#089–When does self-reflection become a self-defeating cycle?

I could live to be 100 and still hate Sunday afternoons. I shouldn’t be surprised that my most depressing moods occur around this time of the week, damn near every week.

It also doesn’t help that I was hanging around at home in case some visitors showed up, since they said they’d “drop by this weekend,” and never did.

But I really hate Sunday afternoons. I try to catch up on cleaning, cook a bit, read, relax, etc. And yet, even though I don’t go to church, when those things stop holding my interest, I end up digging deep within and start watching vids or checking things out online that might help me figure out what’s wrong with me.

I brought up a theory to my therapist that I might be bipolar. I figured I had some of the more basic tendencies, in that I get really into something, research the hell out of it (or gather materials to make it possible to do) and then as things get rolling, somehow I get too busy or the possibilities fizzle. I’m sure there’s quite a bit of self-sabotage there, even if I can’t figure it out.lonely-273629_1280

I took what I call a “depression nap” (nothing better to do, mind won’t shut up, bored and frustrated and just want the day to be over so waste some of it in bed) between about 2 and 3 pm. Before I did that, I’d had a general idea and a new theory that had been building the past few days.

I thought about emotional neglect and childhood.

And yes, I have books coming to me about that now (sigh). I shouldn’t get more books, but I can’t think of anything else to try with my sporadic therapy schedule. And since I don’t have any friends within a thousand miles…yeah, makes it tricky.

More than that, my theory was that perhaps the bipolar markers I’m spotting are an extension of how I’d behaved with plans and dreams throughout my childhood. It’s like a bad pattern, a pattern whereby I wanted to do something or try and either nobody seemed to care or they’d wear me down and try to get me to see that I shouldn’t bother.

How many damned projects or ideas did I start and never finish in my life? Other than graduating college, probably 99% of them.

Another thing I got thinking about was my inability to ask for things I want or even really, truly need. The standard thought–and one of mine, too–is that I’m too afraid of being told “no” if I asked for something, and then not know what to do after that.

There’s a grain of truth in that, but it stems from something that hit me earlier when I had too damned much time to think: it’s not just that I’m afraid someone will say “no,” but rather I never knew how to ask in the first place. I don’t think I know what I would’ve done if someone had said “yes” either!

Somehow I internalized the lesson, whether told or implied, that it was greedy to ask for things and I should be happy with what I had and wait for someone to offer me better. Or something like that.

And round and round it goes.

Now you know where my confusion comes in, and my worry that I’m making myself crazy. It feels like in intense self-reflection, we all run the risk of making ourselves crazy.

Self-diagnosis is tricky and flawed as hell, I’m aware of that. I, however, do not know myself or why I’m so scared and messed up in most respects. Trust issues and over-analyzing are the biggies in my life. I hate it, hate it, hate it, and yet I can’t quite change it.

Because I don’t know what I’m supposed to do to change it.

There’s a line that goes between “know thyself” and “get over it because it’s the past and we’re going into the future.”

And I can’t see that line: how far can you go into self-reflection and understanding your issues and yourself before you end up just harping on past hurts? How long before your attempts to heal yourself become a vicious cycle of anger toward self and others?

I imagine self reflection to be path that travels beside a merry-go-round, and all the thoughts and memories of our life are whirling around on that merry go round, not stopping. We’re too old for the damned thing, but it sure wouldn’t take much effort to grab a metal handle and go for a ride.carousel-1962831_1280

I suppose my focus is on the actions to take: how much self-reflection/therapy is needed before you’re sure you are at the point where you work on it? I am worried because I’ve had rather volatile emotions this weekend with all these self-discoveries, and even though I’ve had difficulty pinpointing what’s been missing or wrong my whole life, if someone I felt was responsible stood right in front of me right now, I’d be blowing my top. I’m a pot with a lid on it and the bubbles are heading to the top really fast.

I don’t want to harp on the past all my days. I want to move on and invent a future. And yet, it’s difficult to do when unresolved issues just keep on coming whether you want them to or not…and I’m not even sure I can resolve them in the first place.

Some days I’m too tired to be angry, other days I imagine them right in front of me when I vent that anger. And even then, they wouldn’t understand me, so what’s the point?

That leaves me the need to find a way to understand what happened and understand myself, put that knowledge in a little box in my noggin to be used if needed later, and move along. I want to acknowledge whatever I’m learning so I learn how to get past it, so I can avoid the vicious cycle I’ve been in all these years.

And yet…how do we get from reflecting to actually doing something about it? Where’s that line, because I can’t seem to get a clear answer as to what it looks like and how to know the difference between the line and the merry-go-round curve.

That’s what scares me the most because of my research-hound tendencies: How much do you really have to understand before you can start the process of healing and improving your life?

Have any resources or ideas? Floor’s yours…

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