Cheated

I woke up this morning with a severe medication hangover headache. Not the most pleasant way to go, nor conducive to putting your positives on for the day ahead.

It is a day of mixed emotions, many of them are carried over from yesterday, others of what lies ahead. This leaves me on an oh so familiar tightrope of balancing the positives with the negatives. Yesterday, after so many years of talking to the experts it seems as though someone has managed to finger a root cause of the depression (I am not willing to share this at the moment because it is yet to be ticked as conclusive). My initial feelings of jubilation and exhilaration have been tempered with wild mood swings from feeling relieved, content elated and then to the far opposite of feeling cheated, fraudulent and downright angry.

Why had we not looked at my history from this different perspective? Was it me trying to be too articulate when telling my story to health professionals? Why didn’t I take notice of the symptoms that were there veiled in the fog of clinical depression? How could some many people over so many years have missed the mark by so much? And finally how much differently would my life have been to date if this diagnosis and treatment been sorted out, even just a few months ago let alone 11 years ago.

But hang on, this could mean you have the missing piece to my mental health puzzle. The possibility of a proven solution to the illness that for years has been the cause of frustration and suffering for myself and those close to me. A new direction, a feeling that I could once again take on the world, make my mark and achieve all the things I thought were beyond my mental grasp. I was experiencing waves of euphoria, immediately letting my mind run free at the thought of being functional, of being a peace with myself and my illness. Screw you world I’m back and I’m going to be hell bent on taking back lost time.

Stop.

Remind myself that these thoughts are all about ‘doing’. Doing this, achieving that, outcome after outcome is not what I am seeking. I need to ‘be’. The problem faced is that for so long I have gained the euphoria the positive emotional highs from ‘doing’, how am I ever going to get that from just ‘being’, my mind is so well trained at dreaming up elaborate schemes of achievement and not good at all in accepting the emotional status of the now. Right now is a place that I have little sense of. It is always what has been and what is to come. With this comes the jumble of emotions. I was happy I was sad I did this I did that to have reached those emotional points. It is now for me to take stock of the moment. Right now I am happy because I am being a good dad with my son. Right now I am feeling the joy of the light rain falling softly, washing away the sorrows of the past. Right now I have no interest in worrying about how I am going to get to the next hurdle of happiness or pit of despair.

On reflection I believe that the anger arises from this same process of my brain, the ‘doing’. For so long it has used up so much energy in constructing paths towards possible happiness and safety nets for the inevitable fall that it now is angry that in some way all that effort was wasted. How is it supposed to reconcile all these achievements and failures, highs and lows with now knowing that it is not so much the failure of the perfectionist but the inability to maintain focus on multi challenging concurrent task. Yes that part of the brain was really good at hyper focusing and pulling off a handful of major achievements, but there is a litany of failures and half arsed attempts strewn along the highway of Rob. The challenge for me now is trying to take the positive attributes of my ‘doing’ brain and converting them kicking and screaming over to the ‘being’ aspect of my mind and behaviour. That is a daunting challenge as I sit here writing and thinking about it.

Now as I think about, an area that becomes evident is that of Self Acceptance. To date I would have to say that my self-acceptance has orbited around the behaviour of doing. I can do it or more consistently, if I can do it then that is acceptable, even mentally attempting the task is acceptable. The problem being that this is a core area where my anxiety develops, from the moment I decided to ‘do’ my mind is already cushioning the fall by delivering a range of negative thoughts and outcomes. I develop unrealistic expectations and in doing so damage my core beliefs, those beliefs that make me a positive, productive and content being

I am faced with somehow transferring the focus and drive from the ‘doing’ part of the mind towards my ‘being’ mind, a state of being that is calm in the moment and assured that regardless of the outcome I will be OK. After so many years of condemning myself through my perceived shortcomings I am realising that I have to rewire the mins process toward accepting things as they are and as they will be. A difficult goal, you must agree, when I never know from one thought or task to the next, where one thing ends and the next begins.

I hope that with further reflection on this area of my mental health I will become more self accepting, able to acknowledge that I still have worth. A worth that will, with practice and application, take me towards a future that has me seeking less approval of myself from myself.

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~ by Rob McClintock on October 9, 2010.

One Response to “Cheated”

  1. Rob, Sending hugs to you that maybe, finally a piece of your puzzle is being solved to allow you to reach for yoourself again. You will be okay. Luc x

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