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Friday, January 6th, 2017 07:05 am
Last week, I reflected on managing the demands and stress of being in a caregiving role. I think i am beginning to hear Christine's message to me that we have moved into chronic illness care. While she has gotten better since the acute episodes some years ago, the "getting better" trajectory may not continue.

There's a balance i need to find between hope for continued improvement and sustainability. After writing last week and corresponding with [livejournal.com profile] bobby1933, i asked myself, "What am I attached to?" My plan, was my answer to myself. The "ah-ha" for me (that won't be obvious to anyone else) is for me to recall the bad habits i developed in grad school. In the morning i would say, "I am going to make progress on my dissertation today by doing X!" Get to the lab and there's a crisis with the computer system to address. That crisis might be over by noon, but my inner message was, "Well there goes today! I've been interrupted and can't make progress. I will go read all of Usenet."

In hope, i plan for a morning (my most productive time) that includes Christine at her best. When elephants intrude, i am taken by surprise, and my intention is thwarted. If i don't set intentions, i loose that productive time. The obvious (to everyone else?) and challenging (to me) thing to do is to set the intention with the awareness that interruptions may happen.

Ugh.

Great, universe, thanks for handing me ANOTHER chance to learn this skill.

I guess the question for me, for this week, is why do i insist it is all or nothing? There are so many parts of my life where i am far better able to deal with ambiguity and uncertainty than my peers. Why can't i say to myself, "I will do X this morning, unless Y happens. If Y happens, it's OK."?

Better yet, why can't i say to myself, "I will do X this morning, unless something happens to interrupt. If i am interrupted, it's OK. It doesn't mean i am a failure at X." And after the interruption, i can go back to X. I am not DOOMED."

Why can't i?

It is true that my energy to do hard-for-me things diminishes during the day, but i think i've turned that into an all or nothing thing too. Not even bothering to tackle certain things in the evening.

Which is hinting at a second cognitive fallacy ("I can't do things in the evening") that may be influencing the first cognitive fallacy ("If i am interrupted in the morning, X will never get done.")

OK, another cognitive fallacy: It's not a matter of "can't". Why do i resist doing so?

I know there's something in these patterns that played into my depression, childhood lessons that one should be not wasting time. I know one of my ways out of the crippling parts of depression was to choose to not do things, to say back to "you oughta" inner voices "No." Choosing not to be driven by the "you oughta" was its own battle.

I don't want to be driven: am i seeing here that i think the choice is "be driven by some judging energy or fritter away time?"

OK, a vague area for queries for me to carry into the next week.
Friday, January 6th, 2017 06:05 pm (UTC)
I just wanted to say that I appreciate getting to read your thinks as you process.
Monday, January 9th, 2017 03:13 am (UTC)
I empathize so much. I'm realizing husband's condition is not likely to get much better than it is until the national and his job political situation changes (minimum 4-6 years) or he retires (anywhere from later this year to 13 years, depending on circumstances).
And I've become more realistic about my own chronic depression, affected by the same things affecting him, by him, and by my own lesser but still frustrating job issues.

Your response to "do X despite short-term derailing shines a bit of a light for me. I think I've been allowing myself a little too much to accept my tiredness and depression & sit like a lump more often than doing little good things that don't take much energy--such as emailing friends or posting to my DW blog! Sending Light and encouragement to you on this path.

edit: so glad you didn't post this privately--it's so valuable to me both from a solidarity point of view and as encouragement/gentle nudge to me!!! Thank you!!
Edited (see "edit" section.) 2017-01-09 03:14 am (UTC)