There's this thing I do when things start to get hard in my life or up in my head. I decide to give myself a day off. I put on yoga pants instead of jeans, cancel any plans, drink too much coffee and eat too much chocolate. I tell myself it's okay to let the kids watch TV most of the day once in a while, that I don't have to get off the couch all day. I tell myself that I'm allowed, that I DESERVE IT, that everyone needs a rest sometimes.
And it feels wonderful and indulgent and refreshing. For about 5 minutes. After that it sucks.
I don't want to go out or do anything or write or even play on the floor because it seems HARD and SCARY and completely overwhelming. But the longer I sit on the couch, the more I try to "give myself a break," the worse I actually feel.
Whenever I try to explain this, I seem to get it wrong. People tell me, "No, no, it really IS okay to let them watch TV. It IS okay to rest. You DO deserve it. Tell guilt to shove it."
But it's not guilt, really.
I get bored. I get lonely. I spend too much time on my computer trying to do something that makes me feel not bored and not lonely, and consequently I withdraw more from the things that will actually make me legitimately fulfilled or stimulated or connected. I get in everyone else's business in the hopes that helping them will distract me from myself and make me feel good, and sometimes that works but sometimes it just sweeps me into more dramas.
I need to get dressed. I need to get out. I need to clean my house and cook real food. I need to write. I need to just show up. Even though I don't feel like it.
And this is different from faking it until I make it. Because it isn't fake. This put together person I haven't been able to find in the mirror, the one who is smart and capable and loving and brave, she is REALLY ME. The sulky slob on the couch who doesn't care about anything is not. And I'm not going to pretend to be happy when I'm not, I'm just going to step into the arena and be who I really am and start to face the things I've been lying to myself to avoid.
Because I deserve it.