Self-doubt, Deflection, Exhastive Attempts to Run Away & Nowhere to Escape. I’ll Tire of Running in Circles When I Realize I’m not Going Anywhere.

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And until you realize you’ve wasted all this time going around and around without any resolve or escape, and you will continue to do so if you continue to run that way, … then, maybe then you’ll think about stopping and realize how pointless all of that was.

This entry is me doing just that.  The following entry is the resolve and a whole new thought process and purpose, so it made sense to create as it’s own post.  Only in writing this ending “A-HA!” as my intro am I able to warn you of the insanity and bizarre things our minds do when trying to escape pain and discomfort.  There are wonderful thoughts and amazing points made, don’t get me wrong, and unless this post existed as it does now, I’d never have realized or stopped going in that never-ending frustrating loop.  So gratitude is what I find in this post, and strength and hope in seeing that I am capable of doing difficult things, and continuously calling out and confronting my own stuff will eventually pay off… now whether that be through a “I GOT IT, BY GEORGE!” or else driving myself completely bonkers and dizzy from so many circles,… as long as I get there, it doesn’t matter which one of these allowed for me to finally arrive, I’m just glad to finally be there.

Without further adieu:

Now here’s an update, I never know whether I’ll write this to just leave and eventually forget about entirely, if it’ll turn into some sort of snail-mail letter to a close friend, or if I’ll post it on my blog, for you, reading this now.  One thing’s for certain, if you’re reading this, you know what my decision was ultimately,… if for some reason this is falling beneath your curious eye and being tossed around in your mind, truth me told, it’s either because it’s posted, or maybe somehow you’ve stumbled upon my personal things, perhaps searching and snooping, or maybe even possibly after I’m long gone from this earth and my belongings are scattered and tossed about—perhaps this will be unearthed one day by someone who is curious enough to find out what they’ve stumbled upon and whose is it?

That seemed like a really deep and pretty unnecessary leap into why you’re reading this now, and really, I cannot discover the answer to both scenarios, as I can only attest for this moment, and this life that is my own, for as long as I am given opportunity to live it.

Writers… sheesh…. So many words with so little actual substance. I wonder what a “summary” of my writings by someone in school would look like,…seriously?  I bet it’d be pretty hilarious.  I’m pretty curious to know what is the overall underlying purpose/statement(s) in each writing.  Maybe one day I’ll go and do some bullet-points of them myself, but then again, it’s me, so come on guys, that’s highly unlikely.

Like I teach my clients in my art groups, “We are our own worst critics.”  In those lessons I share, of course, I am referring to Art, but little do they know I also am a writer, and I feel confident in saying that most of us writers, if not all, can definitely agree on this too, as we are definitely our own worst critics in what we write, especially if we are writing with intent of an audience being involved in reading our own words.

This quote applies of course, far beyond writers and artists and into life on personal levels for each with their own interests, experiences, and actions, but I’ll let you dive into that rabbit hole on your own.

Goodness knows that I go way into my own rabbit holes when I write, and you likely know this well by now if you’ve read any of my blog entries or shared writing(s).  I promise, it’s never intentional.

The cool part is that I know I do this, and even cooler still I have learned a why behind my inability to shake this deeply instilled way of writing that I have.  I’m sure that there is much more beyond what I’ve uncovered in this, but I’m just grateful to understand myself enough to be able to unearth some of the mystery I buried. In this treasure self-discovery of mine, I never realize anything until either I trip in the half-dug hole I never realized I was digging, or sometimes even looking back and seeing, “Damn, where’d that big ass hole come from?”

I’m speaking as if of course, my diving into rabbit holes, or in a more clinical term this behavior:  deflection.

It’s so simultaneously frustrating and fascinating to understand what I’m doing and can call myself out, all whilst still regularly engaging in the behavior without any ability to simply STOP,… believe me, I’ve tried.

A lot of that I’m sure has to do with my writing style and that I’ve discovered I learn best about ME through exploration of my own thoughts via journaling, and truth me told, I NEVER plan or decide what to write about or what to say before I begin writing.

