Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Bad Habits

 A long time ago--okay about a year and a half--a wise man once said to me that mental illness can be a habit once the chemical imbalance has been corrected.  He is right and I am having difficulty being wise now.  To me, wisdom is putting your knowledge into action.  So far my bad habits developed over 31 years of hard work are not willing to disappear as fast as I would like them to.  Go figure.  I am discovering, now that I know what is a bad habit and what is truly still a problem, that I prefer on most days to not try.  How sad.
 Habits are difficult to change, especially if you are afraid of hard work.  Bad habits are usually the easy way out and not beneficial in the long run.  So, staying in bed when you feel overwhelmed--bad habit.  Reading instead of doing laundry or cleaning--bad habit.  Children often help the staying in bed all day thing.  Feeding people who come up to you every two minutes and ask for a snack is very difficult to do for underneath a warm and cozy bedspread.  I have recently discovered, thanks to my sister, a way to work and be immersed in literature.  Borrow books on tape from the library and listen to them on your ipod as you do what you need to do.  You do need to delete them when you've listened to them because we do not want to break any federal laws.  Prison or incurring hefty fines are not my idea of overcoming the difficulties in your life.
 Not exercising is also a very bad habit that is so easy not to replace with a good change.  Solution:  get a friend or six to exercise with--but make sure one of those friends has a key to the church so that you can still work out when the weather is bad or cold.  Having support from other people helps when you are having trouble staying motivated.  Especially when you only feel like exercising two or three days of the month and then are sore for a week after you do finally get up the desire to get off the couch.  Those are not helpful ruts to get into.

 Changing your thinking is possible, but again it takes lots of work and consistent effort.  Trading pms for a pma is harder than I thought it would be.  Thinking good thoughts helps with motivation because what you think is what you become.  So, now that I have more control over what I think, I now realize how far I need to come before I automatically think what I want to become.  The ability to clearly see the path ahead, or the consequences of choosing that path, is slowly coming back to me.  I'd like to make the right choice, but feel unable to climb the mountainous obstacle I created stone by stone with past behavior.  Any specific suggestions on how we can trade negative thoughts for uplifting ones?


  1. It sounds as if you are already clearing stones away with the desire to clear stones away. So that counts as a positive thought, right?
    Some days we are all capable of moving stones, but it's ok to realize that some days we may just be able to move a pebble. I love your metaphor, can you tell?