Blogging the blues away

by tamarjacobson

Quote of the day:

I won’t tell you how to run your blog; don’t you tell me how to run mine. Ronni Bennett

I have been thinking about Winston‘s comment the other day: "just wondered if you share these feelings, or even the blogs themselves, with your therapist." At first, when I read his words I laughed out loud, heartily, and replied back to the computer screen, as all sane bloggers do, "Winston, the blog is my therapist!" And then I realized the trouble with that, I guess, is that sometimes it is going to be about anxieties, fear, emotional confusion, and, yes indeed, even pain. None of which, I imagine, are the most comfortable to read about or participate in. I am always grateful and surprised when people stop by to read what I write, comment, and sometimes even share personal stories so that I know I am not judged, and not alone.

The last time I saw Bob-the-therapist back in Buffalo was almost a year ago. It became, I realize now, a type of sum-up session of all the years of hard work we had shared together helping me to know how I came to be me with all the complexities, ambiguous, conflicting feelings that make up Tamarika of today, here and now. I remember his warm, smiling face as he seemed to shine with pride about me. He talked about how I had become skillful at recognizing ancient wounds and pushed buttons, and weighing them all against the present realities of my life and ever-developing Self. It was a sad session, a farewell, because we knew that I would not be needing him any longer. But it was a very sweet feeling too. Almost like when we send our children off to college, strong, confident and free to make a new life for themselves apart from us. But it was sweet mainly because I realized that Bob’s finest gift to me was to trust what I understand about myself, my life experience.

Oftentimes, after I have written a particularly challenging piece about emotions and relationships, I feel invigorated, energized and wide open with confidence, forgiveness of self and others, and love. It is so much more than just blogging my blues away. It becomes almost a revelation and discovery about yet another side of myself that I had not thought about or encountered prior to writing about it. Sometimes, I find that while writing about my feelings and putting them into some kind of order for myself, I rediscover old habits that have now taken on different meanings.

For example, recently I discovered that I don’t know when I decided to stop beating myself up. It wasn’t a conscious decision. I didn’t sit down one morning and say to myself, "Kid, that’s enough! No more beating yourself up!" It was more like slowly but surely I found myself in situations where I chose a different route. Plain and simple. This path would lead to pain and misery, and that one to peace and comfort. I started choosing the peace and comfort avenue. Beating myself up has taken on many different forms: feeling badly immediately after a successful moment; walking into a marriage I intuitively knew would be disastrous; eating or drinking to numb out feeling neglected or angry; and, I am ashamed to say or face, including even physically beating myself up. Up until not so many years ago, if I felt like I had been bad or caused trouble, I would pound my chest or thighs until there were bruises, or slap around my own head until I had a violent headache. Yes indeed, literally beat myself up. It is a terribly difficult thing to admit to myself but amazingly wonderful to know that I finally stopped doing that. I cannot even remember when was the last time. But suddenly there it was. Thank goodness. One day, I just stopped doing that.

Holding my deepest, most vulnerable Self up to a mirror has been the only way for me to combat the most difficult, shameful feelings of all: that I am not wanted, unlovable, worthless, and no one’s priority. Unearthing that awful truth I learned as a young child has given me freedom to choose a different way. It is slow going, certainly, because it took many years to develop my childhood psyche, and relearning a different paradigm takes many years too. But, actually, lately I’m feeling as proud of myself as Bob-the-therapist did almost a year ago. Because, even though at times it doesn’t sound like it on my blog, I am a much happier, more peaceful person than I have ever been. My relationships with friends and family members feel more authentic, I experience joy, enjoy the moment, laugh out loud, am not as stressed out and anxious as before, and have a lot more fun generally.

My blog is not about trying to find political solutions for the world. Nor is it a diary of daily, topical news events, although sometimes I share what I think is going on in all these areas. The political affects the personal and vice versa, no doubt about it in my mind! As my new-found friend, Ilene asked right here on my site the other day:

Why does one write? To make things right? To explain and exorcise? To rework the script? Is writing therapy? Or is it a way of pushing beyond the limitations put on us by childhood pains, of working the world out in a way that gives us power: gods and goddesses of the page.

I write for all those things but especially to explain to myself, exorcise ancient wounds and fearful demons, rework [my] script … therapy. It has become a safe emotional environment for me to bounce off ideas and confusing feelings where, finally, I have my own power to validate my experiences as I see and feel them, and not as significant others told me how I saw and felt them, or how I should see and feel them. I need those checks and balances more than most people I know, because for so long I believed, so very deeply, a Truth that is not true for me, not healthy, nay more than that, which is very, very bad for my personal development.

I loved what you said, Winston, as a conclusion to your comment:

You have been through a lot, endured much, and worked hard to earn your "position" in life. So have I. We deserve and we have earned the right to waste time, relax, enjoy, do nothing, if we wish. No guilt. No regrets. No worries.

However, I find that I can reach that much desired state of which you speak so supportively and encouragingly, through doing all the other hard work of self-understanding – through wrestlng those ancient wounds down to the ground and staring at them hard directly at their core, right here, right now on this very web-log-site. Only this time, instead of sharing it with my therapist, I share it with you, my readers, if and when you like and can stand it.

But, mostly, I share it with my ever developing Tamarika Self.