Unless this is a paper that must be within guidelines and graded within such, you’ll not see me ever “prepare” for any writing.  I often begin with a thought on my mind or an overall need to write in general, but I kid you not, you will never find me planning a blog entry or organizing and piecing together “the perfect post” because that’s just not who I am.

I am raw and strive to be my true authentic self no matter where I am, who I encounter, or what I’m doing,… and that’s not something I can do if I’m not willing to dive into the moment and my own thoughts without knowing what will surface, right?

So all of this jabbering on was to point out exactly what I did there, which is deflect, but also to open up the “thought” that led me to writing in the first place tonight…

You’re going to laugh at this, you ready?

I have to present at a conference to 300 people in a few months.  I’ve not used powerpoint since I was forced to back in college/grad school, which was about a decade ago (no exaggeration, very close to 10 years).

Knowing what I just explained about myself and who I am, how I write/do/live/exist,….

Do you understand how DIFFICULT this is for me in the sense that they keep e-mailing me asking for my information to be submitted (now they’ve tacked on a deadline for this, which is by the way, before the end of the month), and within this information needed I must include my 3 objectives, specifically list each objective individually and include under each “Content: What will the attendee learn?” and if that’s not intimidating enough, it also asks for the time frame and my teaching strategies/resources for each objective.

  1. MY. SHITBALLS.

So, I may get into why all of this combined is SUPER UNCOMFORTABLE for me, and nearly impossible (truth me told) without me being forced in that direction unwillingly, as I flail and try and scrape my way in the polar opposite direction.

This may appear as me seemingly calm on the exterior to a stranger’s eyes, but inside, I’m only moving because I’m being held at gunpoint, or something overly exaggerated and doom-like that might paint an accurate picture of my soul’s screams… being forced into this box that most encounter and get into routinely and probably effortlessly by most, but while outside a rare few could see that I’m not okay, but the majority can’t tell,… as most don’t realize that I am asymmetrical and that I cannot fit into this space without bending or breaking in ways that are very painful, and that the lid that closes on top of me is not something that’s “just another thing” and done effortlessly by the majority of professionals in my field and related ones, but rather for me, it’s like I am being forced into a space I cannot fit in, and then left in the darkness without direction or ability to move in order to exist comfortably and effortlessly like the rest are able to do.

I’ve always secretly admired to some degree those that have a touch of OCD, whether it surfaces in cleaning, organizing, routine,… that healthy (but often very frustrating to those who do fall in this category) OCD… because I see this as a blessing they were created with, and that they are able to live a tidy, routine, scheduled, and very attractive life and being punctual, prepared, clean, organized, and presentable aren’t an option (for some who really really struggle with OCD) or either this isn’t something they’re okay with falling short in.  If they do, it’s like they’re being put into that box that they weren’t made to fit into.  Right?

I have a touch of this in my personal artwork and writing that will be viewed/given to/read by someone whose opinion can impact my life/career/emotions in a profound way.  I will not allow for misspellings or lack of good grammar and verbiage in these cases, and even in my routine clinical documentation each day at work.

I know how exhausting that “being anal,”for lack of better words, can truly be.

And I’m playing the irrational dreamer “what if” and “grass is greener over there” bullshit scenarios here, I realize this…

Sometimes being self-aware is both so rewarding, but also a curse, especially when I just want to have that moment to just be jealous, mopey, irritated, or overall just be irrational without realizing this is a personal problem that warrants no excuse for me or from anyone else because it’s my own bullshit…

I’m grateful that I know when I’m being petty, overdramatic, and that I can call myself out today on my own shit and make myself work through it, knowing it’s uncomfortable, but necessary for my personal growth/well-being…
But sometimes I just wish I had a good reason to just feel that negativity and it be justified somehow…

            But that’s my own egotistical and selfish laziness that wants to sometimes not have to admit that I am both the problem and also the solution.

THAT’S HARD WORK SOMETIMES, DAMMIT.

Ha!  All in all, I’d never change who I am because this person, everchanging, exists because of where I’ve been and what I’ve experienced, and I’d not take any of that back because I wouldn’t be who I am nor would I know or understand what I do today.

