Like a Broken Record

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Stop me if you’ve heard this one before.

“I haven’t been completing my daily tasks like I should be, but I’m going to recommit to them as of today, and I’ll be concentrating on this particular area or areas of my recovery. Looking forward to getting back on track.”

I’ve written in the past about how I can only do my best on any given day, and how that best is going to vary from day to day. This is the Fourth Agreement, according to don Miguel Ruiz – Always Do Your Best. I’ve been putting forth effort, but my best has been compromised for so long that I’m starting to question myself. Am I just in a slump? Am I being lazy? Should I be trying harder?

On the one hand, yes, I could be trying harder, but that would mean ignoring the signs that my body has been given me. I haven’t been sleeping well (as the post time on this might indicate; I’ve already been up for an hour and forty-five minutes as of this sentence and it’s 6:15 am) and it’s starting to affect my ability to focus during the day. I feel like I’ve been going through the motions lately, barely conscious of what my body is doing and experiencing. I’m doing things with my day, don’t get me wrong, but at the end of the day, I cannot for the life of me remember what I did with my day.

This is starting to affect my conversations with people. I’m not remembering details of discussions, and so I find myself scrolling back through chat logs to see whether I’d said something previously about a subject. It’s irritating. Every once in a while I’ll mention something and the person I’m speaking with lets me know I’d said that very thing not but hours before.

And while I’m in the midst of memory issues, I’m trying to establish new habits, which the brain is somewhat hardwired to resist (a complicated thing to do with dopamine and perceived rewards). It’s a pattern for failure, and I’m honestly not sure what to do to re-establish the good habits that I had at one point and let slide away.

I think part of it, at least, is the lack of accountability. This blog is my main source for accountability with regard to my recovery, and to avoid sounding like a broken record with every blog post I’ve cut back on my writing, so I haven’t been as accountable as I should be. I’d start posting about the previous day’s accomplishments, but that would imply that I remember enough about the previous day to be able to write about it.

On the other hand, I feel like I’m doing the best that I can with what I have. I’m torn and I’m tired and I really need to get this figured out.

More Than I Can Chew

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Last post, I detailed the goals that I’ve set with my therapist in order to see They Might Be Giants at the end of March. That reward has pretty much sailed at this point, as I’ve barely done anything that I’m supposed to do in the week and a half between then and now. I’m doing better on all things, but still not achieving the goals that I had set.

I have a tendency to overshoot myself when it comes to goal-setting, especially when it comes to establishing new habits, which these goals are designed to do. I take on multiple changes at once without concentrating on one thing and being able to stick with it for the duration, and the result is not accomplishing anything.

It’s part of my perception of what people expect of me, which tends to be higher than reality. I don’t think my friends are expecting me to do everything all at once, and they would likely much rather see me succeed with one change at a time. I would rather see myself succeed, even if it is one change at a time.

So I’m going to talk to my therapist on Thursday about redefining these goals based on what I think I can actually accomplish. I think honestly my priority needs to be self-care before driving. (This includes things like regularly showering and shaving, the latter of these being something that I tend to put off for a month or more at a time on occasion.) That’s not to say that I won’t be driving, but I piled self-care and driving X number of times in a week and being somewhere where there’s the potential of being a lot of people once a week, and that’s a lot to process all at once, when you’re essentially rebuilding a lot of your habits from scratch. Maybe driving once a week is plenty. Maybe trying to go someplace public once a week rather than definitely doing it. Maybe, just maybe, I should concentrate on making a goal out of one of them and just try to incorporate the others the best I can.

I’m going to beat this thing, to the point that I’m capable of rejoining the workforce and holding down a job, but not if I’m trying to do everything at once. One thing at a time.