For the past several years of my life I’ve felt like I’m on a giant see-saw. So many ups and downs, backs and forths, setbacks and opportunities coming at me that I rarely know what to do or say let alone what choices I should be making. I find myself too often on auto-pilot, just going through the motions and getting through the day. Then some days that doesn’t work any more and I snap, unleashing all of the anger, stress, fear, pain and the whole plethora of emotions that have built up inside. The poor person who is unlucky to be around me at that moment always reacts with shock and wonder at what is happening, what I’m so upset about and why I’m still fixated on “that issue”, whichever one it happens to be. I’ve always known deep down why I do what I do, it’s because I repress what I’m feeling in order to please others around me. It’s what I’ve always done and I think a lot of women do the same thing. Being a people-pleaser means shoving our feelings down and away, pretending everything is great and being the perky, helpful, upbeat problem solver for everyone else while inside we’re drowning.
So often, instead of dealing directly with whatever issues are brewing under the surface we as women choose instead to self-medicate. We do this with gossip, a couple of extra glasses of wine, social media scrolling, shopping, etc. Anything to avoid those simmering, underlying problems that we’ve never addressed. I say all of this as explanation for the detox program that I am embarking upon. I have 41 years worth of issues that I’ve never truly dealt with – some good, some bad and some neutral. I think it’s high time that I start spending some of the love and attention that I so eagerly lavish upon others on myself for a change. I want to do some serious internal work and reflection and in order to do that I am setting some guidelines for myself. For the next 60 days, I am putting the following detox rules in place:
- NO SOCIAL MEDIA – I am guilty of mindlessly scrolling instead of doing productive things or dealing with immediate issues. I’m also guilty of buying into the lie that everyone else’s life is as good as it looks on the feed, that they’re better than me and that I’ll never measure up. I’ve found myself feeling the need to compulsively post pictures and events in lieu of actually enjoying them. I don’t want the pacifier and time-suck of social media anymore and I frankly crave some anonymity and alone time, away from all the online fakery. I want to focus on the plans we’re making, on reading and writing and working on myself. So other than the occasional link to a new blog post I’d like to share, you won’t find me online. If you want to talk, give me a call. Or contact me here, through this blog. Let’s do this old school.
- NO BUYING – I’ve already started this process so I don’t think I’ll find it too cumbersome but I want to expand a bit. Other than food and immediate needs, I won’t be buying anything at all. No books (I’ve got thousands unread on my Kindle already), no clothes, no bathroom products, no gadgets of any kind. We have more than we could ever need and are working hard to downsize, so there is no reason in the world to acquire more.
- NO ALCOHOL – I don’t know if I’d go as far as to say I have a drinking problem, but I have noticed that it’s become a bigger part of my life than I’d like it to be. It’s become just a part of what we do and while nine times out of ten everything is just fine, there’s always that one time where I have too much and the floodgates open – all the junk I’m holding onto inside comes crashing out in a big puddled mess. This isn’t a healthy way to deal with anything. I’ve also just wondered lately how my life might look different without drinking as a part of it. Will I be happier, more productive, more active? Will my skin, my weight, my sleeping patterns be positively impacted? What will I do instead of activities that involve alcohol? It’s not necessarily that I feel like this is something I must do, I’m just curious about what my life will look like if I give it a try.
- NO DISHONESTY OF ANY KIND – I don’t consider myself someone who lies, I feel that I’m an honest person. However, there are little white lies that I tell at times to avoid friction or confrontation. There are also many times that I lie by omission, that I fail to tell the whole truth about something because I’m afraid of how full disclosure will affect the relationship or how the other person views me. But this is such a false way to live. Yes, I’m safe and comfortable but I’m not being my real, authentic self. I’m also very isolated and alone, keeping my truth hidden and not allowing others in. I want to be fully authentic, to live my life as an open book and leave nothing hidden away. I might lose some friends but that’s okay, that just means they weren’t supposed to be a part of my journey anyway. I’d much rather have friends who love the real me, not just the woman I pretended to be.
- NO NEGATIVE THOUGHTS OR ACTIONS, TO MYSELF OR OTHERS – This will be a definite struggle for me, I have a very hard time turning off that negative little bitch in my brain who likes to point out every single flaw I have and the flaws in others, too. The good news is that I’m finally understanding that she is nothing more than a nasty little voice and that I have the choice whether to listen or ignore her. The less I engage with her nonsense, the less I seem to hear from her so I’m really hoping that I can eventually shut her off for good. That’s the goal I’m working toward and the work I’ll do every day: recognizing her for exactly what she is, ignoring her and choosing positivity instead in every situation.
These are the five guidelines I’ve set and I’m looking forward to spending the next 60 days really working on them and on myself. This is not me being selfish, it’s taking care of myself and making some improvements to my life. I will post accountability updates here along with updates on our upcoming (hopefully) trip. I’m looking forward to sharing this journey with you and I hope that it might encourage you to take a look inside and consider your own detox program, however that looks for you. I’ll be here cheering you on!
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