The point of that was really just an attempt to gripe at what is difficult for me to do that seems effortless to the majority of individuals I encounter professionally… a FAILED attempt,
or maybe a win, depends on how you look at it…

I failed at trying to justify my envious yearning with good reason, and yet I won merely by recognizing this attempt of making this about anyone other than the person that matters in this, which is me.

 “If I’m not the problem, there is no solution.”

I’m admitting I’m the fucking problem in the sense that my brain and organizing, sequencing, cleaning, recalling, preparing, and all those other awesome skills that are required for success in life/profession, to most are learned and not too difficult things that are necessary and well-learned/practiced,

But if I asked someone who is without a leg to do jumping jacks mimicking my movements/strategy, while this is not impossible by any means and can be carried out, (assuming that this individual has no other obstacles outside of not having the number of limbs equal to the rest of the individuals required to carry out the same task)…while it may be a bit more challenging and take more effort to carryout, this is not impossible.  Just more challenging initially, yes?

Or perhaps you’re asked to attend a seminar and take detailed notes on the material presented, but you’re the only one in the room that is not fluent in German nor can speak/interpret/write it fluently,… but the presenter and all of the peers surrounding  understand, can write in, speak fluently, and effortlessly interpret the presentation given in German without translation.  You’re the one fluent in English (only) lacking German as a fluent second (or first) language, maybe you know Spanish pretty darn well, but shit, Dona, how is being able to locate the bano in Barcelona in any way helpful to me in this moment?  It’s not.  Again, it’s a WONDERFUL tool and useful in situations, but in this scenario, you’re going to really struggle and be pretty uncomfortable, yes?  You might feel pretty small or insignificant when comparing yourself to the rest …

Still, no matter the scenario, the outcome remains the same.

If you are placed in a situation in which you must meet requirements given to you and specific criteria that must be met in meeting these requirements, regardless, you will find a way that you can be successful in meeting those requirements but also must discover an alternative way to the norm in solving the puzzle bestowed upon you to solve.

Does that make sense?

Without all the whimsical twistings of words, the blunt and unappealing reality of all of this is that I am being asked to do something that is challenging in itself, but I feel limited in so many ways by the expectations that are required in order to be accepted and beyond that, even once accepted and approved, having that means of justifying my entire presentation to a room filled with only addiction professionals, which is all about Art and how it is so valuable and important in addiction treatment.

Talk about feeling underqualified!  I have ZERO references for the ideas of main points I would share in my presentation (I hate that word, I think I’ll refer to this and think of it as personal experiences surrounding my career, passion, and work I have done/do with this art and addiction instead, because that’s exactly what I’m doing, not “presenting”—I’m just sharing ME and what I know.

Furthermore, the majority (if not the entirety) of groups I facilitate in Art, and the individual Art therapy I have done in my career, for the most part I have made up and molded to fit what I need it to fit.

I’m not one for numbers or researching, but instead I know because I’ve experienced and lived through working with individuals to know what works/doesn’t/challenges/successes/etc.

Overall, I’m beyond intimidated and petrified to do this presentation to begin with, could easily be backed into a corner and questioned on the “facts” and “numbers” and placing things in order and laid out “this-is-how-it-will-be-and-this-is-the-objective(s)”with references….

That’s not me.

I’m so uncomfortable too understanding that I’ve spent the past hour spilling so many words knowing that my intention was to start a self-dialogue and preparation to piece together what I want to do, so that I can have three objectives, strategies, and purposes by tomorrow, which is the day I agreed to get with a fellow-presenter and submit our required information/packets both tomorrow… so that we can hold one another accountable, and also not look like total dicks by waiting to the LAST POSSIBLE SECOND and submitting it on the deadline.  I mean, we’re already 2 months in from receiving the e-mail with said attachments, … it’s my own damn fault I waited a month and then some before even opening the attachments, assuming they were just “forms” that I needed to send in with general info about me, or a bio…. Something easier (for me), and you can only imagine my surprise and utter horror in seeing I not only neglected to explore what existed in this required presenter forms, but I neglected it further still by avoiding and distracting myself from worrying excessively about it all,… and here I am, now with them e-mailing me and setting a deadline, when initially I allocated responsibility and relayed a professional and pleasant demeanor conveying my eagerness, only to allow this priority at the time to fall and become mixed in with the other important but not IMMEDIATE concerns/tasks/responsibilities,…

And here we are.

