Sunday, 10 April 2011

Enough of being a victim

This last week has felt like it needed a theme song, just because everything seems to pointing me forward. I have been feeling challenged about playing the victim. It is really easy to feel that I have very little choice about how I feel and I have also noticed how I often feel that I can't change situations that I am finding difficult. As I start to feel better I can see solutions or compromises which can be made and suddenly something which seemed to be "just how it is" has changed and things are better.

An example of this is wrestling with night weaning and needing more sleep and space. In the last fortnight Ella has moved into her own bed in what is now her room. Daddy is helping her get to sleep and soothing her back to sleep when she wakes in the night. This had seemed so impossible before but the combination of being honest with myself about what I needed and also Ella being ready means I have the amazing joy of evenings without what had turned into a marathon of feeding her to sleep. It feels wonderful to know that we are still being sensitive to Ella's needs but I am also being realistic about my own.

This experience has given me a chance to look at the rest of my life and start to take responsibility for the things I wish were different. If I look back over most of my life, I have never felt that I was an active participant in how things turned out for me. That is probably where a lot of my perfectionist and controlling tendencies come from; a sense that I actually have no control. I have always been really sensitive and my emotions have often felt outside of my control. Once I "felt" a certain way that seemed to be reality, rather than something I could think about and check. And often I have believed that some emotions such as anger were not acceptable.

This creates a constant sense of internal conflict where I am at the mercy of my emotions but these emotions are not always "good" or "right". So then guilt and shame are pulled into the mix and life becomes a roller coaster where everything feels unpredictable and nothing seems to be in my control. Hence I act like a victim.

Depression works to make you a victim, even if you have never been before. You lose motivation and energy and everything seems overwhelming. As I feel better and better I can see what a deception it is. If you do nothing and just keep asking "why me?" you feel worse and you get no answers.

Instead I can now see how I can choose to be honest with myself about how I feel, no matter whether it is "good" or not. And then I can do something about it. Doing something might mean just accepting that "this is the way it is". Or it might mean doing something about it such as changing how Ella gets to sleep and where she sleeps.

The reality is that this is the only life I have. And I can spend my time feeling crap about how things are or have been and all the things I have no control over, or I can get involved and live my life. Be an active part of it, question my knee jerk reactions and live what I believe, even if sometimes it is a struggle.

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