Day 365 – Happy Birthday

It’s been one year since I started this blog. I feel like I haven’t really come very far in the past year. I’ve had a lot of realisations about myself, but it’s been hard to keep them in my head. I’ve made progress only to backslide again. I think one thing holding me back was the deeply ingrained belief that I can’t really change. That I’m fundamentally flawed.

But the thing is, I believe others can change. It’s not as common as movies would have us believe, but I’ve seen it in real life. Among my friends and even in my family. I know it’s possible. But, I know it’s not easy. And that’s why I’ve failed. Trying to change is always uncomfortable, and often painful. And coupled with the belief that I can’t really change, I guess I haven’t felt the effort was worth it, or would lead anywhere. That I was putting myself through all of this for nothing.

So, it’s time for me to challenge the belief that I can’t or won’t change. Until I really believe that, I’ll be going around in circles.

I read an article a couple of days ago about change, and this is when I realised what has been holding me back. The article said that it is our feelings and emotions that thwart us when it comes to changing; emotions and feelings are the neuro-chemical memories of past events, and to a degree automate our actions based on our past experiences:

“If emotions brand experiences into long-term memory, then when we are faced with current obstacles in our life that require thinking and acting in new ways, and we use familiar feelings as a barometer for change, then we will almost certainly talk ourselves out of our ideal…Our feelings reflect the past. But to change is to abandon past ways of thinking, acting and feeling so that we can move into the future with a new outcome. To change is to think (and act) greater than how we feel. Emotions like fear, worry, frustration, greed, and self-importance are familiar feelings that, even in the midst of transformation, if we decide to succumb to, will surely point us in the wrong direction.” (Can You Change Your Brain by Thinking Differently by Joe Dispenza)

All of my life I have been a puppet to my emotions. Every time I’ve tried to fight them I end up in too much pain, and I start to think about ending my life. I’ve effectively disabled myself to change under pain of death. What a dick bag.

I’m starting to learn to tolerate my distressing feelings, and next week I am also beginning a weekly group therapy program that will teach me to regulate my emotions more effectively. Once my emotions don’t have me in such a choke hold I will attempt, slowly, to take new actions that go against what my emotions have normally held me back from.

I know it will be uncomfortable. But real change involves doing things that feel uncomfortable. The actions will be unfamiliar, and we won’t have our neuro-chemical memories telling us what to expect. It’s flying blind.

Gah…even the thought of it makes me feel all twisted up…but that is just my emotions trying to keep me from changing.

Emotions, you’re not the boss of me anymore. Well, not for much longer, anyway.

I can change, and I will.

2 thoughts on “Day 365 – Happy Birthday

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