Posted by: Judy | September 26, 2016

Follow Up on Meltdown

Last week, I dug a little deeper and discovered I still haven’t forgiven myself.

This actually isn’t new information. What’s different?

My counselor worked to teach me I have value, and here I am right back where I was.

I’ve written about his assignment before, but it bears review. He assigned me the the 5/50 task. (Funnily enough, my sister just posted about this challenge on her blog.) I had to do something every day for someone else that didn’t take longer than 5 minutes and didn’t cost more than 50 cents. At the end of the day, I had to write what I’d done.

I picked up garbage, offered my place in line, smiled at strangers, endeavored to make life pleasant for cashiers, let other cars in. I wrote each item down.

I returned to my counselor, who asked, “How did it make you feel?”

“I could have done more.”

He blinked. Not a praiseworthy accomplishment on my part to make him blink.

“You were supposed to realize that every time you wrote down something you did you were writing ‘I am a good person.'”

I blinked. Wait… what? Nope. I didn’t see the connection at all. To be honest, I still don’t.

I’ve seen horrible people do good things. Granted their motive is self-centered, but that doesn’t mean that what they did wasn’t good. So how does me doing something good make me a good person?

I have to step back and look at the bigger picture. Another fail for me, in many ways. I had a counselor who complained that I glommed everything together, like a pizza. Sounded good to me. Nope. She wanted me to look at each ingredient. She was attempting to teach me to focus on one thing at a time, instead of being overwhelmed by everything. For her goals for me, seeing the big picture was mixing together too much information.

Here’s what I could never adequately explain: I was expected to consider every possible aspect, outcome, variation, and by darn I better pick the best of all of them or I would be interrogated. Even if I did every single thing absolutely right and perfect, I still faced the interrogation. “How could you have done it better, faster, more efficiently?”

That insanity is still in my head with everything I do. I battle it every single day. Most days, I do pretty well. Then there are days like what happened last week. It all piles on, and I break. I drop into default: It’s all my fault. Everything wrong is my fault.

The weird thing about me is that I go through these pits of despair, and yes I’m instantly transported to Princess Bride, which doesn’t change my problems but usually makes me smile for a moment. A bit like a pressure value, I suppose.

I go through days, like last week, where I simply can’t hold it all in anymore. I dump it into a story or here on my blog, and I can breathe again. There is an instant sense that I am not alone. I spent so many years all alone. I never want to go back to that. Ever.

My sister’s post also talked about being a warrior of hope. There are times when I tease myself that hope is one of my gifts. I can find a silver lining in a hurricane and have on numerous occasions. My world repeatedly blows up in my face, and I keep going.

Speaking of the world blowing up in my face. It isn’t that it’s stopped, but I’m better at rolling with the punches.

Update on the WIP: I added over 4,500 words this weekend. I couldn’t do it without God’s daily inspiration. Book isn’t done, but I’m inching closer, with God’s help.




  1. Have you thought about returning to counseling? It seems to have done you a lot of good in the past. You’re worth the investment.

    • Yes, I have. I’m stuck in “what do I want out of it?” It’s difficult to look for a counselor, if you don’t really know what you’re looking for.

      • I dunno. Whenever I sought a counselor, my goal was to feel better about myself. It’s the work of therapy to discover the rest.

        • True. My first counselor came about because I fell apart at work, and work referred me. The second counselor I met through group therapy of sorts, and the last was my sister’s counselor. It was relief knowing I wouldn’t have to “convince” him of anything. He knew already. I’m not sure how to go forward. What is forward? I’m writing. My health is a mess but has been for as long as I can remember. I have good friends I interact with online and in person. I struggle with self-worth, but don’t most people? I’m doing better. I’m not where I want to be but will I ever be? I’ll won’t be young again. I can’t change things in my past. I’ve had to let go of a lot of dreams simply because it really is too late. I’m working to create new dreams and to see my self worth. I’m learning to stand up for myself and learning to let go of things that don’t matter. Last counselor really didn’t think I needed another counselor but a life coach. I’ve looked into several, but each of them has been more racehorse mentality than turtle, like me. Something to think about, and thanks for reminding me to not completely forget about it.

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