Giving Up Destructive Habits

Everybody has a thing, a habit that they wish they could break, a destructive impulse they wish they could tamp down, a personality trait that they kind of wish wasn’t so prominent. I’m not talking about things that can’t be changed, I’m talking bad habits, addictions, a cruel streak. Everybody’s got something. Whether or not they acknowledge that aspect of themselves or even whether they want to change is a different story, but we’ve all got something. I’m choosing not to write about my something, because to be honest the people closest to me know, and the rest of you don’t really need to. Maybe someday, but I’m not ready now.

However, I am going to talk about giving that thing up. Which is something I’ve tried to do repeatedly since I was in High School. Changing a behavior that is comfortable to you, even if it’s extremely uncomfortable to the people around you is super difficult. Even with therapy and friends and people who love you it’s not easy, and for me I have a feeling it’s going to be a lifelong battle. Even seeing that in black and white makes my heart skip a beat a little bit, constantly being on top of your behavior and how it may make other people uncomfortable is exhausting. Hiding parts of yourself from everyone except those closest to you is exhausting, and worrying that the next time you reach out might be the last time you talk to the person even if it’s someone you love and someone who you know loves you. I worry a lot that I am too much. I’ve had friends run before, and I always dread the day that friends will run again. It is constantly on my mind when I’m speaking with people. I am not an easy person to be around when the going gets rough, and the going gets rough a lot. So I worry. I am passionately loyal because I am afraid that if I’m not I won’t be enough.

There is a positive part to this entry though, and here’s where the self care comes in. I know a lot of that is irrational thinking, catastrophic thinking, and anxiety brain thinking. So I write. I write so much. You think I talk a lot on this blog? You should check out the journals—no actually you shouldn’t you’d be terrified. Take yesterday for example, I got to go see Susan Werner, one of my favorite performers with some of my favorite people on earth. People that, I really really hope will never run considering the various states in which they’ve seen me, there’s not much left to bare there. Being in that room with the group of folkies singing along is my version of church. I don’t really get to go out much, but when I do I try to fill up my heart enough to get me through the next week, day, or sometimes even minute by minute. I spend a lot of time alone, sometimes it’s incredibly lonely, but most of the time it’s a time to recharge. I’m working on changing my bad habit, there’s no guarantee that it’ll last forever, which is why sometimes we take it seconds at a time, and sometimes we have to lean a little harder on those we really hope don’t run.

Meditation has played a huge roll, as well as knowing my limits. They are different from neurotypical limits, and learning that lesson was the most important thing that I’ve ever learned. Distraction and artmaking helps. Being around people, well being around people I can skip the small talk with, helps.

The thing is, I’m starting to realize now, (7 years after starting real mental health help) that this is a lifelong thing which has come in waves for as long as I can remember having a name for what was going on up there. It’s a tough realization, but I definitely have finally accepted it, and I think that’s why I’m doing better than I have in a while.

I’m still afraid of people running, I don’t think that fear is ever going to go away, but I feel less afraid now. My very close people I think are here to say.

Also, for those of you who I’ve hurt with my actions over the past 6+ years, I apologize. I am a work in progress, I am doing my best, and will continue to make that progress.

Until next time

love,

bri