Shame Attack about Self-care

After I posted the piece about my morning routine, I had a shame attack: “How can I complain when there are so many people who have much harder mornings…”  I was very upset at posting that material and was going to write an apology and post it.  But I had to go to Hanover for my appointment with Erica.

I told her what I had written and how ashamed I was.  I said “How can I complain when I think of a mother of three who has to get them dressed and ready for school….”  Erica said “It’s not a fair comparison.  You are comparing yourself to a 30 yr old who has a lot more energy.”

Went back to see what I had said in my journal on October 24.

Now I’m feeling really stupid to have filled out all the details and posted it.  What’s the big deal?  Lots of people have much more to do in 3 hrs in the morning than you do.  What was I trying to do?  Give myself credit for what I manage to get done?  Tell other people how hard my life is?  There are people who have to walk a mile to get a bucket of water to make breakfast for their children.  Does that make me feel lucky?  No, it makes me feel guilty.

Maybe I wrote down all the details to prove to myself how much I actually do.  It was feeling like a terrible chore, a chore you have to do, but it takes energy and focus, and I don’t have those when I’m depressed.  I also notice that it’s all about self-care, something I really have a hard time with when I’m depressed.  Never do I feel satisfied with getting it done — actually I never get it done, there’s more I have to do in a day.  I suppose I’m angry at myself for spending so much time and energy on self-care, when there are so many people out there who need help.

Erica said that the shame reflects a belief that I’m not allowed to matter.  I have to do all that, taking supplements, etc, against that wind of “you don’t deserve care.”  I also have to do it, not because I love or value myself but just to keep from being a nuisance.  Erica says that the self-care I do manifests that I matter.  I have a very hard time getting it.

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