Do you ever just start questioning everything in your life?
Why do I do this?
Why did I think that?
Why do I waste my time on that?
How dare I take time to do that – and anyway, why do I?
What’s the point in this?
Yada, yada, yada.
You get the point.
Recently- okay that’s a lie.
For a while now, I’ve been questioning myself on why on earth I think it’s okay for me to take time out of my day to read a book – something I enjoy – *gasp*!
How dare I!
Self hate is a pretty strong accusation so for the sake of you guys not living inside my head and knowing everything that goes on there, we’re just going to go with, I’ve been depriving myself of pretty much everything I enjoy.
Because I’d feel guilty, bad, wrong, selfish, like a horrible person, if I spent any time taking care of myself.
It’s like I’m depriving myself of love.
Not allowing myself to be happy or do anything simply because I’d like to.
But I’m only skimming the surface just yet, so let’s keep it to what I’ve discovered so far.
Last week, I was in a lot of pain (medical issues, don’t worry, I’m not missing any limbs), and it hurt to lie down in bed, even though I was exhausted.
I’m lying there, praying for sleep, wishing against wish that I could wink out of consciousness and fall onto the pillow of being unaware.
And the thought pops into my head –
Why not grab my book, go in the kitchen and read?
At this point, even my “hate and deprive yourself” programming couldn’t break into my pain induced thoughts, and so I got up quietly, grabbed the book I’d been sipping (because I hadn’t really sat down and read in quite a while) and went into the living room/kitchen, turned on the light, sat against the wall, and read.
For a few hours.
At about one in the morning, I broke my awareness away from my book and looked at the clock. Deciding to go to bed, I realized I felt better. Happier. Calmer.
For a few hours I’d ignored the pain, hadn’t even been aware of it.
For a few hours I’d not felt like an emotional wreck. I’d felt kinda good, actually.
And then it clicked.
All the questioning I’d been doing – why do I allow myself to selfishly waste time and read a book when I could be working on something I need to get done? Never mind that I couldn’t sleep. Never mind that I wasn’t being productive lying in bed and becoming more and more miserable as sleep evaded me. Why did I think it was okay to take time to do something that would simply make me happy?
Because it makes me happy.
It gives me some peace.
Reading allows me to escape reality for a little while. It takes me somewhere else.
I read for the love of stories. For the amazing thing that happens when I disappear into another world.
And it made me realize that even on small levels like this, I’ve been punishing myself for doing anything that makes me happy.
Now, I’m sure I’ve said that before. But I’ve blurred the lines of boundaries and my rights as a human being so badly that saying that hasn’t really sunk in, made any sense.
Last week, it made sense. I went from, “uh, yeah, sure, I’m aware that I do that” to “oh, I accept that I’ve been doing this, it’s bad, and I need and want to stop if I want to be happy and healthy”.
Did this magically make my bad habit of feeling guilty and hating on myself if I wanted to/did read for a little while?
No, of course not.
I’m a human. Humans are stubborn and it’s hard to break habits, good or bad.
But at least I’m working on it now.
And anytime that not so little voice tells me that I’m horrible for taking time to read – I smother it!
Here’s for continued vigilance to that end…
(***A note to my readers. If I haven’t responded to your comments yet, rest assured – I will. I have read and I love your comments!)