The night before I’m to submit this initial paperwork, 9:13 PM with expectation to go to work, run my routine groups expected of me, but also attend 2 meetings, including the all staff meeting, and somehow appear to have had a full night’s rest and expected to function at my usual peppy light-spirited and carefree loving self. Unless I knock out identifying those objectives in the next few hours, however, I am fully aware that I will be incapable of rest and will enter into tomorrow with deprived rest and unresolved anxiety knowing that I have no solution and wasted my time and ability to successfully complete a seemingly-simple task.  I’ll get even more frustrated by the fact that it seems so super easy and effortless yet somehow I am incapable of this effortless gliding across to the solution, hardly noticeable and rarely questioned, as the transition is so confidently executed and graceful with obvious skill and understood by the individual…

I’m the one who looks like I’m somehow trying to drive over gravel in rollerblades, only to outside eyes, there’s no gravel to be seen, but instead a clumsy, seemingly inexperienced eye sore who will be questioned from the get-go merely because it’s noticeable when something stands out and is not the same as the rest, and isn’t done in that socially accepted by society execution, but rather seems questionable and uncomfortable and judged before given an opportunity to share personal truths with ears and minds that are open and without immediate bias,..

Yes, yes, I know I am guilty of making mountains out of mole hills too.  This is one of those moments.  I can do this.  I can.  That’s true. I also am 100% real when I say that it’s probably the hardest thing for me to do…always has been.  “Study this way, write notes this way, organize this way, label this, put this here,this is an easy way to learn/organize/remember/record/locate/etc.” I’ve heard this throughout grade school, through graduation, into college, and in graduate school too.

They were all genuinely words to help me, intended to be encouragements and shortcuts…

     Instead I grew weary, depressed, and filled with worthlessness wondering why I can’t do these easy things like they can, that something must be wrong with me, “It’s not that hard, Resa, you’re making it harder than it is!”

Man oh man, if you only knew how bad I wanted to rip into their souls in that moment, each time I heard those words, each individual who grew slightly frustrated with me when initially intending to be this profound life-changer by sharing very obvious techniques, and then those not so obvious that would truly help me… and then not understanding why I am unable to grasp what I was given as advice… and then some later one who shared with me and see later I didn’t follow through on their advice, and feeling like I’ve disrespected them by intentionally neglecting to try, when this is beyond false.

I’ve tried my entire life and have heard and attempted to execute each and every suggestion with numerous and utter fails on my part- if something new is offered to me I will gladly try it out, I promise. I’ve tried them all, every suggestion, for over two decades, and watched myself get angry and hurt and initially lashing out to that person trying to help but not understanding “easy” for them is the most difficult challenge for me.

Of course, back then I never knew this. I do now.

I know I have to put forth more effort to do things that most find pretty simple, and socially acceptable “organizing” for me personally will leave me unable to find ANYTHING… I kid you not.

I almost failed an elementary education class on lesson planning I think it was, all because they required us to have a binder organized exactly like they say, tabs here, labels here, folders there, and this and that go in this spot, and these and those go here….
I almost failed because I could put it all together no problem, just as asked, but the moment we were asked to retrieve or reference our said-guide, I looked like I was being a complete and utter DICK or that I’d not followed their exact precise organization directions.

What a miserable feeling to be the one struggling out of an entire class who can give exactly what is requested with such ease.

It should be ease, it’s in place, right?  IT SHOULD BE EASIER

I can’t find shit unless it’s my disorganized organization.  I’m so odd I can tell you where a picture is out of hundreds I sort through each day, due to the fact that it was set in a random place because of whatever the situation was that caused me to place it there in the first place.

Weird.

