Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Getting to the Real Reason

Yesterday, I was griping about being in a nasty mood about a list of annoyances.

This morning, my husband Bob, who is a psychologist, suggested that maybe my irritation list wasn't the main thing that's bothering me. Maybe instead it's that a family member is showing undeniable and troubling symptoms.

The truth swept over me--slo-mo. He was right. That was it, I could feel the certainty of it in my jaw muscles, which I've been (destructively) clenching in my sleep.

Now, why can't I always figure out for myself what's bothering me? Is it aversion to facing the real reason? Lack of courage/boldness?

I had even questioned earlier how I could feel so sad and mean over stuff that's pretty familiar and doesn't usually get to me at all.

I'd like to have a procedure for: getting to the real reason for whatever is going on in my own head. Because just identifying it is a tremendous relief. And because I don't like deceiving myself.

Again, I welcome your ideas.

Upcoming: in response to the dare/meme from Mamie Potter at Can I Do It?, tomorrow I post my closet picture, thus letting it all hang out.

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mamie said...

Closets coming out of the closet. I like it!

Debra w said...

You know, Peggy, sometimes we are so close to whatever is really bothering us that it is difficult to pinpoint it. I'm thinking of a telephoto lens. When we zoom in really close on something, it becomes distorted and hard to distinguish. It is only when we step back and take a wider look at things that we can get a clearer picture. Maybe by focusing on all of the smaller annoyances, we are trying to distract ourselves from the thing which we do not really want to face.

I don't think it is a lack of courage or boldness that causes us to zoom in on the nit-picky stuff, but rather the fact that we are too close to the situation to really measure its affect on us. It is useful to have someone who is close to us take another look at things to give us a different perspective.

I hope that things work out okay with your family member.

Peggy Payne said...

Great idea you had, Mamie.

Peggy Payne said...

Thanks, Deb.

This afternoon, after a perfectly fine day, I felt a sudden pervasive sense of inadequacy. Really strong. It passed in about 15 minutes, turning into sadness.

The first one was easier, because it's potentially fixable. By "trying harder." Getting more adequate.

But the second one passes too; it's just that there's no hurrying it.

Debra w said...

So true, Peggy. That happens to me at times, and like you said, I am usually able to move past that feeling of inadequacy. It is the sadness that sticks around for longer than it should. I try to distract myself from it, but it lingers just below the surface.

You are right. There is no hurrying sadness. We sometimes just have to give into it, and allow ourselves to feel it for a while.