Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Breaks: Needed and Not

So I said last time that I needed a break. At that instant in time I felt like I needed a break from everything and everyone - especially from therapy. Truly. I wanted to shut myself off from the world (except for work and running) for a little bit in the name of mental health.

Needing a break sounds completely sensible, and in some cases it truly is reasonable and possibly the perfect course of action to deal with a situation. Especially if becoming too involved in the world is allowing you to do everything except take care of yourself. (Kendra from VIR explains this really wonderfully here)

What if it's not though?

What if taking a break is actually the exact opposite of what you need to be doing? What if it's not actually in the name of mental health, but rather in the name (or spirit) of something else?

The reason I felt I needed a break was because I had a rough session with Laura where self injurious behavior was brought up. I won't go into details, because it's not necessary for me to make my point.

My point is that I think sometimes it's important to examine whether or not our perceived needs truly fit into that categorization or if there's more to it than that. If there's something going on that makes us want whatever it is to be a need (rather than just a desire).

If you asked me why I want to take a break or why I feel I need to, I honestly do not believe I could come up with a logical or rational response to the inquiry. I'm pretty much known for my ability to rationalize almost anything in a way that people have problems persuading me otherwise (as they cannot find great fault with my well thought out line of thinking) so that's saying a lot. I could probably, in fact, only tell you that I feel I need time off. That I feel I need to think about things... but isn't that what therapy's for anyways? thinking things through or talking things out? To discuss those feelings?

Now if it were about my therapist... that would be a different case. I think then taking a break to examine whether or not the relationship was the right fit would be a wise decision. It's not about that though. I trust Laura (which is a rare thing for me and I actually think that was part of why the session felt so rough) and I've told her more unspeakable things from my past than I have anyone else. Truly anyone. Some things that I don't think I could have ever told my past therapist (who I had a fairly good relationship with).

Since it's not about my therapist though... maybe I need to re-examine whether or not this need is actually a disordered desire. 

Especially since when I examine what I've done thus far on my break it hasn't exactly been progression of any sort. Something tells me running in the heat and working long hours (I wound up getting called in a lot this weekend) on hardly anything (thank you Paul from Companion Bakery for the extra sugar cookie or it would have been even worse) is not exactly the best way to start a "break" -- if it were for legit reasons. It's as though the break is giving me some sick sort of permission to do whatever I feel like doing.  Which is not what a needed break does or should do.

I feel like I'm stealing missmarymax's tagline, but maybe it's time to #reframe and figure out if I should either cancel my break or actually spend the break in a productive way that's in the true spirit of a needed break... to be honest it's looking like I'm going to be responding to an email I've been ignoring for more than a few days now. In fact, maybe I should before this is even scheduled to post... hmmm.. decisions.

p.s. Well, as of this morning it seems that scientists are tapping into the knowledge of those social psych principles that were outlined on Saturday.. now they're saying one of the reasons diets fail is due to starved brain cells - which goes along with the "urges" I mentioned and not being able to fight them off if you've been restricting.

1 comment:

  1. I so get this. Thank you for linking to me and I think I too struggle with this at times. I say "i need a break" and then my idea of a break isn't really a break, and isn't making the most healthy choices. I have to then re-align my intentions, goals, needs, and figure out what type of need it really is as well :)


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