Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Swapping a punch in the face for a pat on the back


Huge day for my girl and I today. It's the end of the Playcentre term, and our co-ordinator is leaving us. She's been at the centre for 9 years, but felt it was time for her to move on. So we had a going away party, with Playcentre families from years gone by, and other members of the community attending too, to say farewell.

I haven't been regularly attending the centre with my daughter for most of this term. I've gone to a couple of meetings, and done a few other things, but really I've pulled back in a major way since going into hospital. So going this morning felt really scary.

I felt anxious being around so many people, especially because I'm not feeling very sociable, and I feel like I don't have much to add to conversation. And because there are so many questions about how we're doing and what we've been doing. Also, I feel ashamed that I'm not helping out as much as others are, at a time when our centre really needs it. It's hard to look people in the eye and talk to them when you know they're going through hard times too, but they're still managing to work hard to keep the centre going.

So this morning was very overwhelming. In fact, I very nearly didn't go. But I did. My daughter had miles of fun playing with the other children, and I was put on parent help duties as soon as I walked in the door. Still have to get some flecks of paint off my new jeans, lol.

We got home about half an hour ago, both of us exhausted. I put my girl to bed for her nap, and proceeded to start berating myself some more for all of the ways I'm letting down Playcentre and our small community. "Blah-blah is going through this and that and still managing to go to every session. Such and such has this problem, but she still bakes beautiful cakes and brings them in. Etc, etc"

But then it hit me. I went today, dammit! I participated. And although I haven't been going regularly of late, I still see myself as a member of that group. I still have people round for coffees and lend an ear to them when they're under the weather. I still made soup for our Winter Lantern Festival. I still collect collect up jars and share them out amongst our members who bottle preserves. All of those little things mean I still participate, and I'm still a part of the centre.

And that actually means something much bigger. It means I've worked hard to change a pretty deeply engrained negative behaviour of mine. Because not so long ago, if I had missed a few sessions of anything I was involved in, I would have been out that door, and they never would have seen me again. I would have avoided phone calls from people, I would have pretended I wasn't home when people knocked on the door, I would have hid from people in public. All because my social phobia creates elaborate reasoning's in my head as to why I should be so ashamed for "failing" at being a member of something, that I can never forgive myself.

So I haven't been going to sessions because I haven't felt up to it- too bad! I'm not a great conversationalist right now- tough! I need to catch up on paper work and other jobs for the centre- oh well! I'm not going to focus on that, or on punishing myself over it. I'm not going to punch myself in the face. I'm going to be proud, I'm going to pat myself on the back. Because, in my life, in my recovery process, I've achieved a great success!


Ami Crazzi said...

Well done you! :) You did great :)
Sounds like you had a good day, social things are scary and i totally get the leaving altogether because you feel like you've failed sometimes its like i don't know a mistake is fine a few is failure and failure is final and i live in that mindset and i can't get out of it but i can, because it is possible
you did brilliant today, i like the last line the way you said in my life etc because we do compare ourselves so much to everyone else and we should be this and we should do that but everyone is different and whats easy for me isn't easy for her and vice versa
great post :)

Maya Monroe said...

Thanks- it's funny because I know things like this would seem trivial to others, but when you have chronic anxiety they seem like huge, insurmountable problems.

And I always need to check my thinking for too much comparing myself to others. It's so hard not to, but when you stop, you can actually acknowledge the true progress you've made. I can do things today that I could never have done in the past, because I've worked hard and progressed, and I have a right to feel proud of that hard work, even if others are doing better.

Kelly said...

Babysteps. :)

Bev said...

good for you. i found you and your blog through the promote your blog on thought from paris. i would love for you to visit my blog and follow if you like it.

new follower bev
ps keep writing. good stuff

Maya Monroe said...

Hey thank you Bev- that means a lot :-) It's hard to write about personal things, but I think it's important. I'll definitely check out your blog- thanks! :-)

Maya Monroe said...

And thank you Kelly also! You've been quietly following my blog since I started- it's been great to have the support of at least one follower!

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