Black and white thinking has always been the bane of my existence. Ascribe it to whatever alphabet soup you’d like, but it’s been problematic for me as long as I’ve been able to cognitively recognize words in my brain. It’s not so much that I am so black and white, but I catastrophize (Is that a word?) the shit out of everything.
When I was breastfeeding my oldest, he nursed for 45 minutes every 2 hours. This left me with approximately 5 minutes of closing my eyes to ponder the notion of sleep. I remember thinking to myself that this was how my life was going to be forever. My tits did not provide enough nourishment for my child, and this was proof positive that I was an unfit mother. My hormones, likewise, decided thinking clearly was no longer a pre-requisite for life. Jack came home one night after work to me sobbing hysterically at The Notebook. All he saw was me cradling the baby, so he immediately thought something was wrong as I was gulping in air with snot running down my face. “Oh my God! What’s wrong!” he said, grabbing for the baby and checking me.
“…Their love…was…so…beautiful!!!! and … and… they died…together” (spoiler alert) Jack’s face crumbled into a mixture of confusion and terror at allowing himself to laugh at me, because he could see the poignant emotion Nicholas Sparks evoked from me. I laugh now, but I tell you, I was traumatized at the time.
The point is, aside from my love of shitty romance novels-turned-movie, I really have this tendency to believe that whatever bad thing/situation/emotion is something I must deal with permanently. I literally had to set a calendar reminder on my phone for PMS, so that I’d remember that I’m going batshit crazy due to being a woman. “Why am I anxiously gorging on chocolate while arguing with my cat?!” became, “I am so sick and tired of this shit. I demand a penis.” Literally, like I want to get one, not get laid. Or like, nothing. You know how Alan Rickman had the Ken Doll thing going in Dogma? I want that. I have three kids, I have no further use for my uterus, and let’s be honest, my sex life purely serves to fuck with my mind and get me in trouble (or pregnant…)
…Where was I? So, yeah there is no “or” in my vocabulary. If my mind decrees that something is bad/negative/whatever, that is the only option. When I did the meditation at the end of The Abundance Factor, the concept was to attract/manifest your dreams, etc. Apparently, I fucked that up, because I manifested psychosis. (Oops!) In a sense, though, I now wonder if maybe I am afraid of positive thought. The negative, rumination, and anxious bullshit seems so comfortable and familiar. If I can expect the worst, I won’t be surprised. Paradoxically, I’m always shocked that things make me miserable!
For so long, I have fought myself and my brain. I’ve been convinced that some how or another, I will make this shit stop. The ruminating, the obsessiveness, the anxiety, and the firm belief that I am fucking literally everything up by my existence. I have always believed that I had to do everything on my own, but now I am (or believe I am..) so shattered mentally, I have resorted to (*gasp*) asking for help. Seriously, I don’t even trust myself to be a mom anymore. I don’t know how much worse I can feel. I’ve been identifying as __’s mom for 10 years. My entire identity is externals and caring for anyone besides myself. “I’m a great problem-solver! (as long as the problem isn’t related to me…)”
Lately, though, I’ve been unable to think that, because I am now convinced that I’m “fucking bonkers”, “out of my goddamn mind”, and “Fucking worthless” – I suspect my self talk needs improvement. I wonder if this is the direct root of my psychosis. Did I manifest my fears? My biggest fear is “I’m fucking crazy” and not in the cute, I sobbed hysterically because they killed King Kong kind of way. (“It’s not fair! He’s just an ape!” I screamed…)
I read two things over the past two weeks that have given me pause in my ceaseless chatter of self-abuse. One is: “How you speak to yourself frames everything. If you tell yourself you are defeated, then you are. If you tell yourself you are powerless, then you are.” The other was the parable of the Chinese Farmer. This:
So, from that, I started wondering what the harm would be if I worked towards not extending one emotion/thought/situation to cover the entire span of my foreseeable future. Maybe, the exhaustion, etc. I am experiencing now is necessary. Maybe, I am suddenly lazy. Maybe the Pleiadians are right, and I’ve changed my chromosomes and am addicted to data receipt via sleep and meditation. (Wouldn’t that make Forty Six & 2 cooler to listen to…) Maybe the guy on Skype was right, and unless I show him my boobs, I will be unable to fix my mental condition and establish discipline…Maybe there are a million possibilities, and while I can certainly sit and ponder them endlessly, I could also devote my thoughts to something else. Last week, my spiritual reading/guidance was to “rest and allow for healing” and this week was to “be open and trust in your instinct and intuition. Allow your openness to bring all that you need into yourself.”
What if thoughts actually do create reality? Not too long ago, I was speeding along and thought to myself “Man, wouldn’t it be terrible if I got pulled over?” Naturally, I got pulled over 15 minutes later. With every relationship I’ve had with a man, I have thought “I know this is going to end badly for me.” Right now, I doubt my abilities, sanity, and even that I am a fit mother. It’s sort of tough, I think, to cultivate self esteem or personal growth in a mental environment like that.
I’m going to try something new. Well, a few new things. For one, when I start ruminating, I’m going to think cannoli repeatedly, until I stop ruminating. Why cannoli? I have no idea. I guess, I’m kind of craving one. I told my psychologist this idea, and she said “whatever works!” I thought to myself, “Gosh, so glad I’m paying you to not make suggestions to help me. I’ll just, ya know, handle it…” My logic is that it’s kind of difficult to kick my own ass about everything that happened before this moment if I’m thinking about a delightful pastry shell filled with ricotta cheese and chocolate chips, right? For another, I’m going back to my tattooed mantra. I Will. I Am. Since January, I’ve been essentially reciting to myself “I’ve lost my damn mind.” and literally doubting everything that happened or that I thought, etc. My mind has been a maze made of quicksand.
I am tired of it. I’m going to start thinking about cannolis until I can get this shit under control. I cried at the horse head in Godfather, too. (Spoiler alert) At worst, maybe I manifest delicious Italian pastry in my life. At best, maybe I actually start manifesting my dreams into reality. Or, maybe both. All I know is to keep this shit up is not doing anything but making all of my worst case scenarios reality. I also know that overthinking has gotten me neither happiness, cannolis, or actual stability/success/identity/peace/Maynard’s hand in marriage….
I will trust in myself, I am improving and changing in every moment.
I will leave the gun. I am taking the cannoli.
I promised myself before that I would stop allowing so much nonsense in my life. It’s time I get back to that. “I rose, I roared, I will, I am.” ~Rose, APC