When the Helper Forgets to Help Themself

I am a Terrible Journaler/Blogger.

I am absolutely AWFUL and doing anything good for myself.

WHy is that?

Seriously. I’d love to answer this. Give me a deadline, ask me to do something, and I’ll promise it to you and have it to you within that deadline, likely before it. But for myself? Nope.

If I had to write a blog entry for someone else’s blog — I’d write it. But for my own? OBVIOUSLY, it doesn’t happen. I fail every time. I have no internal motivation, no resolve.

The sticky notes around my house offer no real encouragement. I look at them and shrug them off.

they do not work

WHY? why is that? What’s wrong with me?

I take GREAT care of other people. Of other beings. Of THINGS.

Why do I care so poorly about myself? It’s not just the blog/journal. It’s everything. I don’t do yoga on a daily, almost daily or weekly basis. I do it…meh, when I feel like it. (Or sign into the Zoom class.) I don’t exercise like I MUST to stay healthy. I don’t meditate like I should. The dress pattern (AND FABRIC) I bought to make FOR MYSELF has sat there for TWO YEARS.

yeah, yeah — just give yourself a deadline, you’ll say.
it won’t work. I’ve tried.

I’ve been on disability for so many years, with no structure, no “boss”, no motivation, no outside pressure or need to “accomplish” anything or DO anything for so long now, I’ve become SLOTH.

Totally cuter than I am, too.
Photo by Roxanne Minnish on Pexels.com

I have a small business making dog collars on Etsy. Not much. Not enough to live on, or even potentially take away my small Disability payments. Could I maybe make it profitable? Maybe, if I worked REALLY HARD AT IT. But (there’s that BUT), I also know that my body and it’s finicky way of breaking down when I need it to work most will likely dash any dreams of that, so I don’t even bother trying. THAT, I know is a wise decision.

But for fuck’s sake, Jax. WHAT THE HELL.

WHY am I giving in to sloth? I have never been a lazy, layabout type of person.

Why am I allowing myself to wallow. And for so long.

And how do I fix this?

Validation

It doesn’t always happen when you see your doctor, being validated. I’m not talking about your parking ticket here, I’m talking about being validated as a person, not just a diagnosis or a problem.  Even in the mental health arena, people don’t often feel as though they’re being truly listened to, especially in the American mental health system. It’s so broken, we’re seen just like every other doctor sees their patients — one after the other in a hurried fashion. There’s little time spent with you, so only the the basics are covered when you’re in for a medication consult with your psych MD. They’re not there to TALK to you…they’re there to prescribe your meds and make sure you’re stable and send you on your way. They talk to you just long enough to make sure the meds are working and whatever therapy you’re receiving from the talk therapists is helping and on track and that’s it. 

But my doctor listens. Or he listened to me. He stopped the usual banter we have, and listened. Granted, I had my journal with me, a bulleted list of points I needed to go over with him so he knew I meant business. And I’m also a suicide survivor, so when I say I’m in trouble…I’m in trouble. My ongoing depression hasn’t resolved, no matter what I’ve done – and I’m doing all the things. I’m doing all the healthy things, or at least trying to, as best as I can considering how heavy the elephant is that’s sitting on top of me. 

So I’m very grateful that my doctor took the time to listen to me, and validate my feelings. And not just throw some more medication at me, although we made some changes there. We determined that in one particular instance, I’m NOT crazy — or at least a specific kind of crazy — and that was a validation in and of itself. It feels like the elephant lost some weight – the depression remains of course, but a worry that was dumped in my lap isn’t mine to worry about anymore. That load can go, thank you. 

Feels good. Kind of. A step toward good. That’s good enough.