When I don’t know what to write, the best thing I can do is just….start writing.
I’ve learned some things about myself this week. And the temptation, as always, is to overanalyze those things until I am exhausted.
First, I have learned that my physical self takes a nosedive when I become sick. The autoimmune side of Hashimoto’s is, in fact, a real bitch. I came down with “the crud” 12 days ago and am just now starting to feel like myself again. Not only did I feel physically horrible, my mental state took a turn for the worse, teetering on some pretty bad depression.
Somehow or other, I powered through, and feel like I’m on the upswing now. Still, it is a harsh realization to know that the slightest physical illness can now affect my thyroid levels to the point that it can take me back to the worst of the symptoms I experienced at the onset of my hypothyroidism.
The temptation was to linger there, in that dark place, and dwell on the fact that my body will never be “whole”. Hypothyroidism never heals. It is simply (or not so simply) maintained.
But then something else happened.
I took a personality inventory this week. The Enneagram profile is different than other, similar tests I’ve taken throughout the years, but the analysis of the personality types was a bit more…..practical. I have no doubt that I am, in fact, a 4 – “The Romantic”. Not because I believe in romance per sé, but because of how my feelings dominate everything else about me.
It took a good year of therapy to learn how to identify my “true self” amidst the chaos of my often intrusive and conflicting emotions. And I believe I’m better about disassociating myself and situations from my feelings about either.
Where I need improvement, is in the process of getting out of my own head, and not letting what I feel stop me from doing the things I need to do in order to live my best life. When I don’t know what to write, the best thing I can do is…..just write.
When my feelings threaten to overwhelm me, the best thing I can do is…..just breathe. And focus elsewhere.
The temptation is to simply distract myself, but that’s not necessarily healthy. And the effects of that will ultimately do more harm than good. Because, after all, no matter where you go, there you are.
Instead, I’m learning how to channel. Take the energy that I would normally spend on that overanalysis and turn it toward more positive efforts.
This requires discipline. My type 4 personality tends to only want to do whatever I’m in the mood for. And when your dominate characteristics have to do with your own feelings, moods can change on a dime. It is said that type 4’s enjoy melancholy.
I don’t know that I “enjoy” it so much as I’m sort of comfortable there.
I suppose the question I need to be asking myself most often about my behaviors and actions is not my initial response, which is to sort out my feelings but rather, “Is this healthy?”.
I know the answer to that, more often than not, is probably a resounding “no”.
So, as the last quarter of the year approaches, I’m attempting new disciplines. Fighting through the “don’t wannas”. Pushing myself in areas where I know changes are necessary for my own mental and physical health.
And a funny thing happens when I do that. An ironic thing. I feel better. Good. Positive. In control of my feelings instead of the other way round.