Monday, January 08, 2007

My One Resolution

Posted by Lara at 7:57 PM
So, I get that New Year’s is supposed to be a time for resolutions. Around the blogosphere, many people have been posting lists of goals and/or resolutions for the year. I’m all for this – I really am. I don’t even necessarily feel like it has to be at New Year’s in particular – Tali once wrote about a “New Day’s resolution,” a goal for change made when the change is needed, not just on January 1. I’ve been glad to read of everyone’s goals, but I admit it’s been hard for me to make any myself.

I’ll tell you something that’s sort of representative of my difficulty in setting big goals for myself these days. Remember when I wrote about the progress I’d made in being able to avoid cutting? The first evening I came back to my new apartment instead of going “home,” I had a similarly tough time, crying a lot and sort of wanting to take that easy route to make myself feel better. But again, I didn’t. My therapist asked me later how I managed to make it through without hurting myself, because by focusing on that, we could figure out ways to continue making positive progress. And I admitted to her that I made it through by telling myself, “Not yet.”

“Not yet.”

I didn’t say, “No, I won’t cut myself.” I told myself, “I won’t cut myself yet.” I said, “I’ll wait a few more minutes.” Is that good? Is that positive? It’s not ideal – ideally I would just tell myself I wouldn’t do it at all; ideally, the thought wouldn't have come up in the first place. But you know what? “Not yet” stalled me long enough that I could eventually get up without hurting myself. And I think that’s pretty good for now.

When people have asked me what my resolutions are, I usually say I don’t have any. But occasionally I’ve said that my only resolution is to get out of bed every day. When I said it, I mostly meant it as, “I have no resolution, because just getting out of bed is hard enough most days.” I’ve realized, however, that it’s actually not bad as a resolution. As the Eggman said recently, it’s clear and quantifiable. And really, I think it’s a good goal. Literally, I am going to get out of bed and out of the house at least once every day. Even if that means just going for a walk around my apartment complex. I will get up and do something every single day. Combining this with trying to stay more connected to other people, maybe I can get out to lunch or dinner dates with friends, watch a movie with my cool roommate, or study more with Dre, OP, and/or Charcoal. Whatever it takes, I will not let myself waste away in a depressed pile in bed.

That’s my resolution. It's the only one I can make for now, but I've made it.

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On a totally unrelated note, sometimes I surprise myself with how ahead of the curve I am in the blogosphere. Remember when I invited my lurkers to delurk? Apparently, I was just too advanced for my own good, because apparently, this whole week is delurking week. That's right, time to delurk! And this means not just here, on my blog, but on all the blogs you read. Normally not a commenter? Leave one anyway. Get out there, say hello, and give the bloggers you adore some comment lovin'. It will make them happy. It will make me happy. :)

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Day 8 of SaBloBoMo: Oh, the Places You'll Go! by Dr. Seuss


Perhaps my favorite children's book of all time, and I didn't encounter it until long after I was grown up. It was one of these books that people always seemed to be buying for other people at graduation or for some other significant life experience. I even bought it myself for some friends. I always wanted someone to buy it for me - to think I was going places enough that I deserved a book that said so. But eventually I just bought it for myself.

What I love most about this book is that it's honest in a way that lots of kids' books aren't. Yes, it tells the kids about all the exciting places they'll visit in their futures, all the hope, all the promise, all the beauty that awaits. But it also tells them, "Except when you don't, because sometimes you won't." It tells them sometimes bad stuff will happen too, that sometimes they'll get stuck in a yucky place and it will seem like they'll never get out. And then it tells them they will.

Yeah, I need this book these days.

10 comments:

Sassy Belle on 9:38 PM said...

getting out of the bed = awesome.

that book came to be rued my senior year of high school, as i was editor for the yearbook, and must've typed in that poem, or portions thereof, into about a thousand senior ads.

but i still love it.

CC on 10:42 PM said...

Hope to see you this Fri :)

-lady C

dancing dragon on 11:06 PM said...

Wow, I didn't know that depression could be so physically difficult. Well, you're not the only one just trying to get out of bed. I'm glad to hear that you're making progress.

CaliforniaTeacherGuy on 3:47 AM said...

Perhaps there have been times when you thought yourself a coward, but you are more courageous than you probably know. Thank you for delving deep into the darkness, and for sharing so eloquently, your need--and determination--to get out of bed each day.

Here's to a whole year full of wonder-filled days for you!

bethiclaus said...

I love All the Places You'll Go!

Dee on 11:29 AM said...

I think getting out of bed every day is a fine goal. Getting out of the house, even if it isn't every day, is a great goal as well. Most days I prefer to do neither, but since I have a kid it is no longer a choice.

Jill B on 11:51 AM said...

I appreciate your thoughts, neigh, words on wanting this book. I felt the same way, but felt both selfish and unloved b/c of having those thoughts, and never found the right words. Now that it seems I have nowhere left to go (after all, I AM a ripe old 28 now), I guess I'll just waste away without it.

*My unknown-favorite Seuss is McElligot's Pool, b/c it has such unassuming hope and imagination wrapped up in a story.

Mom said...

I read a book once where the narrator suffered from alcoholism and when the urge for a drink struck him he constantly repeated "I will not drink for the next 10 minutes. Just for the next 10 minutes I will not have a drink" until the urge left. I think your "not yet" mantra was perfect for the situation. As for your goal? Many 90 year olds share that same goal for this year, I'm sure.

OP said...

Big brother is watching you!

Lara on 2:35 PM said...

sassy - yep, awesome it is. and i've done it every day of the new year thus far. :)

CC - lady C? that's new... and yes, i'm sure you'll see me friday. maybe we'll finally get that dance we've been promising each other?

dancing dragon - i had no idea how physically difficult it was until it happened. i had no idea how much of an effort it would literally be to get out of bed some days. LITERALLY. it's something i never would have believed. i hope you're doing okay getting out of bed these days, too.

california teacher guy - awww... thank YOU for your kind words. support and caring from people i've never even met has never ceased to bring me comfort i never expected. thanks.

bethiclaus - hee hee... glad to find another fan!

dee - yep, the more i think about it, the more i think they are good goals, too. and i bet the kid brings you enough joy (times ten!) to make it worth the getting out of bed and the house. :)

jill b - no wasting away, young lass. honestly, do what i did: buy yourself the book. because you know what, you WILL go great places, and you know it, and the hell with others who maybe don't get that they should tell you that. consider it a gift from me. in fact... send me your address. i mean that. send me your address.

mom - yeah, i was thinking that same thing, only about smokers instead of alcoholics. "just fifteen minutes before i'll have a cigarette." like i said, non-ideal, but it worked, and it's progress. and that's success for now.

OP - little sister's glad, because she loves her big brother. :) (just don't watch for too long, or you'll get creepy...)

 

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