Stockholm Syndrome

Stock·holm syn·drome
noun
  1. feelings of trust or affection felt in certain cases of kidnapping or hostage-taking by a victim toward a captor.

I was held captive once.  My captor told me that I wasn’t allowed to do things that made me happy.  I couldn’t hang out with friends because I had responsibilities.  I couldn’t indulge in hobbies because there were so many things to get done around the house.  My captor said I couldn’t push myself at work because my family needed me at home to do all the things they needed.  My captor didn’t want me to exist.  My captor convinced me that it was okay to have your identity as an individual erased, and to solely be the stuff you got done.  I trusted that opinion.  I was comfortable with that idea, even though my instincts told me that it wasn’t right.

I held myself hostage.

I allowed these thoughts to penetrate my being and I convinced myself that there was no other way. I told myself it was everyone else who felt this way, and I was reacting to their opinion.  I cared too much about what others were not even saying.  How did this happen?  Was it a crisis of confidence?  Did I do something to silence my inner voice that would have normally made me rebel?

Over the last year, I have slowly been able to peel this layer of doubt away.  I have let myself feel joy.  I have let myself feel tired (from doing something fulfilling, and not from having insomnia!).   I have reached for goals that I have never thought possible.  It’s a work in progress, but it’s in progress.  That gives me a lot of satisfaction with life.  The work isn’t done, though.  Even as I type this blog, there’s this little shadow looming that says I’m being selfish.  Shouldn’t I be bragging on my family?  On how I am performing as a wife or mother?  Why aren’t you talking about how funny your daughter is, or how she’s excelling at this activity or that sport?  Why aren’t you doing a post on a funny situation at home where your husband did some stereotypical husband stuff?  I have to literally stand up and shake it off.  (I’m using “literally” in the correct form here, guys.)

This post is a bit of a purge.  I am breaking up with my captor.  I’m telling her that she can’t make me trust this feeling like she used to.  The tide is turning against the cocoon she created, where I do nothing for myself.  I get to be me again.  I am a neat person.  NEAT.  Do you feel like you’re a hostage?  Are you holding yourself against your will?  Come step outside with me.  I’ll hold your hand.

angry cat

I took this selfie during captivity.

About motivation

Let’s talk about motivation.

You hear it frequently…lack thereof, need of, etc.  Everyone is motivated (or not motivated) by different things.  I seem to be motivated by urgency.  Is this thing due in two hours?  Let me wait for the 1 hour and 45 min mark before I start working on it.  I do this frequently.  Why?  I don’t know, but it motivates me…more than anything.  The worst part, is that I stress out for the duration of the task until it’s done, because I know I’ve got to finish this in an unreasonable amount of time.

Procrastination Meme

I’m also motivated by hunger.  I will often go to any length necessary to come up with an excuse so that I can eat to avoid being hungry.  This is very obvious, as my body has reached critical mass.   If I ate well and exercised, then I wouldn’t feel so bad about this, however, let’s get back to motivation.  Being motivated by hunger is a dangerous thing.  Have you ever gone to the grocery store hungry?  You go for some healthy whole food options, and come back with Cheetos, Mrs Baird’s apple pies, swiss cake rolls, all of the flour tortillas, and some bean dip.  My hunger level right now says I don’t want to starve.  Better eat some Rolos.

hungry

You know what I don’t ever need motivation to do?  Read books.  I can read all day long if you’ll let me.  If I’m reading, I’m not physically doing anything.  There goes motivation again.  IT’S EVERYWHERE.  Being motivated to exercise and eat right comes from something within that I obviously do not have.  I will still do it, infrequently, but if I’ve got any excuse whatsoever to not exercise, I will.  Let’s look at some of these excuses:

  • I’m hungry
  • I’m tired
  • My allergies are bad
  • My stomach hurts
  • It’s too hot
  • It’s too cold
  • I don’t want to change clothes
  • I don’t want to do more laundry, because of the clothes
  • I have to cook dinner
  • I have to cook breakfast
  • I have to cook lunch
  • I have to cook tomorrow’s lunch
  • I have to read my book
  • I have to check Facebook
  • I’ve got to log my food
  • Sid is staring at me weird
  • It looks like it might rain tomorrow
  • I have to go to work next week

