Choosing pain 

A therapist once told me that I choose pain in my life. Subconsciously, I choose the path that causes me the most pain, the most hurt, the most destruction, the most worry, and that causes my self worth to go down. Of course this is not reflective of every decision I’ve ever made in my life, but in general, I would say she was correct. I have directed my life in a way that has led me to live the same mistakes, and punish myself repeatedly. 
There are a few ways in which I have done this:

  • Money – as I’ve mentioned in my previous posts, my relationship with money is not a positive one. I spend beyond my means month in, month out. And I never learn. Mid-month I am left in a gut-wrenching situation of not having enough money to live on. I am therefore again reliant on parents to fund me through the rest of the month. Every month, I feel how awful it feels to have no money, and I cannot account for what I have spent it on; I have nothing to show for it! And each month I never learn. I choose to use my debit card like it is a source of infinite wealth, which unfortunately it is not.
  • Relationships – this is something I do feel that I am getting better at. However, previously in my life I can see how choosing pain was reflected in my choices in men. I would choose men too old for me, with a bad reputation, or who just showed me the wrong kind of attention. I would always get burned. And I never learnt. When I then met a wonderful man, my opinion of myself was so low that I let him go, thinking that I was unworthy of having his love. I am lucky enough to have found another wonderful man, however there are still some days where I choose pain. Without realising, I lose my temper, pick arguments over nothing, and bring my walls down. Again, I’m choosing to bring pain into my life.
  • Family – my relationship with my family has been turbulent to say the least. Despite our relationship being much more positive these days, I still have a tendency to focus on the things that my parents don’t do, the things they don’t say, and pay particular attention to their mistakes. In my head is a catalogue of things my parents have said to me in the past, in the heat of the moment, that stick with me and replay in my mind often. I choose to keep reminding myself of this. I choose to continue to hold an anger towards the way things are now, which is different to how I wish they would be. I stubbornly, yet subconsciously refuse to let go of the pain that my parents choices caused me. I also hold an anger towards my Mum’s abusive ex husband. He, like no other, can enrage me even at the mention of his name. I have held on to anger that is like drinking poison – it is only hurting me.
  • Food – I don’t allow myself to eat when I want to.  I don’t take care of my body and eat healthily as I should, or even a balanced diet (I love unhealthy food too much to eat rabbit food all day everyday!) I choose to stave myself in fear of how my own body may reject it.  I choose to let fear override my natural need.  I choose to give in.  Whether I mean to or not.
  • Negativity – depression leads to a lack of being able to see the positive side to a situation. I am guilty of choosing to see the negative, whether intentional or not, in most situations in my life to date. I choose to worry about what could or might happen. I choose to focus on the worst case scenario. I choose to let my mind run away with me, and I choose not to be in control of it. In turn, these negative thoughts are what causes my panic attacks, my anxiety and my low moods. I am, whether I like this truth or not, choosing to allow my fears to take over. I am ignoring the coping mechanisms that I have learned over 13 years (shown in the way that I never do my regular reading that is supposed to help to remind me to keep focusing on the coping mechanisms and using them in every day life), and instead, I let the anxiety take over.
  • Jobs – in my working life, I can easily identify areas in which I have chosen a struggle over a decision that reflects positivity and a sense of worthy and deserving. I have always been an A grade student, and it doesn’t come naturally to me, I have had to work for it. Despite this, I finished my A levels and allowed myself to just fall into retail work. I chose jobs that I could do with my eyes shut, in fear of not being worthy of a job that would truly challenge me. And because my mind was not challenged, I found these jobs mundane, monotonous and quite frankly, dull. They were not for me, however I chose to stay.
  • Friends – this is a bit of a sore topic this week. I am a person who likes to see the good in every person, I go out of my way (and miles and miles out of my way) for my friends, never judge a book by a cover, and I’m always open to new friendships. These are things that I am proud of. However, these are also traits that have led to me getting close to people who are just not healthy for me. For example, most recently I have befriended people who instantly didn’t feel “comfortable” to me. Quite frankly, time has revealed that they are really quite miserable people who choose to create misery and drama in the lives of others to make them feel better. There has been a few occasions that I have found myself in the company of people like this: negative, nasty, bitchy people. I choose to not follow my gut feeling that these people are not my kind of people. I have good friends who are positive and comfortable to be around, they are supportive and lovely, and these are the friends I need to keep choosing to spend time with, not the ones that create a negativity around me that I can’t shift.

Why do I do this? 

  • I don’t feel worthy
  • I don’t feel deserving
  • I don’t feel that I should be happy
  • I feel I should be punished
    • (These are all subconscious underlying feelings that yes I am working on, but I have been working on for years. I’m trying. God knows I’m trying)
  • Ok, so I’m a bit of a people pleaser – I want to be friends with everyone. I want everyone to like me and I want to like everyone. The fact is, we’re all too different to like every single other human. The morals of others that aren’t in line with my own are not really the type of people I should be around.
  • I hold a lot of unresolved anger and resentment

I need to stop choosing the hard option, and the option that causes the most destruction.  I need to continue to try to make a break from the patterns that have developed over my 22 years, and begin to become the positive person I truly want to be.  In order to do this I must let go of the feeling that I am not worthy of having whatever it is I want, because I am.  I don’t want to live a life of unhappiness. Who does?