Like, you’ll hear me say, “Yeah, look across the room propped against the wall, third painting behind those big canvases next to the cardboard and chairleg.”

But hey, it works for me.  It truly does.

My brain works very differently.

So let me further call myself out on what I just attempted to do, because it’s what I always do, which is my way of not having to be uncomfortable… no one likes that feeling, right?  We instinctively have ways to avoid experiencing pain and discomfort whenever possible as human beings.

So I just realized all these things I haven’t done all these thoughts ran through my mind simultaneously:

“Oh wow, you need to finish the laundry so you have clothes dry to wear tomorrow.”

“You didn’t finish this sketch to paint onto that canvas that you promised your colleague, which is sad and you suck because that was way before you agreed to this conference stuff. You’re a terrible person.”

“You didn’t even get your treatment update put it and so you’re probably going to struggle getting that in on time before it’s due on Thursday, you suck at prioritizing.”

“All of this writing was just a complete waste of your time and makes you look like a fool who blows up everything out of proportion and just can’t get to the fucking point or have purpose- You should be ashamed what others might think if you made this accessible for anyone to read. You’re pathetic.”

“You could’ve already completed one if not all of these lousy 3 objectives, it’s really not a big deal and it’s not that difficult, you’re just extra and making excuses.Everyone thinks this is true, maybe they’re right? I’m ashamed and unworthy.”

“I’m a total failure and incapable of following-through with what is asked of me in the way that is desirable, so that must mean I’m looking for a conflict or trying to be unreasonably difficult, why can’t you just do it like everyone else did, without excuse?  That’s really lame. You’re selfish and full of lies- You just want an excuse and crutch- none of that is true, you’re full of shit—dumb if you can’t get something as simple as that!”

All of these thoughts ran through my mind as possible judgments or thoughts I somehow believe others think/see deep down about me or will/have and geared toward myself in an attempt to further my frustration, all attempts in destroying my self-worth because if I can bring myself down or believe that others see me this way then I know and can explain and solve this as a reason behind feeling down and like a failure… That makes sense as a justified reason to be aggravated with myself.

Poor me, though, because yet again I recognize and call myself out on my bullshit, as I just did, but in doing so, I am left still with the discomfort of knowing I have not yet a solution to my initial issue, and no justification for feeling this anxiety and shame- I can only blame and fully accept this is because of me- and admit that I’ve spent way too long now writing and calling myself out each time I try to begin my task at hand and deflect- I hate myself for doing this, but am also grateful that I understand and can challenge this way of coping with hopes to one day be able to avoid entirely this unhealthy old learned way of coping with discomfort and instead embrace head-on the challenge, willingly embrace the discomfort, and push forward through it in the moment.

I know that day will come in due time,

For now, I will continue to take the time and energy to call myself out and explore my own thoughts so that this is an achievable goal I can master.

After all, I realize I never knew these were even my own self-inflicted painful thoughts until I began to notice first, then eventually recognize and understand as irrational beliefs, and now challenge and work towards changing these in the moment(s) they occur.

One day all of this will pay off personally, and I will try my hardest to continue to have the energy and motivation to challenge my defects and faults in ways that allow me to better myself and change my thoughts, actions, and behaviors.

I began this intending to share my thoughts about how my presentation might be sequenced….

How I might cover 90 minutes in front of 300 people,…

And just when I convince myself that this is very possible and feel a little confidence,

*HERE’S WHY YOU’RE WRONG*

That voice creeps in and gives me so many reasons that I will fail.

And I don’t want to fail, and so I don’t start because I don’t know how…

And thus the vicious cycle ensues.

I’m getting tired now, but am stubborn enough to not let myself have the luxury of quitting writing now that I’m tired because I haven’t found a solution, and spent all that time selfishly exploring and challenging inner conflict and explaining all the “can’ts”rather than pushing forward with all I have to focus solely on the CAN’s

I AM WORTHY.  I AM CAPABLE.  I CAN DO THIS.

So let’s just start as if I’m up there winging it and see what appears. I think I will post this… as a two part post, first my insecurities and self-battle followed by pushing through and success.