Sunday, April 03, 2005

Chaos, my constant companion

Why the microscope on mistakes, imperfections and flaws? I've come up with a number of reasons for why they exist, and their none of their discoveries have come with any prepackaged solutions. At first, I came to understand that I had quote "low self esteem". There were things I tried to raise it - drugs being the most fun, And here I don't mean zoloft or prozac.

I don't publically recommend the high life, nor do I advocate it as "the" solution for low self-esteemism. However, "hot-knifes for breakfast" were on the menu for a good three or four years in my early twenties. And people, I ain't no heroin junkie, cokehead or crack addict. My overindulenge with marijuana was the limit to my big intellectual experiment. Now that I need to live a highly routinized existence, I no longer can fit it in, so I don't. So, I didnt quit because I had some great moral revelation, I just don't have the time to sit around and be high. ANYWAY. The drugs did help. Being introspective for much of my early twenties really allowed me to explore these issues, and I did manage to quit choosing men who were bad for me, so I call that an accomplishment.

That was a tangent if I ever did see one.

Lately, I have had some new insight into my baggage. Well, maybe if I better describe it so you know what I mean. I have a shit opinion about myself: " I'm not smart enough" and "I am lazy", are the two dominant themes to my self depricating tape loop. Frequently I notice, especially when driving, I remember past situations that make me wince. Usually these are memories involving me feeling stupid about myself. So I have tried many things to exorcise my demons: an archaeology of my childhood experiences, affirmations, cognitive retraining...
and I have never found a reasonable answer for why I feel the way I do, or how I came to be so. I came from a stable 2 parent home, who both doted on me. I think part of it may come from the fact that I am terribly dyslexic. I didn't discover that I until I was in university and I was reshelvling books the wrong way at the library where I worked part-time. Did THAT ever annoy my boss. I realized to my credit, that I accomplished much without ever knowing. I had the highest average in my graduating class, maintained a full 4 year scholarship, was on the deans list 3 of 4 years.... Obviously, this was no "disability" in the true sense of the word. I might add that nothing came easy. I think in that struggle, I convinced myself that I was stupid because it was consistently such a challenge.

I still haven't articulated that new insight that has recently come to me. I've realized I am a perfectionist. (DUH!) But in my perfectionism I easily become paralized at the thought of doing something, and not doing it "perfectly" that I end up avoiding it for as long as I can. I think perfectionism manifests so I can feel some control in my environment, since my dyslexia has a chaotic effect. My first response to new situations - new cities, computer code, lots of words on a page - is panic. My brain always wants to start somewhere else...

So maybe I have discovered some causation. In the end it doesn't really make the present any different. So, perhaps my rather depressing expose offers some explaination as to why Pema's stuff suddenly has taken on such meaning for me. I need to reteach my brain. Meditation has helped me catch my wayward thoughts, and instead of wincing, I try at least to note that those thoughts are "just thoughts" and part of my humanness.

2 comments:

Kim said...

Wow. I think you are brilliant. I always have. I always find it interesting how even the brightest people somehow don't find themselves good enough at something. And, the more I read about your dyslexia, the more I find myself relating to how you think and organize. Related to this, Abby is doing great in school, but I'm still not convinced that she isn't dyslexic. You are an amazing person! Keep working through all your baggage...I wonder why it's so fascinating to me to see people think??

Signed...
Your #1 Fan

Robin said...

You should read "Authentic Happiness" if you have a chance.