The Guilt-Frustration Cycle (With added Hope)

I may have mentioned this before, but everyone – not just people, everyone – says, don’t let (x) stop you from doing things. If the thing stopping you is fear then sure, I agree. (Unless it’s a legitimate fear of death or injury or some such.) Or if it’s only a money thing then go ahead and do it. (Unless doing so means you won’t be eating for the next week.) Or if people say you can’t do something then of course it’s your sworn duty to prove them wrong. (Unless your doing so puts yourself and others in danger.)

So you see the reasons people have for not doing things are automatically a load of rubbish, (Don’t use the children as an excuse – pack them off somewhere for a few days. Work? Take sick days if you don’t have holiday, come on!) and if you want to do something even a teeny-tiny bit then you should.

My reason for sometimes not doing things is way better than any of these. You see, if I start doing something like gardening or working, then at some point I get ill and it all goes to– something unpleasant. In other words I just get used to doing whatever and I’m forced to stop. Imagine the frustration of effort and build-up and perseverance gone to waste! I mean, why work to increase your vertical time, your tolerance for being around people, your ability to leave the house, when it’s all going to be set back to the beginning in a few weeks or months?

Why start in the first place?

Because of guilt. Guilt and a different sort of frustration. The frustration here comes from not being able to do much of anything, and if you don’t put in the effort to improve then you’re never going to be able to do more. You’d go crazy – or I would anyway. The guilt potentially comes from several places. The first is probably the worst: guilt at being a burden on other people, because they have enough to do without taking care of you, being around your toxicly grumpy self, and feeling bad that you’re feeling so bad. Another is self-guilt: you should be doing something to contribute to life, even if it’s just sitting with everyone else to have a meal. Finally there’s the fact that by giving in you’re going against the weight of belief of everyone.

Because you shouldn’t let anything stop you doing things.

No, instead you feel guilty and frustrated so you make the effort to do things like a normal human being, only perhaps you over-do things and suffer another episode. You’re forced to stop. You get more frustrated and guilty but really truly can’t do anything about it. Until your start to feel better, and it starts all over again.

Not so much a guilt-frustration cycle as a constant shifting. . . hmm. The activity cycle? That sounds a bit more like it. Start, improve, get used to, stop, be ill, get better, start. . .

And of course we mustn’t forget the endless springing of hope. Hope also makes you do things. The hope that maybe this time will be the last bad time, that even if you do get bad it won’t be so bad, that if you do things a bit differently, try a bit harder, be a bit more careful. . . I’ve even hoped I was making up being ill, that the next time I got better I’d decide I’d had enough of that and would (as my GP would say) pick myself up and get on with life.

People are bizarre – or maybe that’s just me? Here’s hoping indeed!

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