Have you been overly critical of yourself lately? How and why have you done this? I am always overly critical of myself. Look, it's even overly critical for me to say that. Surely I'm not that way ALL the time? But yes, it feels like it. I'm really having trouble being more specific today with my feelings about responsibility and my family and also with this knowledge that I put pressure on myself. Isn't it enough to know that? Why am I still in so much pain? Things I am critical about: 1. The ten pounds I've gained since I had to give up running. The fact that I'm out of shape. 2. This mess of a desk. I can't find anything. It's stressful. It's my fault. Why am I so bad at organizing my stuff. 3. The messy "dining" room. 4. I haven't planned my classes yet. 5. I haven't set up my classroom yet. 6. I haven't unloaded the dishwasher. I don't know what we'll have for dinner. 7. I don't have fun with the neighbors like I said I would. 8. I haven't taken care of the garden. I haven't even looked at it. 9. I have only read half of the Dr. Brady book; I haven't gotten to the treatment plan. I haven't read or done the Schubiner book. 10. I am sitting here writing instead of doing all of the above. I guess the harder questions come next. How and why do I do this? I suppose I have an internal monologue. I suppose that, perhaps not in so many words, I remind myself of these things as I walk past them or as I contemplate the playdate I just set up for my daughter tomorrow or what we will eat for dinner. I have a jumpy brain. It doesn't just focus on one thing at a time. Actually, perhaps that is why I love reading (and writing when it's not about TMS) so much. I can focus on just the one thing. Why is my brain like that? I don't know. I guess I want to be doing/taking care of too many things at once. Is it possible to let myself off the multi-tasking catch-up hook? How do other people catch up? And why am I doing this? I don't know that either. I suppose it's connected to the perfectionism trait. I want my house to be neat. Why? I don't want others to look down on me. Why do I care? I'm not even sure. I just don't. But what if they did? What if someone walked into my house and thought, "Wow! This is chaos!"? I'd feel embarrassed. But so what? What earthly (or heavenly) difference could it even make? Maybe my mess would make someone else feel better about her perfect house, and why should I feel badly about that? When I was in counselling for depression, the therapist asked me to challenge my "should" statements. I was upset because my back hurt too much for me to load the dishwasher (among other things--all the other things, in fact. I was just using that as an example.) "So what if you don't load the dishwasher?" he said. "The dishes will sit on the counter!" I answer. "So what if they do?" he asked. Ummmm.... Nothing? No one gets hurt. Nothing happens. Wait... "They won't be clean when we need to use them!" Ha. Dishes need to be washed. Having kids means all of the things really do need to be done. Except for the messy dining room. That can apparently not happen for two years and nothing happens. I don't know what we're going to have for lunch. I don't know what we're going to have for dinner, and it's complicated because there is middle school locker set-up and swim team try-outs around dinnertime too. I'm tired of making dinner. Especially while I'm also trying to do all of the other things.