Why Do I Forgo Self-care?

I didn’t feel so bad this morning, likely because I took my supplements last night for the first time in several days. So why don’t I make a point of taking the supplements every day if they help me to feel better?

I came across some reasons in my post-sleep study. Note that I’m not saying they are valid, just that they are there.

Feeling better doesn’t fix anything, it just obscures it.

The supplements support my neurotransmitters and my endocrine system. They help my body chemistry to work better despite the presence of trauma patterns. The supplements don’t address the trauma patterns; instead they override or work around them. The trauma patterns represent pain. Every trauma zombie in my system is a place where I am continually and perpetually experiencing pain, where a horror movie is playing on an endless loop. Without the supplements I am more connected to the pain, and there is a way that that is more real. That pain wants resolution; it does not want to be glossed over by some kind of magic wand. I expect that some people who are on prescription meds for psychiatric conditions may lapse their meds for similar reasons.

So the healthiest resolution to this obstruction to taking my supplements would be to find a way that I can be solidly connected to the distress that remains in my body, while also using the supplements as a support resource. That means that I will need to come up with practices and habits that bring me to the places in my body where the distress is held on more or less a continual basis.

When there is pain in my body and I am aware of it but am ignoring or neglecting it, that is an act of abandonment and betrayal toward myself. So choosing – mostly unconsciously – not to take my supplements may be a choice to not continue to betray myself.

I want to stop forcing myself to do things

Sometimes, I have an organic impulse to take my supplements. But more often doing so is a task, as is brushing my teeth and getting out of bed. I’ve spent my whole life forcing myself to perform necessary tasks for my survival. I want to find a way to live where I am no longer forcing myself to do things. Even though some of these tasks are small and not unpleasant, the experience of making myself do what should be done is unpleasant.

So how do I cultivate an organic desire to perform all of the little tasks that make life work and make life pleasant? That is certainly a key question.

What fuels me?

I don’t know if this directly relates to the supplement question, but I had a different kind of insight this morning as well. Three of my late morning dreams or snippets – none of which I remember now – were about being motivated or fed by pain or distress. Last night I watched a tv show with a character that fed on fear and death, so that may have fertilized these dream patterns. But when I look at my life, what I see is an ongoing quest for survival, a struggle against continual obstacles – emotional, relationship, financial, psychological, legal, and practical obstacles. The fact that sometimes my perception and experience of those obstacles has been larger than the obstacles themselves does not change the reality that I have been driven all my life by risk and threat.

When I have tried to reframe my life so that I was driven by vision, there have been risks and threats that have arisen to challenge the vision.

Inability to take in the good feelings

And part of the problem here, something that I have had some awareness of for at least 12 years, is that when good things happen to me, I don’t seem to have the circuitry to fully experience them and integrate them. I don’t have the means to feel into the integrated web of my support, my success, my gifts and my vision and feel held and propelled by that. I’m not saying that feeling good about myself and my life is not possible, I’m saying it does not happen of its own accord, and does not come easily even when I reach for it. And when I can get to that place of feeling good about myself, there are caveats lurking in the background. I would assume this is common for people with post-traumatic systems, especially those with developmental trauma, who could not feel good about ourselves and our lives when we were infants and young children.

So clearly one of the paths to being able to be propelled and motivated by vision and inspiration is to directly diffuse the trauma zombies. But is it also possible to build a virtual nest for myself, an inner reality of good feelings and good things, which can hold me even as I continue the process of chipping away at the trauma remnants.

I typed and untyped the word “remnants” a couple of times. For someone who is not living with trauma remnants, I judge that it is too mild a word. I use “trauma zombies” because it carries an accurate level of threat and distress. Curious what kind of terms are used for this by the scholars in the field.

So how do I create such an inner nest? If my nervous system and my fundamental constructs for perceiving my life do not allow for me to savor good things or to feel the ways that I am held and blessed, then just creating some sort of physical and mental metaphor doesn’t seem like it would make much of a difference.

But I have built nests before. When my children were little, I kept a room that was all pillows and cushions and stuffed animals and beanie babies.

And when I organized a women’s gathering some years ago, I set aside one large corner of the room and filled it with a great pile of pillows, so that women could go there and be cradled by the pillows, and/or by one another.

So perhaps the key is to attend to the raw visceral desire for cradling that was experienced by my very youngest self and that she still carries.

I have a host of floor pillows and I have a space I can use, so I am going to create a pillow nest for myself, with quilts and music as well.

And another sort of nest I have built before is where I have taken a space in my house and decorated it with scarves and cloths and colored papers and other beautiful things. It has been many years since I have created a nest of cloth and color. It is time.

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