Checking Out

I find myself checking out much more frequently than I would normally care to admit. I spend so much of my time doing whatever I can to keep myself distracted: watching TV, reading, sleeping, surfing Facebook. The more time I spend checked out, the less time I have to spend dealing with myself. 

How do I move away from these coping mechanisms and begin to simply live with myself? How do I learn to enjoy the responsibilities of day-to-day living, marriage, pet-ownership, home-ownership, etc? How do I become a person who is doing more than simply taking up space?

I know all of the platitudes about taking life one day at a time, one moment at a time. But when rubber meets the road, platitudes do nothing for me. If life is a collection of decisions, what does my decision to continually check out say about my life? I want to know why it has to be so hard.

I like my life. I like my friends. I love my husband, my dogs. I want to enjoy these things. I want to enjoy my life. I’m not sure how.

 

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4 thoughts on “Checking Out

  1. Terryn, this is a common ailment/affliction of our times. As someone who has not been DIAGNOSED with a mental illness (who knows what’s lurking in my psyche), I find I battle “checking out” all the time. Opportunities for it are so prevalent and it is so very momentarily satisfying. And yet, sometimes, I “wake up” and notice that my day, week, year, life area ll slipping by without me connecting with those I want to or doing the things that are important to me. I just had a conversation about this over the weekend. For me, distraction initially is a “reward” for the things I HAVE to do each day, and then it slowly, insidiously takes over MOST of my time and attention. Being overseas with limited access to internet was interesting and gave me a necessary break from “media.” What I find is that if I am gentle with myself, forgiving with myself, trusting that I will do what needs doing, I need less “hits” from these distractions to make me feel – what – worthy? connected? You are not alone in this battle. Perhaps our struggle with this challenge is something that is actually connecting for us!

    • Lesley- It’s so easy and sometimes so much fun! The people in my life help remind me of the importance of “checking IN”. Writing this blog helps too. Thanks for reading! – T

  2. As a person with mental illness & half of that is bi-polar & as told by me by my therapist, those with mental illness have it harder than most. I have found this to be true living with it for 20yrs now. the illness it what makes it HARDer. it’s taken me years to start learning to go with the ebb & flow of the illness and I’m still working on that. pardon the platitude I know those or positive thinking or spiritual inspiration and not much of anything works sometimes during the depression. the one or two things that work for me at times is simply a nap or cuddling up with my dog (literally). this illness has been & is the most difficult and challenging thing in my life. sometimes I’ve wondered how I’ve gotten thru, but I have. it is work in of itself aside from the daily living. yet I love life and press forward. there are good days and bad days, the depression being more severe than other times. it has taught me to live in the moment and get thru it no matter what. persevere no matter what regardless of how much a pain in the posterior the illness is as I say. I appreciate moments & little things although other moments I’m screaming bloody murder so to speak. it’s taken me a long time to totally accept that this is part of my life; there’s been different stages of acceptance. my spiritual journey has helped much along with a few other tools given to me by my therapist. it’s still hard yet I have gained gifts from it. I’m better for having the illness. blessings! may the gift of Life & God carry you thru…

    • Karen – Every day I learn something new about living with mental illness. Some things I learn make it easier (like, for example, realizing I’m not alone) and some things make it harder (like, for example, that I will probably always struggle with this). But I believe the more I learn and interact with other people with mental illness, the better off I am. Thank you for reading!

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