological shift but as to how I do that, I have no idea.