Thursday, January 28, 2010

The journey of exploration

I feel sometimes as if I need to be rescued from myself.  I am a prisoner to the whilring thoughts and statements in my brain which I can't seem to turn off.  There is a constant chatter in my head (on top of my Tinnitus), and it has gotten to a point where I am unable to escape it.

I am a wife and mother, I have a full time job outside the home, I have friends and family.  Despite all these things, I still view myself as a failure.  I can't seem to not beat myself up, and I don't ever give myself credit.  I feel riddled with guilt and doubt, and it prevents me from making the simplest of decisions. 

This week I have also discovered the onset of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.  My fingers and hands are experiencing periods of numbness, and my forearms and elbows are beginning to ache and hurt.  I try to be aware of my hands and arms as I work at my desk at the office, and when I use the computer at home.  Still, I know that I have many corrections to make to my posture which would probably alleviate some of the stress on my arms while I work.

I know that stress can also manifest itself in different ways in different people.  I would categorize my stress level as pretty high right now, which could be contributing to my poor posture, tense muscles, and the onset of the numbness and pain.  I know there's no quick fix, but, I'm trying to be more aware of my body so that I can try to help myself prevent the symptoms.

In trying to be more aware of my physical presence, I'm also trying to be more aware of what is going on in my head.  My mind plays cruel games with me, and I often find myself at a stand still when it comes to making simple decisions, like whether or not to go to the store to get milk on the way home from work.  While not actually a complicated task, my mind complicates it.  What store should I go to?  Who has milk on sale?  Is it worth another $1 a gallon to go to store X so that I can get milk before collecting the kids from day care?  If I stop, what time will we get home?  What will I do first to get dinner ready?  What will I have the kids do while I make dinner?  Do I have enough money to get the milk?  If I get it now, when will I have to get milk again?

This is what my head does.  All the time.  Even thinking about going to bed is a challenge sometimes.  Sometimes I just decide not to do anything.  I can't even decide to get milk, what's my problem?  Now I go on with the reasons I am unable to make a decision.  I blame myself, put myself down, and generally feel badly about myself that I have so little capability as to go get milk. 

This is not healthy.  This is self-denial.  I have to learn to be more accepting of myself, and more nice to myself.  Why am I so mean to myself?  Why do I criticize myself like this?  Why is it so hard for me to accept my successes, and not focus on my failures?  Seems when I think about something, my first thought is why it won't work, why I can't do it/get it done, why it doesn't fit into my schedule, why I can't afford it, why I don't deserve it, why it's not worthy for me. 

It's making me crazy.  It's keeping me from being happy.  It's keeping me from enjoying every day's simple pleasures.  I need to find that happiness.  I need to be freed from the prison I've created in my mind.  I need to find that place in life that's just right for me.  I need to enable myself to make plans, provide for my family, and give myself credit for the things that I do, and not blame myself for the things I don't do.

As odd as it sounds, finding ways to deal with the Carpal Tunnel are almost crippling to my mind.  I can't buy a brace for my wrists, I don't have it badly enough to require surgery, and I lose my concentration on my posture.  There are three negative statements that I have just given myself.  First, I have issues spending money.  Second, I have discounted my symptoms as not serious, and basically decided that I don't deserve treatment.  Third, I have so many of these negatives in my head, I don't focus on me enough to correct physical symptoms like this pain and numbness, and the other side effects of my negativity. 

These are the things I'm trying to overcome.  I'm trying to overcome my inability to reason with myself, be positive with myself, and allow myself to focus on me, rather than denying myslef that basic necessity.  From there, I hope that I'm able to move forward and be a better wife, mother, and friend.  I will write about my journey here.