I May Not Be A Success , But I Can Complete Filling In A Mood Tracker For One Month
- inner dialogue of the day -
I had set out to write this on Monday, and I had written down my key points on Sunday night in preparation to pump it out.
Perhaps my brain knew that my personal deadline/ homework set was to write a post by the end of the week on Sunday, so I've been procrastinating. Or perhaps it's the perfectionist in me, waiting for the right moment when I'm feeling absolutely inspired to start writing....
While I've tried lots of things and I seem to be pretty good at many of them, (thanks to my ability to focus for short bursts of time and better than average body awareness), I always felt like they have never been good enough. That I'm not good enough.
Things that hold me back :
I am my worst inner critic
High standards I set for myself
Perfectionism + Procrastination combo
"What will others think of me saying this or posting this on social media?"
"It's too much"
"It's not good enough"
"I'm not that good at making art- it doesn't look as good as ___ or ____ "
These voices have been constants in my creative process, doubting myself and suppressing my nature of expression.
Ah Ha ! But I I have also cracked the code and found the solution!
The solution: Submit to my inner creative energy and just let it flow. Let it take me to where it will.
Easier said than done isn't it ?
Submiting to the creation process is one thing. Sharing my creations with the world is another.
Where did the benchmarks of "what is good enough" even come from and what are they anyway?
In therapy, they say the core issues go back to childhood and my experiences growing up. They could be from not feeling like I could ever live up to my dad's expectations, or my mom's comparisons to how my sister was smarter and better than me. I just thought that was how they showed their love. Probably not in the best way, but it was my nature to accept them as they are.
In June 2019, my awakening point came when I realised I was crying myself to sleep almost every night while my husband slept beside me, unaware. I had been tracking my mood for 8 months at this time, and I had summoned the courage to ask a friend if she had a counsellor or therapist to recommend.
At my first session, I blurted out all the terrible things I felt about myself. I cried so much but also felt a strange sense of relief I had never felt before. It was like I had sworn to never tell anyone this deep dark secret, and vowed that if I ever did, then a great catastrophe would befall us and the world would end. But I don't actually remember this pact being made- so it must have happened while I was asleep and dreaming somehow?
But now I had accidentally told it to Dhivya, and no such catastrophe had happened.
My mind goes "Whuttt??!! Then why in the world had I been keeping all this inside for all this while ?"
I felt safe sharing with Dhivya (although I thought they sounded really stupid as I heard myself speaking). She gave me the feeling that it was time to surrender, and I had a small leap of faith that it was now or never, or the darkness would swallow me up this time and there would be no way out for real.
It has been more than a year since I've been going for therapy and speaking about depression. There are many more discoveries and issues I've uncovered that I'll save for another post.
Will depression and feeling lousy go away ? For me, at least for now, I'll say it probably won't go away for good. As I've continued to experience month after month of tracking my daily mood journal, I've got the data to back it up. I'll probably spend the rest of my life seeking to understand myself more, learn ways to be happier and enjoy the low times and then bounce back up again.
I say this because over the past 2 years I've been tracking my mood, I've gotten better and better and better. I've gotten an even deeper relationship with myself.
Thinking back, I kinda wanna laugh because I believed I was an expert on myself, having been on the path of finding self love, acceptance and peace for the last 8 years. hahaha boy was I wrong. In that season of my life, I was using one coping mechanism, which was self-therapy. And it served me well. I'm onto a new phase now. Life changed and I'm adapting.
I attribute the positive changes in my life over the past 20 months to tracking my mood. It's been the one new constant I added which only takes me less than 2 minutes each day.
It has taken me closer step by step, day by day, month by month to seeing that perfection doesn't exist, the definition of success is made up and that I may not be a success (in I still don't know whose standards or definition of success), but I can complete a month's mood tracker even if there are days that aren't filled in.
And that in itself has boosted my confidence in belief in myself bit by bit.
Good things are happening, and I'm not stopping now.