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Goodbye Darlings

I’ve worked out of my latest funk. Literally. I have a friend who is in the same space as me as far as wanting to take better care of himself, and he and I are holding each other accountable. We’re making it a contest. Last week I exercised half an hour a day for four days. This week my goal is to work out five days of the week. We’re just making half an hour to breathe a little harder, get the heart beating a little faster, nothing major as far as lifestyle change or difficulty, but it still makes a big difference. It helps so much to have an accountability partner. For me, it helps for that accountability partner to be a cute guy I want to impress. *Insert smiley face and shrugging emoji here.* I know, I’m still fairly ridiculous, but if it works, I’m going to use it.

I feel much more balanced again. Taking care of me doesn’t feel like as much of a roadblock. My sister sent me an article called 6 Honest Reasons Why Self Care Is So Hard (and Can Feel Lousy). It made absolute sense to me and helped me figure some things out.

Here are the reasons it discusses in the article:

1. Negativity Bias
2. Effort
3. Shame
4. Confusing indulgence with self-care
5. It’s hard to make good decisions when we are tired
6. It’s not hard to set yourself up to fail

Each of these reasons definitely applied to me. The one that resounded the most interestingly was the negativity bias, however. She didn’t really explain what that meant in the article, so I had to look it up. Essentially, it’s the idea that, as human beings, we respond more strongly to negative consequences and stimuli than positive ones. It is more instinctual for us to avoid pain than seek pleasure. Avoiding death is more imperative to survival than seeking life, if that makes sense. This may seem inaccurate when applied to addictive behaviors because they are all about appealing to the pleasure center, but think about what exactly drives addicts to the pleasure center in the first place: avoiding pain.

I found this concept intriguing and very applicable to me. It makes sense that I would first do things that make other people happy, so I don’t let them down over making myself happy. It’s more painful for me to let others down than it is for me to let myself down, as far as the short term. Simply recognizing this factor helped me on my way to reversing it. I am a human being after all, not an animal that has no control over adjusting my perspective and situation. So I went about adjusting. Again. Some more. Over and over and over. And that’s okay.

I am a dynamic character in my story, constantly changing, experiencing countless plot lines. One of my writing professors used the phrase “kill your darlings.” The phrase refers to getting rid of some of your favorite lines or even characters if they no longer serve your story well. That’s what I’m doing. I clung so often to my victim mentality, but it weakened my ability to progress, so I had to kill it. I feel such validation as a martyr, sacrificing myself for others to the point where I drive myself into illness. In the long run, that will kill me, so Miss Martyr needs to go. Goodbye darlings. Hello zombie raccoon Medusa Rogue Wonder Woman of the cosmos

with wings.

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