Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Eat, sleep, story time, repeat.

The longer I look at and hear the word "story", the weirder it sounds.

Last week in therapy, my therapist reminded me that sometimes people will repeat the same stories over and over in their lives for an actual reason. This was something I used to warn my friends about, that I might tell them the same stories several times over the course of our friendship. There's the story of my lip getting bit by my cousins' dog when I was five years old, which garnered me five stitches and the scar I sport today. There's the background information of my grandparents' dogs, especially Blacky & Princess, the black labs, but also Dolly, the giant mutt. There are specific memories, there are general histories, and there are concepts that I share with the same people time and time again. I've come to realize that these are tales that I consider to be essential to my identity.

There are also stories & conversations that I have over and over because I forget. A lot of my background stories are repeated because I just don't remember telling them before. The conversations that I repeat, however, are still a mystery to me. They are still things I am puzzling through. I might tell you over and over because I do not feel like I am being heard. It might also/actually be because I do not understand the issue myself and I am hoping that the millionth time will result in a fresh perspective. Most of the time, it's fair to say that the listener should not take offense to my repetition, it is probably nothing to do with them all to do with my own perceptions. I'll work it through eventually.

I remember deciding to be in recovery from self-injury. It took the same conversations in my head and in my journals, over and over, for years, before I could really accept that I was doing it. I had to figure out what kind of thoughts were acceptable to me. Is it okay for the topic to flit through my mind, but not actually consider doing anything "bad"? Within the past two years or maybe less, I decided that I was recovered. It was one of those miraculous moments that just came to me without any effort. I thought of it, I knew it was true, and I felt relieved. This is not to say that I don't still struggle with negative thoughts about myself or my situations from time to time! For whatever reason, my brain was ready to accept that certain coping mechanisms are just not an option anymore, and no longer fight about it.

Sometimes, I worry about writing the same stories over and over on my blog. There are a couple of reasons why this is silly: 1. This is my blog and I can do whatever I want with it. 2. It's okay to be sorting things out, even for years, and I know that writing and re-writing helps.

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