"I guess I have a lot of problems, so many that I don't have time to go into them all in detail. Suffice it to say I'm anal, obsessive, vain, quick to temper, overly introspective, lazy, judgmental, insecure, and self-righteous. Probably the most annoying thing about me is that I'm hugely opinionated. But I kind of make up for that by always being right."

Monday, July 10, 2006

Day 35: How's That Working For You?

I've been feeling a little down these past few days, but there seems to be a sense in which this new lifestyle I'm trying to adopt is slowly changing the way I cope with things. In the past (i.e. last month) I would have somehow embraced this unhappiness. Experts say that's because I'm comfortable being depressed. As Dr. Phil ( a guilty pleasure of mine) would say, "You're getting something out of it, or you wouldn't be doing it."

Like all over used expressions -- "You only hurt the ones you love," "Time heels all wounds," "Rick Reynolds is totally fucked," -- this is only partially true. I also embrace my happiness because I don't know how not to.

Yesterday my physical therapist told me that I walk, stand and even breath wrong. I don't do these things incorrectly because I'm getting something out of doing them that way; I do them incorrectly because that's the way I learned to do them. Same with being unhappy. A lot of bad things happened in my childhood. Listening to your mother being beaten night after night, -- never knowing when she would snap again and beat you herself -- these things can't help but create the person you become.

I had the notion that maybe it wasn't too late to change that person -- little by little, inch by inch. First by changing the way he eats. By changing how he treats his body. By changing how he spends his free time. By getting him out of the house. By introducing him to new people and new experiences. And eventually by changing how he copes with anxiety. By freeing him from shame.

And though I'm a long way from being the new, improved Rick Reynolds, I'm at least starting to recognize the things I am doing wrong. Like embracing my unhappiness. And like old baldy says, "You can't change it if you don't recognize it as a problem."