Going round in circles

You know that Winnie the Pooh story where Pooh and Piglet are walking around in the snow in circles come across their own tracks and then 4 sets of tracks…. Well I kind of feel like that right now.

My cycle starts with a sense of dread of all the things that I realise I haven’t done, which starts to seep through into the rest of my life, and the more it’s around, the harder it is to face the things I have to do, but not doing things feeds the dread, and it grows, like some out of control malevolent bread dough pushing it’s way into more corners of my life (just like the story of the next to littlest Whomper and Little My, but that may be a bit niche). At some point I manage to do something, either through will power or forced as a crisis is about to strike. Sometimes, this makes things worse, as facing up to one of the things that I need to do makes me aware of all the rest. But at some point in the cycle I do something that makes me feel better. Crisis averted, thing dealt with, good feeling of having done the right thing (tinged with annoyance at myself for not doing it sooner). I resolve to improve. I do a little sorting out. And then my busy life rolls on and I get immersed in all the stuff to do and start distracting myself with fun things and instead of using my “up” time to get on top of things I’m giving myself more things to do and ignoring the important things again. Until the next time the start of dread starts to build.

I’m getting fed up of this story. There is no hefalump following me in the snow. There is only me, failing to do the things I know will help, making things worse for myself.

I had a little wobble yesterday. I could feel it coming on, the sense of helplessness, the agitation, the not wanting to go home, the feeling bad that I wasn’t there doing things, the sinking feeling in my chest. I knew one of the reasons, a little job I had to do, that I should have done already, that I was feeling guilty I hadn’t, that I was worried some one would start chasing me about. All I needed to do was do it, I knew that, but doing the job meant facing up to the fact it wasn’t done.

Luckily a friend came round unexpectedly and snapped me out of it. I did some tidying whilst talking to her and of course, doing things made me feel better, chatting to a friend made me feel better, as I knew it would. So then I did my job, which took 5 mins, checked my email and was able to send one saying it was done before she chased. Phew.

But it was all so precarious, my get out of that little fugue. See, I nearly didn’t answer the door when my friend rang the bell, because I didn’t know who it was. I hid in the kids bedroom trying in vain to see from an impossible angle who was there. If she hadn’t rung the doorbell again, I might be still in this little bind now.

And then my friends kids rang my mobile this morning. An unexpected call from a local number before 8am freaked me out, who had I let down now that was trying to get hold of me, the anxiety started all over again. I managed to answer it but they didn’t speak to me. And then my phone had a message. But I hate picking up messages. Plus there are loads of unheard messages on my mobile, which started as ineptitude at working out how to pick them up, but now I’ve worked out how the mass of them fill me with guilt and dread, my own little pit of hell hanging around in the ether at the end of a phone line. In the end I got my husband to phone them back and it was resolved.

All in all, nothing too bad. Just a horrid little reminder that I can’t just ignore all this because it isn’t going away any time soon. It counts for nothing I was being very good an organised and capable last week (I was feeling a little proud of myself) that’s no insurance. But better a little wobbly reminder than a full scale crash.

One thought on “Going round in circles

  1. Does it help that I know EXACTLY what you’re talking about? That at this precise moment in time there is a lengthy list of ‘shoulds’ running around my head and I’m avoiding them with the aid of the interweb instead? It’s hard, really, really hard, to break that cycle. I’ve tried so many times. I always feel great when the most urgent thing gets done, I promise myself I’ll remember that feeling and not let the build up happen again. But, invariably it does. I’m also very tired of this little dance. But, I talked about it with therapist yesterday. She pointed out that while it’s great to do (insert whatever job), sometimes, self compassion will mean acknowledging that enough is enough and I can’t face said job at that moment in time. Of course, that leads to a whole new level of second guessing as I try to work out if I’m being self compassionate or lazy…………!! All we can do is try. And then try again. And yes, a little wobbly is a lot better than a full scale crash x

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