Hi again Mary and hello everyone.
I got into a pickle with some friends recently- I had said yes to a weekend away that has just gone by, but was so busy working my wedding availability around my new school terms and my daughter's half term break that I forgot to say I was unavailable for weddings, got scheduled to do 2, and then couldn't find cover. they were both on Sat early pm. In normal circumstances I would have just gone there after the weddings, but with my daughter's homesickness on top of that I just felt I couldn't. someone new had been enlisted to go on the weekend away, and the friend who organised it told me that her money would be used as a kitty. so when I realised I had to cry off i asked for a refund. I didn't like asking but £180 is a lot. Oh god, it's such a long boring story, involving a bit of reluctance to give me any money back ( I will get a partial refund as it turns out), someone trying to persuade me to come just for a night, me feeling I had to relent and say I might, knowing I wouldn't, then finally saying how I felt pressurised and that people weren't taking me seriously. The long and the short of it is this. If I don't say how I feel I feel shit. If I do say how I feel I feel shit because I somehow don't feel I am entitled to say how I feel. If I didn't get any money I would be pissed off, when I do I don't feel like I deserve it. and now I'm worried there will be an atmosphere between me and that group of friends.
I am happy to go out and do my TA work, but apart from that I feel the need to retreat, some might say isolate. and I don't know whether it is right to say how I'm feeling, or whether I am actually feeling sorry for myself and getting bogged down in self-pity. I'm feeling quite critical of others and worry it could be becoming a pattern, an excuse to isolate.
When I drank I just drank these internal knots away! Last night I was persuaded to go to the village quiz, which was sort of OK, but really I needed a quiet night in after a tiring weekend. I did something I hadn't done for decades- I stuffed myself stupid on the food provided, going mainly for the crisps and chocolate. I felt awful afterwards, and had a bad night's sleep...I ate last night as I used to drink, and how a very long time ago before drink was a problem I sometimes used to eat. I think when I agreed to go on the weekend away I may have been thinking it was something I SHOULD do. My friend had said she would understand if I said no because of not drinking (they are a big drinking crowd) and somehow I wanted to prove to myself that is no longer a problem. It isn't much of a problem anymore, but it is a bit dull being a non-drinker in that situation. I also notice that I quite often agree to things and then when the time comes just want to put on my pyjamas and stay in with the dog.
I'll be ok, I'll process it (the emotions as well as the binge) but I notice if I am somewhat reluctant to do something my mind just seems to go into open rebellion. It sometimes feels like I have to pep talk myself into leaving the house! the good thing about the TA work is that I quite easily forget myself and just engage with the kids. Of whom I am not at all critical.
At therapy I am sometimes pointed towards a) not managing anger and b) feeling that my feelings are of no significance. But I worry that people will think my feelings are like some form of tyranny if I express them.
Thank you Delphi Life ring, as therapy isn't on this week I needed to get that out...
Stress-eating, I understand that so well, E. I've noticed too in this last year of fluctuating depression how I drink too much coffee when I feel flat as if caffeine could give me a 'feeling' of liveliness and normality instead of just hypedness.
There's no definite approach to 'fix' decision-making problems, is there? You had a tricky overlap of commitments and it was hard to say what you wanted, in part because knowing what you wanted was difficult. Money and expenses and getting refunds (gulp, especially from friends) is always fraught.
In retrospect you prioritised being with your homesick daughter and those wedding commitments took up time. I've found that the lethal expression when it comes to dealing with uncertain attendance is 'I might' because that is an invitation for others to push harder and keep up pressure. But I was brought up believing that saying 'No' was rude. So I am inclined to sound vaguer and more undecided than I feel. And as you say, I tend to put others before myself when it comes to honouring feelings. Except for writing -- there I claim time ruthlessly because if I don't, I can't earn money or have enough time for completion, revision etc. That's pragmatic to me and I say No quite cheerfully and unapologetically. Nope, I say, work, sorry but no.
But I'm not able to do that when it comes to relationship outings and family reunion things or going to supper with the neighbours. It's complicated. I don't want to be anti-social and often I've gone along ungraciously and reluctantly only to enjoy it, feel I should do more of this kind of socialising. Sometimes I've looked forward to something and made time and paid expenses and then hated every minute, promised myself I won't do that again. We're social creatures who find it hard to regulate or manage human sociability. I try not to dither or let others override my natural hesitation. Feeling bullied or manipulated is the worst and I fight that. Often though, it isn't that clear-cut. I hate disappointing someone so I get vague and woolly, leave it up in the air. The person resents me more than they would if I had just refused point blank. I come away knowing I handled that badly and it makes me want to not go anywhere ever. Then it all starts over the next week, another invitation, another dilemma. If I know my own mind, it is easier. But I am slower to realise tiredness or depression (a new factor in my life). It sounds as if you were simply too tired for a village quiz evening and the eating might have been bound up with anger as well as tiredness. I used to think of my drinking at times as swallowing anger and grief and frustration, swallowing rather than speaking.
Life, E, impossible and still we go on -- I hope this week goes better for you.
Thanks for that Mary, it is wonderful to know that I am not alone in this.I think of a poem by Ogden Nash about dithering-SONG FOR DITHERERS
Good news! And yes, us ditherers.
And I loved Ogden Nash along with Hilaire Belloc when I was a child. The other day I went off to a new farmer's market to buy fresh baby artichokes and when we had parked, I climbed out and slammed teh car door, one of my oldest faults. Immediately I thought of Belloc and his Rebecca Who Slammed Doors For Fun and Perished Miserably.
A trick that everyone abhors
In little girls is slamming doors.
A wealthy banker’s little daughter
Who lived in Palace Green, Bayswater
(By name Rebecca Offendort),
Was given to this furious sport.
She would deliberately go
And slam the door like billy-o!
To make her Uncle Jacob start.
She was not really bad at heart,
But only rather rude and wild;
She was an aggravating child…
It happened that a marble bust
Of Abraham was standing just
Above the door this little lamb
Had carefully prepared to slam,
And down it came! It knocked her flat!
It laid her out! She looked like that.
Her funeral sermon (which was long
And followed by a sacred song)
Mentioned her virtues, it is true,
But dwelt upon her vices too,
And showed the dreadful end of one
Who goes and slams the door for fun.
The children who were brought to hear
The awful tale from far and near
Were much impressed, and inly swore
They never more would slam the door,
— As often they had done before.
Ah, love it! Been thinking about Hilaire Belloc only this week, after a friend posted Cautionary Tales as one of his favourite ever books on Facebook. I immediately responded- The chief defect of Henry King/Was eating little bits of string.
Off to slam a few doors.
Irresistible, those catchy lines! I can sometimes see myself propped up on my death bed and my last words would be something out of Mother Goose's nursery rhymes. Little Ms Muffet sat on a tuffet/ Eating her curds and whey!
Hayfever today and I'm in an itchy fog and miserable.
Our first 55 degree day here in Washington, feels so wonderful.
Our meadows in West Virginia are awash in ragweed, I can't help but like it. Some years it bothers me, others it doesn't. This is one it doesn't.
Also, our forsythia is blooming - not full out blooming, but quite a few. That's the first time I've seen it bloom in the fall. Don't know what to make of that.
What did you think of the revised Delphi layout?
Brian, it looked much cleaner but I could only get back in once and then couldn't access it. I think we might talk with Craig and perhaps do a re-launch of the forum, with posts on LifeRing's main website and some announcement. I'd be concerned that older members who drop in from time to time should still find it. What do you think?
Sounds good to me, do you want to contact Craig or should I?