I self sabotage, that is to say that I make decisions which will not lead to a good outcome for me and mine. During my time on this planet, like most people, I’ve made good choices and I’ve made bad choices.
There are two versions of me. One wants self care, it wants to nourish me and believes I deserve to live a life which is healthy and happy. The other, the little bugger, tells me “screw it, you are boring when you only make good choices” ,”make bad choices today you can try again tomorrow” and “you can’t cope with life so you need this to function”. It’s this version of myself that leaves me overwhelmed, unhealthy and unhappy.
Choices I’ve made whilst listening to my devil may care side include drinking, smoking, overcommitting, binge eating and toxic relationships. This version of myself holds me back from being the best version of myself and lately I’ve been wondering why I do it, and how to stop?
I’ve been trying to quit smoking now for over two years. Always following the same pattern. Quit, make it through a period of time without smoking (anything from a few days to several months), smoke, feel worthless, smoke again. I am exhausted by this repeating cycle.
My foolish brain tells me “you love smoking, life can’t be fun without it” and “smoking offers you a solution to your anxious and busy brain, you need it”. I listen, agree there is no way to manage without it and light up. Stupid, unhelpful brain.
Tomorrow is always a convenient day to make good choices, tomorrow brings redemption and a new life. Only tomorrow is always tantalisingly out of reach. Tomorrow, as they say, never comes.
When I’m not making bad choices, when I’m in a good period, I feel good about myself. I feel clean, worthy, winning. I tell myself “you can make a bad choice, you’ve earned it”. Stupid, unhelpful brain.
Recently I’ve not been living my best life. Skipping my morning yoga, smoking, choosing immediate gratification over long term achievement and satisfaction. How do I feel after making these choices? I feel tired, unhealthy and anxious. My relationships suffer, distance forms between me and my children, I don’t want to engage with them until I’m my best self. Which will happen tomorrow. Do you see the pattern?
This needs to stop. Perhaps the key is acceptance of imperfection but definite bans on the worst offenders? Smoking needs to be an absolute no, occasionally indulging in more chocolate than I need could fall into the category of an indulgent Saturday night. Perhaps the aim for perfection is part of the problem? Does all or nothing thinking inevitably lead to nothing?
So I’m sat sucking on my vape, praying that this quit is the one that will stick. Determined to stay home alone today being productive, and giving my brain much needed rest from the stimulation of socialising and being ‘on’ around other people. Saving myself for my children, and my work, instead of spilling out of myself all day until there is nothing left come school pick up time. I want to save my best self for my little people who depend upon my interest and care.
Does anyone else get this? This self sabotage, hurting oneself and looking externally for solutions when everything we need is inside of us.
Today I’m making a commitment to care for myself. To treat and advise myself the way I would a cherished loved one. To aim for a healthy body and mind. Showering myself with self care, not the fun kind all bubble baths and Instagram memes about self love, but the boring kind. The day in, day out choice to eat well, do yoga, stick to my schedule and not smoke!
This isn’t the blog post I planned to write today. The schedule was to write about ‘how to be happy in winter’ but I felt fraudulant so I decided to be honest about recent weeks. By next week that post will feel authentic. Focus on being happy and healthy in winter will have been a priority and I will feel ready to advise. For now this is me, and I’m asking for support to look after myself and stay well. Thanks for reading.