A Fine Line

I had a horrible night last night.  I fell asleep okay and was in the middle of a deep sleep, dreaming of Mexico-ahhhh.  Then I woke up and couldn’t go back to sleep.  And started to beat myself up about all sorts of stuff.  What’s interesting-kind of- is that I did the exact same thing to myself I used to do when I was drinking.  Going over my life.  Focusing on all of my failures, my near misses, my shoulda’s-woulda’s and coulda’s. Telling myself that I’m 60 not 40 and that’s a whole different deal.  That health problems are starting to show up in people that I know. Of course then I started focusing on all of the possible damage I may have done to myself.  I will say that last week I went and got a good check up-complete blood work, a spot sonogram checking my arteries and thyroid glands.  As there was a tiny bit a plaque, I go back next week for a more thorough test.  I go to a dermatologist this week for a yearly skin cancer check-I’ve never had it, but have spent most of my life in the sun-so it’s a good thing. As far as I know, I’m healthy- and I will know more in a few weeks time.

But, it’s also not only about the health stuff.  Why is that that we as humans, and I think especially women get a message that we should always be doing more, doing better.  In other words, we’re never good enough.  Why can’t we/I be happy where I am in life?  Why can’t I accept it?  I mean if I compare myself to people living in say, Syria, I know that I am blessed.  And, just by the luck of the draw that I was born here and not there am I leading a better life. If it’s not my weight, it’s my wrinkles. If it’s not my wrinkles it’s my posture.  If it’s not my posture it’s my living space or my car or my meditation practice or my…….Why can’t I just let myself be happy with myself? Why can’t I accept myself?  Where is the line between a healthy recognition of limitations or desires and an unhealthy obsession with never being good enough?  Never achieving enough at whatever it is that is the focus of the minute.

I have to think that true freedom- or a least a very important component of it-is not comparing oneself to anyone or anything else.  Total self acceptance.  Which would bring about self love. I’m not there.

I beat myself up over the fact that while I had a catering business for a long time-years and years, it never gave me financial security. I always went to the beat of a different drummer-never worked in a corporate environment-except to bring in lunch-was my own boss for most of my adult life.  And it worked for a long time, until it didn’t. Until the economy went down.  Until state agencies took sometimes several months to pay an invoice, which in turn made me late in paying bills.  Until I finally had to walk away with nothing but a good reputation and people that have nothing but rave reviews for my food. But, that’s not money in the bank.  It’s not being self sufficient.  It’s not truly taking care of myself.  Fortunately, my SO is not too bothered by it all and he saw firsthand the struggles I went through the last several years I was in business.  And, he would say that my financial situation is Karma.  That I’m not meant to have money as security in this life.  Well, that’s all well and good for him! He retired in his mid 50’s from a very lucrative profession in commercial real estate in the UK. He definitely does not have the negative money Karma going on!  And, then I know that I shouldn’t base it all on money. But, I look at some of my friends now, who have worked for years and years in corporate jobs-keeping all of their retirement  things going and who will probably be very comfortable when they finally do retire.

I need to be honest here-more honest. It’s not necessary that I work right now.  We don’t need any money from me to pay the rent or put food on the table.  But, I would like some for ME! for whatever kind of security it brings with it.  Petty cash.  I keep telling myself that I am going to put  my name on a list somewhere to do temp work-not food service, but maybe fill in receptionist-something like that. However, I am really having a very hard time getting motivated to do that.  Fear?

One thing that I keep thinking is how in AA they say don’t do or make any huge changes in your life the first year of sobriety.  I think that is about just learning to “be” in this new way of life.  I will have 8 months under my belt in the next week or so.  It seems like a very long time and it seems like no time.

Wow! I’ve drifted! I think the question or the issue is about beating ourselves up.  Alcohol was such a good reason for that.  And now that it has been removed from the equation, there’s all of this other stuff. Do we/I need the drama of self flagellation?  There will always be someone younger, richer, prettier, faster, stronger, more successful…at least on the outside.  We never really know do we?  But the self competition almost feels like self mutilation at times. It’s so easy when someone asks how we are to respond, “I’m good”. But, in reality, I don’t believe it.  At least not all of the time.  Not at 3 a.m.

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