Why do I do this to myself? I just do it all the time. Make myself suffer. Make me feel sorry for myself. If it’s not one thing, it’s another and I really wonder why we keep doing the things that we know hurt?
Let me explain. I can’t work at the moment largely because I can’t get medication to treat my fibromyalgia. If I could, I would love to work. Maybe not full-time but at least enough to have me feel like a contributing member of society. Some income would be nice too, not to mention to make use of that degree I slaved to get to my name.
But I can’t get the medication and so I don’t have much control over my symptoms. Today my pain is pretty bad and I couldn’t think of standing or walking for hours through a day (or half day) of work. So I know I can’t work, but I just can’t stop myself looking for jobs. In other words, beating myself over the head with a hammer.
This morning there was a job vacancy in my email in-box. I looked at thought, I’d love that job. Better yet, I’ve got the skills, experience and personality for it. I get excited. Suddenly I’m picturing myself back in the workforce, and of all this thinking about where I would park my car (while at work). Yes, I had already given myself the job. Oh, and the starting salary looks good.
That is, until my knees and ankles ever so impolitely reminded me that just sitting today is agony. And the job would require me to be on my feet most of the time. My heart sinks, as my knees remind me that actually looking at job vacancies like this is just… dumb. Not to mention depressing, disheartening, and… shall I go on?
But then I can’t quite bring myself to close the site and delete the email. What if this is meant to be? What if I’m just fooling myself over my incapacitation. There are some people in my life who think I am just a drain on the taxpayer and need to get off my butt and find a job. Their voices are in my head now, and again I’m thinking, what if they’re right? The perfect opportunity to doubt my reality.
I fall into this trap so often, and so easily. It’s never a pretty outcome because I end up frustrated again that I can’t work at the moment, and angry at the pain and fatigue that prevents that. If you know fibro at all, you will know that this little exercise in knocking myself will only end in… more pain and fatigue.
Would someone please take that hammer out of my hand? Perhaps cancelling the subscription to all the perfect jobs for me would help too. I don’t deserve this. Only a few days I wrote about Being Compassionate To Myself. It was on a different issue but the basis is the same. It’s time to be gentle with myself. It’s time to put down the hammer.
“But this revolutionary act of treating ourselves tenderly can begin to undo the aversive messages of a lifetime.”
― Tara Brach, Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life With the Heart of a Buddha