Body/yoga stuff…emotional versus physical exhaustion
Not sure where to start with this; I woke up knowing I needed to write one of these but not what about. Body stuff.
Lately I’ve been working on yoga stuff to get me toward being able to do handstands. One move, Crow Pose, has been in particular kicking my ass.
Let me describe it: crouch down, put your palms on the floor, then put your shins on your elbows and balance with your feet in the air.
I’ve been making the attempt daily with my head on a bean bag, so if I topple over I have a soft place to land, as well as something to put my head against. It freaks me the hell out.
Yesterday, I got both feet up for maybe a second.
I didn’t get it done today. On tippy toe, but not fully up.
Earlier, I woke up sooooore as fuuuuuuuck. Back up. Earlier, I woke up not wanting to get out of bed, waking from one of those dreams where I feel like I’ve been laughing. I went through a bunch of friend posts, good good, then played some Sudoku, trying out a new technique there because my brain can’t handle the advanced techniques that other people use. Some success but not 100% correct, that’s okay, good good.
Every time I thought about getting up, I’d have some kind of self-critical, self-defeating thought.
I think I’ve been working on internal shit long enough that I could identify:
–I had been in a pleasant mood.
–I did not feel unsupported, insecure, shut down, etc.
–The thoughts I was thinking weren’t valid.
–The thoughts I was thinking were real and deserved to be heard.
This might be where I personally break with Buddhism, not that I was ever Buddhist. Where I differ is that my thoughts and feelings don’t need to flow through me freely, coming and going like clouds. They can yell at me for a while and eventually I’ll listen and do something about them, even if I don’t treat them as 100% accurate or honest.
The thoughts I was having this morning, I knew they weren’t what they *said* they were. So I did a gut check:
–I didn’t want to get up.
–It wasn’t just that lying in bed was pleasant; I was resisting.
–I was doing things that I fall back on when I’m running on empty.
Was I running on empty? I couldn’t feel it.
Until I got up. OW ow ow owwwww.
I didn’t do anything particularly strenuous yesterday; was I coming down with something? Am I allergic to something and it’s breaking through the allergy meds? It’s Florida. Weird allergy shit in the air is the norm.
I’d felt slightly off yesterday, too. Initially a lot of energy and productivity, but then I ate food and had a sudden crash, fell asleep, woke up muzzy and sore, played games with Ray (we started with one but something was going amuck so we switched to zombies), got killed off fairly early, and ended up watching how much she struggled while I wasn’t there.–I’d been thinking that I always end up at the bottom end of the numbers in the game, usually doing the least amount of damage and fewest kills. Yesterday was particularly bad. I wasn’t with it.
But then I watched her struggle through the rest of the scenario, getting killed off fairly early.–What I was telling myself wasn’t honest, yesterday. I’m not useless; the game devs just don’t pass out points for “making sure other people’s play is funner and easier, while doing DPS.” I know this. But it was interesting that I was at that point, apparently feeling so low that I needed to re-learn something I already know.
Danced a couple of songs after that, feeling sore and stupid and awkward and stuck. Went to bed. Woke up feeling *good.* But brain-drained and sore.
Back to Crow Pose.
Yesterday was the first time I got my feet off the ground. This morning, I got up onto tippy toes and felt like puking. Not from fear. But because apparently getting up into Crow Pose is harder than it looks, harder even than I could feel while actually doing it.
Yeah. I had turned off a bunch of pain but it was more than I could control when I first got up. Once I started moving and loosened up a bit, it was fine. I’m trying not to turn off the pain now.–That reminds me, I was struggling with feeling like I looked like a robot in a meat suit most of yesterday. This is something that happens when I’m turning off pain. My ability to connect to anything gets shut off. I turned off pain so hard that not even Ray picked up on it, which is saying something.
So I’ve been thinking, tentatively:
–When I fall back to my “I can’t even” activities first thing in the morning, I need something. I should probably start by going down my “human list,” that is, first-aid mental/physical health stuff. Drink water, get food, move, daylight, shower. That kind of stuff.
–I probably shouldn’t be so down on myself for doing the “I can’t even” activities, but I need to get the human list stuff done ASAP. Desperately trying to refill the well doesn’t work when there’s a hole in the well.
–When I hit emotional exhaustion/shutdown, I go “flat” externally but “immature” internally. The more blank my face is, the more I can guarantee I’m thinking that I’m a piece of shit and I’m going to be punished.
–For me, physical pain–>shutting down pain–>emotional shutdown/feeling like a meat puppet/paranoia.
–When I’m messed up emotionally, *first* I need to take care of the physical stuff. When I’m physically okay, I can handle my emotions (at least, now I can). I can handle being in a wide range of environments.
–I can’t handle crying babies (or adults, really) or cheap fluorescent lights. I want to save baby and flee lights on a fundamental level and if I can’t I’ll just start shaking. If you leave me around Wal-Mart lights long enough I’ll puke.
–Everything else, I can find a mental state that can flow with it, pretty much. Some things are draining, but I’m usually good for 3-4 hours at least.
–So when I’m thinking, “I’m awful,” I need to look for physical shit *first.* I can’t navigate or parent myself out of “I’m a piece of shit” because that’s not what it’s about…anymore. I did that part of the work. It’s just that that part of me only has so many tools it can use, and rational explanations isn’t one of them.
–I’m literally just telling myself, “I feel bad. I feel bad. Please help me.”
–I’ll probably always have these kinds of thoughts, because I’ll *always* get too tired and try to keep pushing forward. Trying to get myself to stop is like trying to get a collie dog to stop herding little kids. It’s just a fundamental waste of energy, trying to make me someone I’m not (rather than just optimizing who I am).
–So it’s better not to fight the negative thoughts or believe them, but to listen, figure out what the fundamental impulse is behind them, and provide myself what I need without guilt or hesitation, the way you’d soothe a crying toddler. You can’t *talk* a toddler out of crying. You can’t yell or punish them out of it (you can only silence them, which causes waaaaay more problems later). You can’t *reason* with them.
–You can’t even *bribe* a toddler. The option of being soothed later means nothing; in a toddler’s heart of hearts, the bribe is disconnected from the suffering and gets taken as “the adult WANTS you to suffer now.” If it goes on long enough, bribery becomes “the adult WANTS you to suffer now, and will pay for the privilege of enjoying same.”
And that is not how I want to treat myself.
Midjourney’s rendition of “exuberant poppies at midnight.”
They’re fumigating parts of our apartment complex. I’ve never seen anything like this outside of Florida: the WHOLE BUILDING gets covered in plastic. Everyone has to be out. Food in the fridge or freezer has to be tossed, that’s how uff-da serious this is.