Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Because It's Just Too Exhausting

If you haven't read Charlotte's blog yet today (www.thegreatfitnessexperiment.com), I strongly advise that you do.
No, seriously, go ahead.  I'll wait...

Ah, you're back.  Pretty good, eh?  I mean, I read the blog every weekday, and it's always good (you're a great writer, Charlotte!), but today's is especially good.  And, like all good writing, it got me thinking. Because in the midst of back-to-school craziness (in our case, after a really fun 4-day weekend), when I was getting overwhelmed and frustrated as the dog needed to go out, WG was fussing and refusing to eat breakfast, and LG kept saying "No school" over and over and over before finally giving in to a meltdown (not ALL typical for him), and I was ready to throw in the towel at 7:30 AM, I was able to sit and read the blog (after getting WG on her bus) and to, well, take a deep breath and remember how hard the first few weeks of school are for our kids.  How nervous I always was, even when I liked my teacher and had friends in my class.  It's still an adjustment, and for kids with Autism it's even more so.
I also realized, as I was writing my comment on her post, that I never truly realized how much I depend on my various neuroses to get through the day.  I know we all have our crutches, but I don't think I realized how heavily I'm still leaning on mine.  Don't get me wrong, I'm nowhere nearly as dependent on them as I used to be, but many are still there, and I'm still leaning on them.
No wonder I'm so tired all the time!  Lugging around that much baggage is REALLY wearying!!!!!!

I also noticed that, after reading the post, I was paying more attention to breakfast.  Autopilot switched off and I realized I was no longer hungry. ( I'd eaten enough.  Lucky dog, she got the rest of my english muffin!)
Charlotte mentions Geneen Roth, and some of her (IMO) best advice: speak to yourself the way you would speak to a young child; with care, with love, and really listening.  I ALWAYS forget this! I wouldn't speak to my worst enemy the way I speak to myself.  And, of course, it's automatic.  I've been doing it for 40 years, after all.
I think I feel overwhelmed because I have very little faith in myself.  I expect to fail.  I see myself as being inept.  After all this time, after everything I've accomplished, I still feel like a failed loser. I was never one of those folks who could speak and walk with assurance, confident in my decisions and opinions.  I question everything, all the time, and while that's not necessarily a bad thing, there comes a time when the questions must stop and action must be taken. And the constant, niggling, whispering self doubts are just effin' annoying!!!!!!
As soon as I got this new teaching job, for example, my brain immediately went to all the ways I could screw it up. I got really nervous because I'm teaching on my own.  Which I've done DOZENS OF TIMES!!!!!! And I'll have the complete support of the staff at the theater that hired me, for cryin' out loud! It's not like I'm directing "Spiderman: Turn Off The dark" (thank goodness!) with millions of dollars at stake. I'm directing a bunch of cute kids who already like drama in a short play.  The goal of the entire class is, basically, to have fun and learn a little bit about theater. We're gonna PLAY!!!!!!!  And yet here I am imagining all the things that could happen that will scar these poor children for life.
That has NEVER happened, in ANY class I've taught.  In fact, I've had many experiences where just the opposite has happened.  Yes, it changes them, but in GOOD ways.  And it changes me, too.  Which is why I do it: I was inspired by drama as a kid.  It was one of the few places where I wasn't terrified, where I had fun and could speak above a whisper. If I can help another kid have that experience, well, that's GOLDEN! And if they just have fun, that is totally worth it, too.

I just don't want to THINK about EVERYTHING so much!  Whether it's food or my weight or work or whatever, I just want to go with it.  My instincts are actually quite good, so why do I second (and third and fourth and on and on) guess them, all the time?
Because that's what I learned.  A long, long time ago.  But those days are gone.  It's time for a new way of doing things.
Because, frankly, the old way doesn't work.  And It's just too damn tiring!

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