succumbing to peer pressure

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Be Nice to Yourself

AWB has commented that I appear to bring chocolate and wine and sitting on the couch to a new level, practically an art form. And it's true that I'm good at the outward sort of niceties - I am a champ at lounging, bubble baths, at-home pedicures and facial masques etc. etc. It's the internal stuff that I'm not so good at. In my head and in my body I am really hard on myself, downright mean and unforgiving. And I'm not trying to garner sympathy or wallow, this is just a new-ish realization for me, and I'm trying to feel my way through it. In a million tiny and not-so-tiny ways every single day I am judging myself. On not-so-good days it's about the progress I'm making in therapy and with my anxiety and I add up how many days I've been feeling 'off' and berate myself for not being 'better' already. Because, really, I should be by now, right? No, of course not. But without reason or justification and despite all evidence to the contrary, that's my interior monologue. It's the reason I constantly beat myself up about my financial situation, feel guilty about every penny I spend on non-necessities and actually have to think about spending time with friends if it includes spending money (this one garners a double-whammy because I get to beat myself up about the money thing and then again for actually contemplating putting money in front of quality time with people I like). It's a double-edged sword, this personality trait of mine, because it's also what drives me to succeed at school. Feeling guilty about blowing off research and getting motivated to stick to a dissertation schedule is, arguably, a mostly good and non-harmful thing. Replaying conversations, kicking myself for social awkwardness, being totally unaccepting of weakness...these fall under the harmful heading. On the one hand, it's sort of frightening to notice just how often I do these things...on the other, that's a first step toward actually being nicer to myself, right?


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