About Self-care, Listening To My Brain, and All That Shit

On a recent Sunday morning, I could not find the motivation to get ready and go to church. It just wasn’t there. I kept telling myself that I needed to go, that I always enjoyed seeing my friends, that some social interaction is always good for me. But there was nothing, not one fucking thing, that could overcome the low-key dread I felt at putting on pants and leaving the house. So, I didn’t. And, I felt like shit because of that.

Listening To the Voices In My Head

There are reasons why I felt this way. And, at least one of them has to do with listening to the voices in my head. Yes, I have voices in my head. I’ve already told you about one: the slack-ass executive that does such a shit job of running things. He’s not alone. The fucker has a neighbor who’s a complete asshole. This dick is constantly talking shit, telling me what an awful person I am, how nobody actually likes me, that they tolerate me, at best. He’s the manifestation of my Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria and his name is Richard. (Long story on that, but part of it involves the nickname for “Richard”) The bastard is responsible for one of my more emo-ey moments: my love of Jimmie Eat World’s “The Middle”. Especially the line, “Don’t you worry what they tell themselves/When you’re away.” Thanks to his bullshit, the song is on several of my playlists.

Hey, I’m Talking To You!

After a bit, I realized that my brain was trying to tell me something. So, I began thinking things over. It took a minute, but I eventually remembered that the day before, I had visited family–my daughter/mom/grandkids. And, while I love them immensely, a visit with them is absolutely batshit crazy. I mean, 6 people–3 of them under the age of 5– and 3 dogs, all crammed into one house on a cold day? Yeah, it’s a lot. Like I said, I love them all dearly. But, if you ever wanted a living example of the word “bedlam“, this is the place. It usually takes me a day or so to fully recover.

Can Anything Good Come Out of…?

Even with that knowledge, I still struggled with staying home. I’m not really sure why. I mean, it’s not like something good always results from putting on pants and leaving the house. It’s a 50/50 shot. At best. But, I’ve so thoroughly conditioned to be “social”, i.e. act like a fucking extrovert, that not following through on that feels almost like a sin. So, when stuff like this comes up, I go through all the bullshit of “You really need to do this,” and “Just go, it’ll be good for you.” And, bullshit it is because sometimes self-care looks like telling the world to piss off.

I’m Not Your Book Bitch

So, one of the things I really enjoy about going to church is my Sunday school class. It’s a great group and I get to read interesting stuff and then discuss it with people I care about. I love that shit. Both the reading and discussing. Due to my education–an English degree with a creative writing minor–and the way my brain is wired, I can make connections or figure out aspects of a piece of writing that others miss. This has led to multiple occasions when someone said they didn’t really understand the piece being discussed until they heard my insights. And, I’ve got to admit, that feels really good. But it also contributed to the stress I was feeling. Because, when I considered not going, I immediately thought, “But people are counting on you to explain stuff!” Like I’m their book bitch and my worth to these folks is contingent on fulfilling this role. That’s just fucked up because a) it’s not true. And, b) no matter how much I tell myself it’s not true, Richard says I’m just fooling myself.

Self-care Ain’t Easy

I said earlier that sometimes self-care looks like telling the world to piss off and it does. But why is it so goddamn hard to do the things that are best for my own physical and mental well-being? Between the night before and the morning of, I spent a couple of hours alternately saying “Fuck that noise” about getting up and going, and beating myself up for saying “Fuck that noise”. Actually, I kind of know why it’s so goddamn hard. You see, as much my brain and body are constantly telling me stuff, Richard–my RSD avatar–doesn’t want me acting on it. Why would he do that? Beats the hell out of me. I mean, he only exists as long as I do so pushing an agenda heavy on mental fuckery doesn’t make a lot of sense. But, honestly, that’s about par for the course with my brain.

There Is a Happy Ending To This Story

I wish I could say I was getting a handle on this self-care business and telling Richard to fuck right off. But, I am so not there yet. And I’m worried that I may never get there. Self-care isn’t easy for people without RSD, but for people like me with a Richard in their head spouting caustic bullshit? It’s damn near impossible. Emphasis on the “damn near” though because after a couple of hours of going round and round with his ass, I finally did the right thing for me: I made more coffee and spent a leisurely morning with Jane Pauley. And, you know what? It was okay.