Lately I’ve been trying on a new way of thinking. It is kind of like trying on a new pair of shoes.
This thinking is something I borrowed from my boyfriend. I call it the don’t torture yourself school of thought.
It all started when, for one reason or another, I found him saying, “don’t torture yourself,” to me about something. In all likelihood I was probably trying to make a decision (something I am terrible at doing) and screwing up my face like one of those smilies that has an “S” for a mouth. You know. :S
The truth is, I am quite good at torturing myself. How else could I maintain a job while depressed? Or force myself to do any of the innumerable things I don’t want to do?
Like see my psychiatrist?
Or eat spaghetti sauce with onions in it?
Or make a decision without laying awake for hours at a time trying to land on what to do?
It seems like a lot of my life has been spent doing the things I ought to be doing, because I should be doing them, and not because I wanted to. Instead I filled my time with self-torture, forcing myself to do things I didn’t like because it seemed like a good idea (or because I was told it was what I should be doing).
What if all of that has only been feeding my own misery?
It is so easy for things like depression and anxiety to feed off of that self-torture, and forcing myself to be unhappy on top of being unhappy has only made those things grow quite steadily. This is, of course, a theory, but it seems pretty logical to me.
Now, I realize that this is something of a balance. If I ran around doing whatever I wanted 100% of the time, things would be all kinds of helter-skelter. However, I have a tendency to spend more time torturing myself than feeling good, and I could definitely do some work to even up the playing field a little bit.
I’ve already uttered this little phrase to myself a few times since my boyfriend brought it up, and it has already alleviated some needless torture.
So my words today are merely an echo of something wise I’ve been told;
don’t torture yourself!