No Good Fairy To Do It For Me

I want to be brave and strong and work towards wholeness. But I don’t feel brave and strong. I feel tired and small and whiny. I want someone else to do it for me. I want the good fairy to wave her magic wand and bestow healthy emotional coping skills upon me.

But it doesn’t work like that, does it? I mean, I’ll admit that the wise and compassionate E. does everything she could possibly do to give me those skills, but I still have to do the work of accepting them and finding a way to use them in the midst of the internal storms. I’m kind of sucking at that this week. Ah well, I just need to be as brave and strong as I can be in any given moment, and some moments will be better than others.

Today (this week) is not going to be a moment for heroic leaps forward. In fact, it’s 5:30 PM, and I’m lying in bed, flattened by my irrational friend Rage and her cousin who showed up today, Sadness. I almost never see Sadness. I had blocked her number from my emotional phone, I think, but she showed up anyway. Right now I’m fine with that. Sadness reminds me that my heart hasn’t fully turned to stone.

So if I can’t be heroic today (or most days), here’s what I can do. I can give myself something besides the “I’m so bad, I’m just horrible, I’m a worthless bitch” voices. This afternoon I realized, wow, I hear those statements literally dozens of times a day, maybe even a hundred times. No wonder I feel bad. I decided that every time those negative thoughts bubble up, I would follow up intentionally with something that feels better and that I can get behind.

I am gentle with myself and other people.

That’s my big brave (ha) effort for today. It’s not much but it’s a way of not giving up.

If you do happen to run into that good fairy though, please send her my way.

23 thoughts on “No Good Fairy To Do It For Me

  1. yes, this is it exactly. Why has the good fairy not come? Did I do something wrong? I don’t want to be strong and brave anymore! Do you think maybe its the voices that keep the good fairy away? Probably not, but it is nice to think there could be such a thing. I do think you are brave and strong to be sharing and picking yourself back up (and putting yourself to bed is just as much picking yourself up if not more).

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    • I really appreciate people telling me that putting myself to bed is not copping out but is part of picking myself up again or taking care so I can keep going. I hadn’t really been seeing it that way.

      I don’t think it’s the voices keeping the good fairy away. I think there is no good fairy. Or if you prefer, you could say we all have to be our own good fairies. We have to save ourselves. This is both lonely and sad but also, whenever we have our small successes, empowering.

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  2. I like that you see how useful sadness can be. And that reminded me that all emotions are by default useful until proven otherwise.
    Strongs amiga mia. No matter how small, action is movement; movement away from uncomfortable emotions and towards feeling good in your own mind and heart.

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    • Gracias, mi amiga. I believe you, that all emotions are useful. I still have a lot to figure out about tolerating them, much less appreciating them, but little by little… as you say, small steps is still movement.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. That is really smart to replace the negative messages with positive ones. That’s all you have to do for now. I’m pretty sure that by doing that, you are breaking some of those strands of silk from the Web you are caught in. If I see the Good Fairy, I’ll send her your way. A couple of weeks ago, I spent an entire Wednesday in bed. I thought I was falling apart, but my therapist told me I was taking care of myself. Good job for taking care of yourself today. I’m thinking of you.

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    • Thanks for sharing that. It’s not my first natural thought that crawling in bed and staying there for hours is taking care of myself, rather than being lazy, but when I step back and think about it, it IS taking care. Depression is exhausting. Just plowing on through like there’s nothing wrong isn’t always going to be the best thing for us.

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    • Yes! Exactly! Why couldn’t they just have offered this to me when I was a child?

      (Answer: they didn’t have it to give, of course.)

      I worry a LOT about the impact of my mothering on my own children. I have read that it’s very bad for people to have a depressed mom. Plus they have a dad who is very narcissistic, so that’s all been hard for them. (For example, Monday was my son’s birthday, and his dad didn’t even call him or acknowledge it in any way because he’s in midst of one of his “if my sons want to talk to me, they should reach out to me…” modes, or maybe he is giving my son the silent treatment again, I don’t know). But I think my sons know I love them unconditionally. I hope so.

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      • I can understand your fears, it makes sense you would feel fearful and worry now, because you have so much more clarity and space to even process your own stuff. So of course you will think of the impact on them because you are a loving and caring mom. Your parents can’t even do that, still. It is unfortunate their dad is that way (didn’t call on the birthday, that is very unkind). I do think they know you love them, I really do.

