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Monday, September 26, 2011

Wonder Woman I Am Not


Today, I had someone tell me that I was their hero on a discussion board pertaining to a book I've been reading, and rereading, and then reading again.  (It's titled "A Discovery of Witches" and is by Deborah Harkness.  I love it because there is so much history, mythology, etc. embedded and so much to research to do.  The lead character also deals with some anxiety issues of her own, which I can definitely relate to.)  Several of us have been discussing and researching the book for the last few weeks and have been doing a real-time read for the last week or so.

So, why was I suddenly considered a hero???  Because after discussion about the difficulty of sifting through all the threads to find all the research everyone had done, we decided we needed to make a new thread and compile it all there.  When no one else did so, I decided to go ahead and do it myself.  Why not, I have the time and it's just the kind of thing I like.

So, with that I was suddenly a hero.  Which reminds me of something Rachel is constantly telling me during our therapy sessions.  "You are not Wonder Woman.  It is not your job to save the world."

I think this is something that a lot of us deal with.  We want to make sure everything is perfect for everyone.  Sometimes, that keeps us from taking care of ourselves and focusing on our wants and needs.  It is such a difficult, constant struggle to decide, "Am I being a kind, supportive friend/family member, or am I trying to be a superhero?"

When this woman said I was her hero, I immediately had to stop and think about it.  Was I creating the thread and compiling the information because it was something I wanted to do or was I doing it to please everyone else?  Was I doing it simply because everyone wanted it and no one else wanted to do it?  Was I doing it because I felt it would make others look up to me with added respect?  Was I doing it because it actually interested me and made me feel fulfilled?

After stopping to sort through all of this, I was secure in my choice to do it.  I really did want one centralized place to put all of my research and be able to look back on everyone else's.  That's the main reason I love this book and this discussion group.  I also love the "tedious" task of sifting through it all.  I actually find it mentally stimulating.

Still, the entire event brought to my attention the fact that I don't think through these things as much as I should.  I really need to get back to taking a breath and thinking things through in advance, figuring out what I'm doing and why I'm doing it.  I've been focusing on this with some of my rituals, such as hand washing, but haven't been applying it to these types of situations.  Who knew such a little thing on a discussion board for a piece of fiction could cause me to have such an epiphany?

I know that it will be tough to do this, but what isn't tough when dealing with anxiety disorders?  I'll try to take it one day and one decision at a time and keep reminding myself that I'm not a superhero and don't want to be one.  Being a superhero is too hard for a simple country girl like me who can't fly and doesn't own a lasso of truth.  I'd rather just be me than hide behind a mask and a secret identity.  Besides, no one would want to see me in tights and a cape.  ; )

2 comments:

  1. I relate to what you are saying about how we struggle with trying to make things perfect for everyone and in the meanwhile, we neglect our own needs. So true. I really struggle with this. And I also struggle with having the presence of mind to figure out why I am doing certain things.

    Sigh... it's so hard dealing with all this stuff sometimes, isn't it?

    Elizabeth-

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  2. It really is, Elizabeth. It's a constant struggle just to be present enough to be able to stop and consider why you're doing something, let alone actually figure out the reason.

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