Friday, April 11, 2014

Be Gentle with Yourself

My life is in shambles. I haven't made it to CrossFit all week, with the exception of Yoga on Wednesday. Yes, this is what constitutes "shambles" for me. Which I realize is highly melodramatic. I mean, my husband and I both have good jobs, we have a nice house, our friends and family are basically happy and healthy. We have really good lives.

And yet, every time I have a week or so of not doing something consistently, especially something I enjoy, I feel like my entire world has fallen apart.

This week, some of the problem has been due to scheduling--I've had a lot going on after work, which is  my fallback position for when I don't make it to CrossFit in the morning. Also, we spent Sunday celebrating a cousin's birthday, so none of my usual Sunday routines to get ready for the work week happened.

It occurred to me while thinking about this post that many people probably have a thing like this--a thing that they enjoy doing that they just haven't managed to get to for a while because there are other things going on in their lives. Or maybe that they haven't felt like doing, even though they also feel like they should be doing it.

This is especially problematic for me because I suffer from (am living with?) chronic depression. I suppose in the whole scheme of depressed people, mine isn't that bad. I've never been in a position where I couldn't get out of bed. I don't know if that's because I'm strong-willed, less depressed than others, or because my depression started in about 6th grade and there was no way my mother was going to let me lie in bed all day instead of going to school.

Anyway, the problem with not feeling like doing something when you have depression is that it's very hard to tell if you don't want to do something because you're depressed, which would indicate that your depression is worsening, or your medications have stopped working or whatever (I'm not a doctor, this is just my experience). On the other hand, I'm sure non-depressed people have weeks where they don't feel like doing something and all it means to them is that they need a break from it.

I had a boyfriend once who, when I was in the throes of negative talk about everything I wasn't getting done, would say to me, when you beat yourself up like this it makes me sad, because you're beating up my sweetie.

While that relationship is long gone, I try to remember those words. Because it's helpful to remember that even when you're not happy with yourself, chances are good there's someone else who loves you just the way you are. Look at yourself from their perspective: do the people who love me care that I've missed a week of CrossFit? Probably not, or at least not in a way that they're disappointed in me about it.  Do they care that I missed out on my Sunday get-ready-for-work routine? Again, probably not (honestly, they probably can't even tell).

We all have busy, messy lives, and I think it's important to remember to be gentle with our selves when we're not doing everything we thing we should be doing, or even want to be doing. Don't beat yourself up
over something you didn't do today because there's always tomorrow to try again, and no one is perfect.


  1. "The people who matter don't mind. And the people who mind don't matter." ...Love you Virginia!

  2. We're always the hardest on ourselves, right? I read something similar during my random article-reading, and it said something about how we'd never talk to our friends the way we talk to ourselves, so try talking to yourself the way you'd support a friend. You're beautiful at that! Great blog, lady.