I Am That Girl Now

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Transitional damage

The more I study my own weird psyche, the more the similarities between my issues start to stand out. I have problems changing tracks. My Hub refers to this as "if you were a car, you wouldn't corner very well." I love forward momentum; it's turning or changing the plan that throws me for a loop.

This is a problem.

When I'm eating, I like to continue eating. I get all happy about the process, about the lovely taste of things and the way it feels in my mouth and I just want to keep that thing going. In spite of having been doing this for a year and eight months now, in spite of having the knowledge tattooed on my brain of what a proper serving size is, in spite of being perfectly satisfied, stomach-wise, with a proper plate of food, there's always this sad little voice in my head that pops up at the last bite: "What, it's over? Nooooo! I was enjoying it so much! Can't we just keep going?"

Until a few days ago, I hadn't made the connection between that reluctance to let dinner end, my problem with changing plans, and my reluctance to change other actions. Once at rest, I feel inclined to stay at rest. I have inertia. I never particularly mind doing things, once I'm in the process of actually doing them-- it's the transition, the part where I'm going from a passive state of being to an active state of being, that I dislike.

I find that the actual transition period has two distinct phases, broken up by three points. Phase A begins when I realize that I probably ought to be doing something (or when I am told I'm going to have to do something), and ends when I finally go do it. Phase B begins when I start doing the thing, and ends when I finally stop my mental complaining about the fact that I'm having to do X instead of nice, comfy Y.

The points are immutable-- they all happen, every time. The phases, though, can either go by very quickly or take weeks. During cranky phases A and B, I am just plain off. I'm irritable. I'm just short of pissed off.

It occurs to me that all too often I allow myself to wallow in these phases for much longer than the actual task takes to perform. I am a natural procrastinator, a queen of the art form, and I can manage to bitch about having to do something for a solid month before I actually get around to investing any time in it. (That said, unless it's something I genuinely resent having to do, I usually forget that I was mad in the first place mid-way through the task.) This make very little sense when I think about it, because the faster I get over myself and get the stuff done, the sooner it's out of my hair.

It's not just tasks. It's new things, or unfamiliar things, or things I don't remember being particularly good at. Parties, bowling, meetings, family gatherings, writing thank-you cards, going to a parade, discovering the bottom of the ice-cream bowl. If I'm the least bit anxious about it, I will whine and put myself in a mood for far longer than such things deserve. And the thing is, it is me putting myself in a mood.

I always think about this process, if I think about it at all, as a way of avoiding fears and anxieties and the annoyance/pain of going through these things. It is that, I think, but like binging (particularly as discussed in this prior post), my foot-dragging and procrastination doesn't accomplish what I want it to accomplish, it just makes things worse.

I really do need to get the hell over this. It's an old, old habit, older than the binging or even mere overeating, and it's comforting in a screwy way, but it doesn't help me at all. It doesn't do anything but damage. The scary things don't go away, and my fear of them doesn't go away, until I do them. I can control this, I know I can; it will make my life better if I do.

Breathe in, breathe out. Gotta give it a shot.


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