The list is lengthy and amazing.  The worst part is that I enjoy working out after I’ve worked out.  All those endorphins, the sweat, the feeling like I could run 26.2 miles TODAY….it’s great.  You would think I could use that for motivation!  Nope.  I will be lazy as long as I can.  And eat whatever I want.  And then cry because I can’t button my pants.  When I’ve been on track for a week (GASP!), I give myself a “cheat meal” which defeats the purpose of doing anything.

reeward diet

 

Today, I have that  urgency feeling again about my pants.  Because they are so not fitting.  And I have to lose all 15 lbs today.  Because that’s how I work.

 

Let’s talk about you guys.  What motivates you?  Where would like more motivation?

 

 

Read this if you love a female, have female friends, know a female, or a female gave birth to you.

Ok folks, things are fixin’ to get personal.  I feel like I need to put this blog out for a few reasons.  One, for my friends and family who know me, and who wonder why I am the way I am.  Two, for those of us that may go through this same thing, and might feel ashamed or scared of it.  And three, so everyone can see just how ballsacks bananas this thing is, and how there really is no way to fix it or control it. 

I’m talking about PMS.  And not just any PMS, the worst case scenario PMS.  It’s officially defined as “Premenstural Dysphoric Disorder” or PMDD.  This is the most severe type of PMS one can have, and for approximately ten-ish days of every month (yes, EVERY MONTH), you lose your damn mind.  I’m talking, out of body, Carrie at the Prom, one move away from being on an episode of Snapped, crazy. 

The National Institutes of Health defines PMDD as: a condition in which a woman has severe depression symptoms, irritability, and tension before menstruation.  They go on to say that many women with this condition also suffer from anxiety, major depression (not just regular that comes with PMDD) and seasonal affective disorder (SAD…sorry…everytime I see this acronym, it makes me laugh inappropriately).   There has been a push to categorize this not only as a medical condition, but also as a MENTAL condition.  OK.  I will admit to feeling totally mental during this time, but there is no real evidence to suggest that it is purely a psychological problem.  There has got to be a physiological cause for this increase in…everything.  Anger, sadness, anxiety, all of it.

This crap is horrible.  HORRIBLE.  I’d rather have corns on all of my toes than have PMDD.  I’d rather have warts on my hands and elbows with corns on my toes, PLUS constant postnasal drip than PMDD.   Let me give you a scenario:

It’s your average Tuesday.  You are sitting at your desk.  Your boss asks you how your morning is going.  You respond with, “HOW DO YOU THINK IT’S GOING? I WORK HERE, WHERE NO ONE HELPS ME, I COULDN’T FIND ANYTHING TO WEAR THIS MORNING THAT FITS, AND MY DAUGHTER DECIDED THAT SHE DIDN’T WANT TO GO TO SCHOOL TODAY!”  He backs away slowly from your desk. Your phone rings, and it’s your husband.  You answer, and he asks how your morning is going.  You sob uncontrollably and he hangs up apologetically, saying has a meeting.  Your mom calls and you just tell her you’re busy because you don’t want to take anything out on her because, really, she’s your mom. You IM your best friend and tell her that you’ve lost your mind, and your life sucks, and no one cares about anything you do and she placates you in every way possible and agrees with what she can agree with, and tells you yes, you have lost your mind.  And you agree, because you are astitutely aware of everything that just happened and just how insane it is. 

This scenario repeats itself for 10-15 days every month for the rest of your fertile years.  Hooray for the next decade-ish!  

If anyone tries to tell me this is all in my head, or it’s not real, you will be assaulted.  For that, I am certain.  

References (because we are legit, yo):

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0004461/

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/pmdd/AN01372

http://www.apa.org/monitor/oct02/pmdd.aspx