I guess that’s the thing with depression. Ostensibly, it looks like we are choosing a life of pain, negativity and sadness. Quite the opposite.  We can’t escape this life. We would, if we had the chance and the know how.

Yes, there was a stage when I was subconsciously choosing pain. But when I look at my life now, while it is still not a conscious choice, I am not trying consciously enough to choose any other path.  I know pain is my go to guy, so I need to push through that, and continue to make choices that lead to success, positivity and happiness.

Action plan points include:

  • Leaving the negative people in my life at the door and stop trying to please them.  I actually have acted on this today – I have had a bit of an epiphany! I have realised that whilst looking for the good in everyone is a nice trait, I must learn to recognise that some people have so little good in them that it is not worth trying to improve them, or make excuses for them.  Some people are not meant to walk beside me on my journey.  Some people are just here to teach us how we do not want to behave. And I have definitely met plenty of people that I don’t want to be like. Take something positive from everyone you meet, even if that is that you will work your hardest to ensure you don’t behave as they do.
  • Allowing myself to accumulate some money, even in small amounts. I have created a penny and small change jar, and a pounds jar.  The small change that accumulates in your wallet can add up to enough to treat yourself on a rainy day, so I need to allow myself to have money, instead of giving it away in fear of keeping something I don’t feel worthy of. I am worthy of having money, and of setting up funds that will keep me supported.
  • Focus on myself and my own growth – I need to continue to meditate, spend time alone, breathe, read my coping mechanism notes and my self help books, write etc.  I need to continue to grow into who I am, and to make myself proud of how I improve each day. I need to stop making excuses or saying “I’ll do it later”, as later never comes. I am important! The only person you need to be better than is the person you were yesterday.

I need to stop delaying, and making every excuse under the sun.  It is time to choose life, and choose happiness.

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8 thoughts on “Choosing pain 

  1. Hey, Suitcase Kid. Again, I’m touched by and impressed with your work. You do a great job of observing and sorting out what goes on when things don’t go well.

    I want to chime in in defense of you, though. You say that you’re choosing all these destructive behaviors, and I believe there’s truth in that, but I also believe that choice isn’t the whole story of anyone’s behavior. You’re being pretty rough on yourself; you’re blaming yourself for your choices, and perhaps some of the choices you make really are things you could change with a bit more effort — if you happen to have effort that isn’t already going to something more urgent.

    But change takes time, and big change takes a long time, and you’re proposing rather global changes. There are circumstances that led to the choices you make, and to the choice habits you’ve formed; maybe some of those circumstances still exist. For instance, I eat more comfort food than is good for me, but I don’t fight it very hard for now, because I’m well aware that I lack other sources of comfort. If I can work my way toward finding essential comfort in healthier ways, I’ll have a lot better success doing without the aid of comfort foods.

    Even where the circumstances that originally led to destructive behaviors are no longer present, deconstructing coping mechanisms is serious business, and it isn’t necessarily under our control, at least not on a schedule prescribed by the conscious mind.

    Your action points seem more geared toward compassion for yourself, and I hope you will find yourself able to take care of yourself in those ways. In a phone conversation, I once said to a man (who I eventually realized was verbally abusive), “If I don’t start enjoying this conversation in the next five seconds, I’m going to hang up.” I did hang up, five seconds later, but I never had to do that with the same person again. It was a wonderful technique for ridding myself of bad company. It seems like the same sort of thing you’re imagining for yourself.

    I’m hoping you’ll choose compassion and patience for yourself when you’re able. Think of how you’d treat a beloved child, a child who’s been through all that you’ve been through. I hope you’ll gently aim to treat yourself that way.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much. Reading your words has made me realise that yes, I can’t rid myself of all of my behavioural patterns as simply as I would like to. These patterns are in place because I am lacking in another area. To focus on filling the space of something that I lack may in turn change some of these patterns.
      Thank you so much for making me see things from a different perspective. And thank you for being kind, it’s just what I needed 🙂 x

      Liked by 1 person

  2. DeDear, I really wish I lived nearby and could meet you to chat. I see so many patterns in you that used to be mine. Just know that things do get better. Not perfect, but better. I would recommend you read Benee Brown’s The Gift of Imperfection and Daring Greatly.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. (Comment didn’t seem to go through so I’m posting again)

    Reading this and finding myself agreeing with many of your feelings. Something that has always helped me was coming to terms with the idea that some things are out of my control. It makes it easier when I try my best but things don’t go the way I want. I think like what onehungryghost said, it is important to have compassion and patience for yourself. Loving oneself wholly, inclusive of strengths and flaws and everything, is difficult. But I think being kind to oneself is a good step in that direction.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Goodness, I’ve had a day in which that advice rings so true. Some things are beyond my control, and sometimes that is a wonderful thing. It’s definitely a difficult thing to forgive yourself and be patient, but I am trying, and everyday is one step closer to the me I want to be 🙂 Thank you for your lovely words, they truly mean so much.

      Like

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