Hate and Deprive

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!

How selfish!

 

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.

Why?

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.

 

stockvault-autumn-walk99589

 

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.

 

stockvault-sepia-bridge135964

 

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!)

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4 Comments

Filed under Stream of Consciousness

4 responses to “Hate and Deprive

  1. Hey, Daphne! I’m so sorry you feel that bad about yourself. How cool of that book, to wrap you in a cozy blanket of *reading* for hrs & soothe you. Books are awesome, aren’t they? I hope they’ve continued helping since you wrote this post (I’d have commented long ago but I was w/o Internet for a couple wks). Weird coincidence (is there any other kind for writers?), I just started working on an unfinished novella of mine, and came across these words I’d written: “…books are powerful. The real person we are isn’t the body we’re in, it’s our mind — our thoughts and dreams and personality — and when we’re reading, books take us, the real us, to other places far away, other continents, other planets, even. They transport us. All really good books do that. Scientists and engineers have never found a way to do it, but writers have. What’s more powerful than that?” I’d forgotten those lines. I escaped into fiction throughout childhood & teen years. Gotta love books. :-} (Hang in there, my friend!)

    • I LOVE that quote!!! Thank you so much for sharing it… I’m so keeping it!
      Yeah, I’ve let myself actually read since then. Amazing how much of myself I’ve kept from myself for so long. And amazing that a book can help me find that. 😉 Definitely not a coincidence. 😀
      Don’t worry about your timing – I’ve been a bad Daphne and haven’t kept up on my blog comments. Yikes! But I think its the perfect time for me to read your quote, so it worked out well in the end.
      Thank you! ❤
      I hope your internets don't run away again! *shudder*

      • I’m glad you liked the quote! In my novella, it’s a wise 11-yr-old girl who says it. A book lover, of course, like us. :-} No need to yikes yourself (I think I just invented a new phrase!) — keep up with blog comments when you feel able to. The Internet & your blog & we commenters will still be here. :-} BTW, I’d say my DSL is fine now, but I don’t want to jinx it.

      • I know right? Every time I say something is fine, gremlins attack and it all explodes.

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