Tuesday, 6 January 2009

New Year, New Start

I've been impressed reading people's new year's resolutions on their blogs. I'm not one for making resolutions at the start of a new year- I tend to set goals as I go along, and continuously reassess if they are working, and what tweaks need to be made.

Apparently that is my problem.

Always switching gears, changing direction. Ploughing forward with one thing, fumbling, giving up/burning myself into the ground, falling flat on my face and retreating into the shadows once more. I never really thought about it like this. I always viewed it as a personal failure- evidence of my own sheer inadequacy, rather than perhaps considering that I have bitten off more than I can chew ('scuse the pun!). Time after time, I plunge forward then wonder why I lose my footing- why *I* can't cope with what other people can.

I had therapy today and I think it has been the most productive as yet. I've been seeing this therapist on and off for about 3 years now. The "on and off" has been due to me coming back to Scotland for just a few months at a time before setting off on a new adventure. She's seen the ups and downs, the plunges and falls, the building up and crumbling down. Today we looked back and I saw it too. The pattern of starting slowly, then as soon as I feel slightly more stable, feeling guilty that I am not doing more/achieving more...hell, BEING more. The perfectionist in me leaps out and I run to the next thing. I can do voluntary work for 4 hours a week? Okay- after a month I'll move to a different country and work 60 hours a week. I can make a balanced breakfast without support? Okay- I'll move into my own place and take on the world.

Seriously. This seems to be how I work.

The challenge now, having recognised it, is to change this pattern. Commit to take things slow. Assess, with my therapist, how it's going. To bitch and whine about the "itchy feet". To recognise the need to strive for more (and more and more and more) without acting on it. To ignore the thoughts about other people judging me, thinking I am lazy/stupid/crazy/useless. Ignore the assumption that everyone expects me to move out and get a job and do all the things *I* feel I should be doing right now.

It's day 1 and I am already struggling. I feel guilty for flicking through facebook when I could be filling out job application forms. I feel guilty for watching TV when I should be house hunting. I feel guilty listening to my therapist and following her advice because I'm worried that I am using it as an excuse to be lazy, to do too little. I want to move out, to get a job, to just be NORMAL and it's painful to think that *this* might be the way to DO just that, in a sustainable way.

It's quite the challenge. Sounded easy in her office, but oy...just a few hours later and I'm climbing the walls.


kali said...

its fuckign hard doing things slow eh? having having the same battle now. ive just moved, trying to meet people make friends, make friends for james and have the life i want and its just all fallen to shit. like you, im a perfectionist, im impulsive. if i want to do something i have to do it and when it is not slowly progressed to the finest detail, i fail. i ail over and over. i guess its about working out the doll steps to get to where you want to be rather than the strides. its hard as hell ellie, but god, you have such huge ability in you. its just that arsey job of trying to slow down to make up for lost time eh xxx

Anonymous said...

I am really glad you were able to see this. Seriously...baby steps, you will get there you just have to try and take it slow xxx