Summer mode is here. I work during the school year but I get a break for the summer months. I’m drinking too much, staying up late and sleeping until 10 in the morning. My new antidepressants were working for a while and I was curbing my drinking and sleeping well. But, with summer here all of that has flown out the window. It’s nice that no one really cares because my kids are older and my husband goes off to work in the morning. But, it’s also sad that no one notices my self-destructive ways. Except me, of course. And my therapist, Lynn, who recently told me my drinking causes me problems not the medications or depression, which I have always blamed first and foremost. I might argue that all of it causes me problems but that would be my negative attitude rearing its ugly head. And I don’t want to go negative in this post.
This is the post where I admit I need to make changes.
I am taking the first step by recognizing my habit of drinking wine is counter-productive. It serves an immediate need I have to make it through a typical day, acting normal and appearing in control when, deep within me there has always been a sense of self-hate and shame.
Children with histories of childhood abuse often develop negative thought patterns. They put the blame on themselves, rather than the perpetrator or their parents. It’s a fucked up way to cope with abuse and fears of abandonment (if we told on the abuser, we would be risking more abuse and if our parents knew about the abuse they would stop caring for us because we perceive ourselves as dirty and unlovable).
I’ve always known I hate myself but I have not tried to stop the onslaught of negativity in my head. Quite the opposite, I’ve just tried to hide my secret. My life from the outside looking in shows no signs of self-hate. I have painstakingly masked it with drugs, sex, addictions and needing to be perfect. These days, my numbing-medication of choice is white wine. I drink so that I stop hearing that inner critic. Respite comes when I drink in the form of a mental break from my own self-hatred.
I have low self-esteem, I lack a positive sense of self and my ego is shot all to hell. I believe if anyone really knew me they wouldn’t love me. I have been damaged since childhood. There, I’ve admitted it.
A Taoist philosopher named Lao-tzu once said,
“The journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.”
This form of admission is not easy. It goes against my need to show the outside I’m perfect. And I don’t mean perfect as in material goods because that I’m not. I wear jeans, t-shirts and baseball caps. My car has a huge dent in it and I accept that kind of imperfection in my life.
My perfection comes from a need to act intelligent and always have a calm demeanor. I’m thoughtful and empathetic to a fault. I’ve always looked at other’s feeling and easily can mold myself to their needs. This trait that I’ve been burdened with somehow ties into a sense of shame and a need to please others so they will not see my needs. My needs are deeply rooted and complicated and I rarely get them met.
Anyway, I ordered 2 books on Amazon and I have begun re-reading a book I already own (but never delved into) called Healing from Depression by Douglas Bloch. It’s a workbook, of sorts that will make me really think about changing harmful patterns, beginning with writing a vision statement of what I would be like if I really was healthy and well. Not just a woman faking perfectionism.
Here is the inside cover of the book I am using as I begin my intention to heal. ♥