To Want is Willful

This post is obviously going to contain first-world problems.  I have food, shelter, and a basic support group.  In fact, I can say, I have always had all of those things.  I have three parents who have worked extremely hard, so that I can say that.

I have worked quite a bit with people who don’t have these things, the mentally ill and the felonious mostly, and so I see what happens when the most basic necessities are stripped away.  I say all of these things before starting, because I realize, that which I WANT, is just that.  I don’t need these things in order to sustain my life.  I personally have to keep that in mind.

There are four key things that I am wanting, am searching for right now.  I want to lose weight in a normal, healthy way.  I don’t know what that looks like, for me.  I want to figure it out and make whatever work.  I don’t want to give in to temptation over and over, and, I do not want to struggle.  Asking to not have to struggle, is similar to asking for a test.  Fine.  Test me, but help me figure it out.

I want to maintain my currently mental health stability, damn whatever drugs they have to put me on, whatever therapies I have to participate in, whatever hospitals I have to be in, whatever information I have to share.  I will do what it takes.  And I mean I will do EVERYTHING it takes.

This seems small, but I fervently want to get better from this flu that has plagued me for the past week.  People drop things off, but they don’t stay (and I don’t blame them).  I’ve seen the doctor twice, been diagnosed with three separate conditions.  Two will go away with antibiotics and one will go away with time.  Other people should be so blessed, because I don’t know what I did to deserve that grace.

Yet I complain about the things I want.

The fourth thing I want, is to be able to calm down, to take a deep breath, to not let excitement and the possibilities overwhelm me.  Sometimes I get so excited about something, I let all reason and logic and boundaries go to the wayside.  I want to not do that.  I want to just revel in the excitement of a new thing, without freaking out.  I don’t want to push people away, I want to pull them in.  I really feel like I must get a hold of myself.  I feel totally out of control with excitement.

If I was asking my Aunt Pat G. for advice, possibly the most Catholic person on the planet, she would tell me to pray.  She would tell me to find friends and ask them to pray.  Aunt Pat G. has partially recovered from cancer more than three times.  Of course, she has had excellent medical care, but her church, her faith, and her love for God are completely unbelievable.

My faith has all but gone away.  I’ve lapsed in going to Mass with Glo and my faith has faltered.  Why don’t I pray to God on some of these things?  Better yet, why don’t I meditate on some of these things?  There doesn’t have to be a specific God, a church where there are specific rules, a congregation that lifts each other up.

For years I have operated on the assumption that my faith would come on its own time.  I mean, that’s what my dad practically said, and he was in the seminary.  Here and then, sometimes, I would go to Mass.  But I didn’t feel God there.  In fact, I haven’t felt God anywhere in a really long time.

I don’t feel right asking God for any of my wants.  I don’t have a problem with saying a prayer for a friend or lighting a candle for an ailing family member.  I go through the routines, but I don’t find Him there.  And I start to wonder if it’s all this “wanting” and all of this desire to control outcomes that has left me so far away.

My faith has never been strong, but I have always wanted it to be.  I have always been jealous of Glo and Aunt Pat G. who seem to be able to access theirs so easily — who seem to have no doubt.  What do I need to do to get to a point where I can, not necessarily go to Mass, not necessarily pray, but to do the most important thing — GIVE IN.  Stop fighting everything so hard.  In DBT it’s called willingness.  I can handle that.  I can work toward willingness easier than I can trying to find “God.”

So, on the wants I mentioned before, while I’d still really like for them to happen, I understand it comes in time and letting go.  I will have to remind myself every 10 seconds to let go, but I know it will work.  I’ve seen it work years before in my own life.  That Rosa, so stubborn.

Just let go.

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10 thoughts on “To Want is Willful

  1. My therapist actually told me once that I was the most willful patient he had ever had in his entire practice, so I’m right there with you. Try to be a good kid, be patient, and do the things you can to make what you’d like to have happen find you. That’s really all any of us can do.

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    • My therapist told me that, too, and then convinced me to go hug a tree. Literally. It was a groundbreaking moment for me! Patience is a virtue I would like to have — just have to keep letting it go, as with so many other things.

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  2. Very well said, my dear friend. I might need to look at this to remind me of the same things from time to time. Keep working on it and being aware and it will all work out over time. ((hugs))

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    • Yes, needing to use my DBT skills quite a bit more. Letting things go, stop taking control, etc. I really think you should do the DBT group in your therapists clinic. We can compare notes. 😀

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  3. Very well said indeed. Faith is an interesting thing, I’ve heard it compared to a seed. First you have to plant it, nourish it (water, fertilizer, the whole nine yards) and tend to it constantly while it grows. The constantly part is where I have problems, I get impatient and dang it, I want it now! So indeed, deep breaths, and remember keep at it. You’re doing amazing! 😀

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    • Thanks, GE! I’ve heard it compared like that as well, and, like you, the constantly part tends to not happen. I think if I just keep turning it over, I’ll get there. That’s what I need to believe for now, anyway.

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  4. Without getting into the really complex issues … I strongly recommend Weight Watchers. I know it requires more effort and self-discipline than other methods, but it works. Not just short term in getting weight off, but long term in teaching you to eat healthy. No special foods. You work with regular groceries from a normal supermarket. If you join a live group, you also get lots of support. These days they have online groups that might be more convenient, but real people meetings get you out of the house and into the world, something with which both you and I struggle.

    I have been overweight most of my life except for a period of ten years when I had that Biafran look. I actually look a LOT better with a bit more weight. The “just got out of Auschwitz” look actually frightened my friends. They thought I was dying. They were right. I no longer worry about my weight, probably because I’ve got bigger problems and I’m no longer in plus sizes. I can live with size 16.

    I really recommend WW. Alternatively (if you can afford it), Jenny Craig. But Weight Watchers is the better choice (I tried them ALL) and it’s a long term solution … which is what we need.

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    • I have done WW with great success in the past, but the bottom line is that I can’t afford it right now. I CAN take with me the healthy lessons I’ve learned, especially about portion control.

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      • In the end, portion control — and eating the right foods — are what matters. The rest are frills. Eat well, eat the right amount and slowly but surely, weight will come off. You won’t get those supersonic results, but we all know those crash diets don’t KEEP the weight off.

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        • Ain’t that the truth. I need to make it a lifestyle change so that the weight WILL stay off. Finding a hard balance between that and mental health and quitting smoking. Hopefully this go-round will be better.

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