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  4. That is very brave indeed. You are at least working on it. I feel like I’m not working on it at all, just wallowing in self pity and allowing myself to be overwhelmed. Though I just had therapy today, I don’t have many words of wisdom or anything for you to help you but know that you’re always on my thoughts. I hope the good fairy comes by your way soon with good feelings and strength!

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    • Maybe there are moments when we need to wallow. I have certainly done my share of that. I think maybe it’s a phase we have to go through sometimes (not just once, in my case) that is part of recognizing, why yes, this IS shit, and it is not fair. I think we all need to take some time to validate the ickiness and give ourselves permission to feel sorry for ourselves. At any rate, it won’t help to beat yourself up for being overwhelmed. It’s okay to be overwhelmed. It’s not fun, and you don’t want to stay there forever, but it’s normal to feel that way sometimes.

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      • I don’t know why my reply didn’t post. >_> Anyway, yes, thank you for your comment. Thank you for making me feel less alone and less “crazy”. I do feel like I’m losing my mind lately but that’s because of the triggering session that I had had with S a couple of weeks ago – I opened a huge can of worms that I have kept shut for 25 years and now it’s haunting me every single day. Of course, while feeling overwhelmed, the critical side of me is beating myself up even though I recognize that I need to listen to you and S who tell me that I shouldn’t do that…

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  5. You’re doing incredibly well. I applaud your intentional breaking of those negative thoughts. Not always successful, but the point is (I think) to TRY.

    Boy, I understand about beating yourself up about being lazy vs taking care of yourself! Struggling with that just about every day. Just make sure you get a few minutes of fresh air every day. You don’t have to walk. Just breathe. It does a LOT. ❤

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  6. I totally hear you – it’s upsetting that this takes so long and can’t be magically solved in some sort of specific timeframe. I really like the, “I am gentle with myself and other people.” If someone was following me around, telling me how terrible I am, it would be so upsetting and abusive… but I also do it to myself, constantly. So substituting a gentle and positive sentence sounds like a good idea and is really impressive, especially while you’re in an internal storm.

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    • It’s not a total substitution, since those voices are still there. It’s more of a kind voice following up then negativity. It’s a reminder of a positive way I want to be. Since the negative messages come so frequently, I was thinking that the gentler follow-up would at least be something I hear often. Maybe it will stick over time.

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  7. Haha! I’d like to meet that good fairy:p Being gentle with ourselves is major! We tear ourselves down more than anyone else:( Here’s to stronger and more peaceful days, love!

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  8. That’s a great effort— changing our internal voices is huge. It is brave. At least in my opinion. And I totally get the wanting someone to fix it all, to make it better. I have been feeling the same lately, and it is heartbreaking to realize there is no one to fix it for you. But you have good support in E and in your husband and you are smart, brave and resourceful. You can be your own good fairy– with a team of good fairies helping you. Xx💟💜

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  9. Oh to have a fairy with a magic wand who could just wave it all away – this used to be my longing as well because it would have been easier than tackling the hard work that lay ahead and we all know how hard it is. It is hard.

    Then about 6 months ago, on another survivors blog where a couple of us were chatting about the negative thoughts, the internal storm you refer to and ways to quiet the voices, I learned something that changed the trajectory of healing for me. Perhaps it will resonate with you too.

    Those voices have been there for a very long time. They are skilled at being the loudest, at making sure they are heard, at overriding every other voice, at drowning the others out so instead of trying to silence them with thoughts (like if you needed to kill a rabid dog you wouldn’t unleash a healthy dog on it, you’d kill it with something bigger, more powerful) find something that is bigger and louder.

    My bigger was recording my own voice in a memo on my phone telling those other voice I heard them but they no longer had a seat at the table. This recording was loud and confident and strong and because I always had my phone with me I could play it almost anywhere. When the negative voices started to panic and come up with new insults I would simply record a new memo that was stronger and louder and listen to it several times a day. At one point I started to keep index cards with my new voice messages in my handbag, nightstand and a few other places so I could read them too. For me it was life changing.

    This might not be what you need or work for you but perhaps it will spark an idea for something that will be just right for you. I will be thinking of you on the 7th. I am often triggered at the doctor and I’ve learned a lot about ways to cope with that and advocate for what I need by following your blog. Sending you lots of hope for a successful surgery. xx

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