I have started to read......just a little. But then I get sleepy. And not just a little sleepy. Within five minutes of picking up a book I am viewing letters through my lashes. This I can continue to do for another 2 or 3 minutes before I realize I am not processing the words....they have no meaning. So then I shut my eyes for a bit (just to rest them you understand) and try again. But the lids feel like they are weighted and the lashes descend.
There could be a few things going on here:
1. Learning to be Quiet - Many of the people I met in the program at the hospital talk about low energy and taking naps, unable to get up in the morning. I could never relate as I am up at 6:30 with coffee getting breakfast for Jake and me dressed, bed made, hair done ready to tackle the list of 23 projects I had imagined I could fit in a day, Maybe when I actually sit down for a few moments (and am not also folding laundry, bills, scanning the flyers for best grocery deals, etc.) my body is telling me "ahhhhh we need this rest more often....and you need more sleep!"
2. Coup in My Brain - What I am trying to read is Brene Brown's new book Daring Greatly and perhaps the supervisor of my feelings in my brain is saying "ok---we got that piece, which is enough for today so let's just shut it down, call it a day, do some reflection and maybe see how that relates---not get overwhelmed here." My natural inclination is to intellectualize the solution to a problem and drive myself until I solve the problem. What is the expectation? What do I need to read, know, apply, measure, adjust to get an A and move on to something else. So far, this approach has just made me frustrated as I continue to try to control everything--and human emotion and true understanding of who you are comes from letting go of control....allowing yourself to be imperfect.....being vulnerable and self-compassionate and I have a way to go on those. But---there has, perhaps, been a bit of a coup in my brain.
Tired of standing in the background quietly tapping my intellect on the shoulder (yes I know there is no shoulder) and jumping up and down and waving their hands....compassion and vulnerability have taken a daring step to the front of the line and are trying to maintain their position. Intellect is not gone thought. Intellect is standing just behind them, jumping up and down and trying to get back to the front of the line---arms waving (yes I know, no arms either...sheesh, use your imagination), shouting: "What should you be doing next? Find the perfect answer and you will be fixed? You should feel ashamed you are not better yet--what is wrong with you--why can't you figure this out?" Intellect has a place here...just not at the front of the line. Maybe I can find a way to get them all to cooperate....hmmmmmm.
3. Self-Sabotage - This is the one that scares me. Months ago when I was in the adult day treatment program my therapist suggested that I work out a cost benefit analysis of being sick. As you can imagine, the practical assessment of my condition---falling into a controlled chart was very appealing to me. What it revealed to me was surprising. There were benefits (in my mind anyway) to staying sick. In sickness people expected less from me ---I didn't have to work, attend family functions, remember things, and go out in public. This reduced my anxiety, which sounds like a good thing, but it also meant I was just avoiding things that made me feel vulnerable and doing that forever didn't seem like living a full life. And then there was the guilt and shame that came from not being able to work, attend family functions, remember things and go out in public---it makes you feel unworthy of love. I do believe that at the time, it "taking a break" from situations that increased my anxiety while in crisis was a good idea. I just didn't want to stay there. And I do think I am moving forward.
So I guess no matter the reason, I am grateful I am able to read some. Some is better than none. For today, I will take that and keep moving forward.