I have been in a rut lately. Had a bit of a rough few months at home, which has actually finally made me realise that I can’t expect, or continue to wait in hope, that other people will make changes in their life- I just have to take my happiness into my own hands for once.
I guess I had a bit of a co-dependency issue with "her", but I’m not sure if that’s the right term… But what I mean is that I was enabling her and she was enabling me. Anyway, she just recently did some things that highlighted issues that I had allowed to lurk in the shadows… I mean I knew these problems existed but I didn’t want to do anything about them or be the one to make any changes in fear of rocking the boat.
See, one of my bigger issues is worrying about other people- worrying about them in general and also worrying about how they would feel if I were to worry about myself for once. Damn, I wish I was better at using the right words to convey what I mean, while still being diplomatic and not giving it all away… But basically, I have spent a lot of time (too many years) putting myself at the bottom of the list and putting other peoples’ needs above my own… without realising that no one had me, or my feelings, high on their list either… So, now, after many years of being in this situation, someone who I was ‘helping’, someone who ‘needed’ me, someone who I made sacrifices for, has made it so glaringly obvious that they were taking advantage of me (and, if given the chance, will continue to do so), that I now have no choice but to act… to rock the boat, to ruffle some feathers and to put myself and my needs first… And I guess to stand up for myself, finally.
I have been doing a lot of thinking… I’m pretty annoyed at myself for not being wiser and not seeing things how they really were… I gave this person the benefit of the doubt, against what people advised- or at least invested too much of myself in their recovery. I feel like I took a gamble on someone, and lost out big time… Something worth so much more than money. I lost time.
Issues with family suck. Many years ago, when things really truly got to boiling point, I was there when I was needed… Even though I got nothing but grief out of it (and when I say grief.., I really mean a crap-load of heartache and emotional abuse for no reason other than the perpetrator getting satisfaction out of seeing me hurt). Nothing I ever did was enough and even the small amount that was noticed, was certainly not appreciated or given any value. I was made to feel guilty for things that were out of my control, made to “pay” for debts that were not my own and still never doing enough. Ever since I was born, I have to admit, I have been seen as an inconvenience.
I hope someone out there understands what I mean.
Anyway, last year I went to Camp Eden, a wellness resort in QLD, with my sister. It was pretty great… and at times confronting. We went there to relax, pamper, look after our health, stop smoking and detox from some self-medicating that was going on. I had to confront obvious fears (like heights, flying foxes, bugs- and tonnes of hilarity ensued) but there was also another part of the program that prompted really deep thinking. The Eden Program.
It was the kind of thing when they say one little thing and it just totally opens your mind and enlightens you in ways you may not have even known needed any thought. It was a daily part of the Camp Eden experience, though nothing is compulsary, and some sessions were like workshops, were we would be told all these enlightening, yet non-specific, things, which we would then have time to workshop (in pairs, usually) to our own specific needs. Here’s where my problem came into play. You see, I was at Camp Eden with the instigator of a lot of my problems… And, we were nearly always paired together. So, I really couldn’t speak freely… I just let her go on about her troubles. And believe me, that is how it usually goes.
Anyway, one day my sister didn’t do the Eden Program… she was having a facial, and it was so annoying, as they were talking about letting go, accepting responsibilities, not blaming other people for your own problems etc etc, and all I kept thinking was ‘trust my sister to miss this part”. The things I thought she needed to hear most. As the workshop went on… I realised I too needed to hear it. It was really all about taking responsibility for your own… um… your own, everything, I guess. And the thing I found most helpful from Camp Eden was the notion that the only thing you can control is yourself. You can’t control someone else’s’ actions, only how you allow their actions to affect you. Grr, I just cannot put it clearly, but, my gosh, I swear I was enlightened like crazy. It was so thought-provoking and overwhelming for me, that when it came time to workshop in pairs, I had nothing written down to share…
I spent so much time being caught up in my sisters’ problems, I failed to notice my own- Even when I was at this workshop, I was still thinking about her problems… Until, bang, I realised I wasn’t doing myself any good… You know how they say ‘you can lead a horse to water but you can make him drink’. That is my situation. I can listen, empathise, sympathise, try and help, try and offer advice, be as understanding as can be, try and help lessen the burden, making her problems my own, but if she does nothing to change her own situation- the same situation she got herself into, why am I wasting my life talking to a brick wall, listening to the same broken record over and over again?! I guess I have come to realise that some people must like being miserable, they must enjoy being able to tell anyone who will listen all of their problems, without ever bothering to help themselves. I guess it’s easier to wallow then it is to take responsibility and change things. Well not me, not this time, anyway.
The thing is… with family, you can’t just walk away. Right? I still have to offer support, just not at the expense of my own welfare, anymore.
Just one example of the manifestation of my unhappiness is that after having lost the same excess weight over and over, one would think I may have learnt that you can’t just diet to lose weight and then eat like a pig and not exercise and expect not to gain weight. I don’t know why I did it, or why I continue to do it, but as of tomorrow I am back on Lite’n’Easy (I was on it years ago, for convenience and weight loss and again I need it for both). I am looking to shift about 10 kilos… I don’t want to go on my hard core diet again; I just need some balance… And in the emotional state I am at the moment, I am unable to make healthy food choices for myself and end up binge eating like crazy. I also got another coupon for Contours and I am going there tomorrow!
P.S- I like how I started off trying not to mention who I was complaining about, but in the end I guess it's obvious who I am talking about.