I’ve been amazed today by the change in my energy levels between the morning and the afternoon. I thought I was on track to have a great day, but by about 2pm I was pooped and couldn’t really do any more. I drank plenty of water all day, so I’m positive that it wasn’t dehydration related and it felt more like mental burnout than a physical tiredness.
The morning session was perfect, I got up at around 6:30am, had coffee and wrote Wednesday’s JOURNAL. I went for my walk and then did some writing on my book. I persevered with the section on my parents divorce, and whilst I didn’t progress the story, I was able to expand on the origins of my self-sabotaging behaviour, in particular these three trigger points:
- People in authority and the misuse of power
- Injustice of any kind
All three are very closely linked. The way that they related to my self-sabotaging behaviour is through my lack of boundaries. Prior to recovery, if I experienced any of the above behaviours, I would be triggered into involving myself in the situation, with the end result being that I would self-sacrifice.
This is how I self-sabotage, by self-sacrificing. The so called “cause” becomes EVERYTHiNG and NOTHiNG else matters. My own well-being becomes secondary.
I find politics to be a particularly triggering area, as it seems to inherently contain all three of my above trigger points, so these days I tend to give it a very wide berth. I have found that generally, my mental well-being has improved and been much more stable since I stop paying attention to anything outside my sphere of influence.
The self-sacrificing originates from my hero complex, which I remember originated as a fantasy with my friend Richard A. when I was in primary school. I’m sure most young kids image themselves as some form of super-hero. Mine was Spider-Man. It was only years later, after moving from Northampton to London, that I began to use this fantasy as a coping mechanism, due to the circumstances that I found myself in. This is also around the time when everyone was classed as a “winner”, even the losers and schools were cancelling sports days and handing out participation medals, so that everyone could feel “special”. I started to believe that I was special like Super-Man, with unlimited power and resources. I could cope with anything. This is “the curse of the strong” and can ultimately lead to burnout and depression, as we keep battling on regardless.
These days it’s all about boundaries and moderation, but I’m still learning and these behaviours will crop up if I’m not careful.
All of this stuff originates from OCD (Obsessive, Compulsive Disorder). My symptoms don’t manifest as a particular behavioural pattern, such as compulsive cleanliness and obsessive hand washing. They manifest much more generally, but are typically triggered by any form of injustice, whereby the cause becomes my primary focus, in which I must give my all in order to resolve the situation.
I don’t recall demonstrating any OCD thoughts or behaviours before moving to London, so perhaps the situation and circumstances that I found myself in during my parents divorce created it? I know I felt as if I was in constant danger after moving to London, couple with the family breakdown and my apparent powerlessness over the whole situation. It makes sense and because I was powerless back then, I have continued to seek out these control dramas, so that I can relive them and try and change what I couldn’t change back then. Thanks to recovery, I am much more aware of this behaviour and able to stop myself when I feel as if I’m being dragged into a potentially harmful situation.
On the topic of my energy levels, I think I must still be on the threshold of burnout, so I can only cope with so much mentally taxing activities before I need a break or I’ve simply had enough for the day. I felt unsettled during the afternoon and couldn’t decide what to do with myself. The cricket world cup started today and England were playing, so part of me just wanted to listen to the cricket and chill out for the afternoon, but another part of me felt as if I should be cracking on with my writing. I guess this is all part of the flexitime approach to self employment. I’m in charge of what I do and when I do it. I did have a productive morning, so I guess all in all, on balance, today has been a good day. I think I’ll take it easy again over the coming weekend, just to be on the safe side.