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Sunday, November 14, 2010

avoidance

I either do things well or not at all. Sounds like a good thing, except that it isn't. It means I avoid doing things if I don't feel up to it, which is often, because of my consistent lethargy, bouts of low mood, and fear of failure among other reasons. So I avoid most things when I feel overwhelmed. I end up pressuring myself when I eventually do get to doing something. Or retreat into complete isolation when I can't do it all, rather than just doing it arbitrarily or a little bit here and there.

Like this morning, I woke to a noisy, messy, dirty house. They say young children are like alarm clocks, literally waking you up to their playing around the kitchen in the morning with pots and pans. Well cats are the same, their toys are just different. I woke up to find the kitchen strewn with bits of tissue paper. And of course, empty bowls of food. And of course, mess and a dirty floor too. It never ends. I don't get angry in this situation, I assess whether to clean up now, later or avoid it altogether.

I tried avoidance first. So I retreat back to bed. I lay and finish reading a book, I think about how I want to sleep again, to avoid having to deal with the mess. I have by this time refilled the bowls of food, but I really don't want to deal with the mess in the kitchen.

I went back to bed and wanted to avoid it.

Avoidance is a manifestation of the fight or flight response. Avoidance is flight. It is an admission of failure and basically just running away to avoid further failure.

I sleep to avoid things. I sleep all day, all night if I could. Waking up is always some form of torture. Waking up daily means to me, 'face the failure again, bitch.'

Eventually, after a bout of retreat and isolation and curling up in bed, I had a second cup of coffee and cleaned the kitchen floor. I still have the rest of the house to clean. I still have more feeding to do. I still have to iron J's shirt.

Avoidance is my coping mechanism. Apart from retreating under the covers, I also avoid the rest of the world by not answering my phone or replying messages and emails or tweeting or stepping out of the house when I just don't feel up to it. Not feeling up to it is a very common phenomenon with me, so I avoid the world very often.

Today, avoidance helped me recharge and to finally up and get going to my chores. I have always needed rest before work, not the other way around as most people deem appropriate. It helped me today. But it probably isn't a healthy and responsible way of dealing with things. In short it is a faulty coping mechanism. Yet for now, this is how I cope.

I feel guilty for coping this way. I am sorry for it.

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