The benefit of the doubt

It’s been a rough twenty-four hours. I see my T. three times a week, and the days I don’t go in I don’t know what to do with myself. D. took the day off work yesterday to keep me company. The lonliness feels so pathological and morbid that I can’t take it. A deep hole wells up in me and I can’t describe how dangerous it feels. I AM NOT SUICIDAL, but the thought of going to sleep crosses my mind. I don’t know how to dig myself out of this malignant hole.

My thought process reminds me of the meditation that was e-mailed to me today.

“The difference between a mountain and a molehill is perspective.”

It’s all about how I’m thinking. Am I focusing on what is wrong with my life or am I looking at what is right? Yes, I could feel sorry for myself. I don’t have a job, school starts next month and I’m terrified, I have financial troubles, my house is messy, etc…

But I love the challenge that the meditation poses. It reads, “Give yourself the benefit of the doubt, and don’t be so harsh.” Giving the benefit of the doubt is what I always try to do with D. when we have a disagreement. I tell myself he didn’t mean to hurt me or whatever the case may be. And giving him the benefit of the works.

If other people deserve the benefit of the doubt, then why don’t I? What makes me so bad, so undeserving, so worthless, that I can’t give myself the benefit of the doubt? What is so inherently wrong with me?

While I should love myself and take better care of myself, I don’t have to do that to give myself the benefit of doubt. I can still give myself the benefit of the doubt. It’s about being a little bit gentle with myself, less critical, and realizing I’m not atypical. There are other people that struggle with life just as much as I do.

To my blogging friends, when I read their posts, I don’t criticize them or judge the quality of their post or what they have to say. I don’t judge their life. I value thier posts and their comments. If I don’t judge them, then why do I have to judge myself? I bet if I asked other people who have the same diagnosis as me they would admit to the same struggles as I have.

When I go to my support groups, we always end the meeting with the Lord’s prayer (which I don’t say), but the last words we say are “Just for today.” That will be my motto today.

Just for today, I’m going to view myself as human. I’m going to view myself as someone who is doing the best she can. The mountain of laundry decorating my living room is not a commentary on my worthlessness as a housekeeper. Just for today, I will view myself as valuable, even though I don’t have a job. Just for today, I will adhere to my meal plan, even though I feel fat. And lastly, just for today, I will allow myself to cry, to mourn my childhood, to feel all the painful feelings that sum up my existance. I will not judge myself for being human and experiencing my feelings.

Just for today, I will give myself the benefit of the doubt. I hope you do, too.

5 thoughts on “The benefit of the doubt”

  1. oh, not to worry! I'm sure a lot of us feel like you do and share the same struggles. That doesn't take away from yours, tho, that they are real and they are tumultuous.

    Something my T said to me one day when I was in the dumps over not having a job and believing no one would want me/hire me was, "Well, just who told you that? Tell me and I will discuss it with him or her. Who was it?"

    Well, of course it was me who tells me that. But it gave me pause to consider why I feel that way. It helped me to fire back at those thots and admit I don't really feel that way – I've just been taught to accept less.

    A really fast way to find a job is to find something else to do that takes up all of your time and makes you realize that you don't really want a job as badly as you think. Then – Poof! You'll get a job. Happened to me!

    Hang in there.

  2. Ivory,

    Your comment means so much to me. A smile unexpectedly crossed my face when I got to the end.

    You're right about immersing myself in something else. It's kind of like finding a significant other: the minute you stop looking is when you find somoneone.

    Good feedback from you! Thanks.


  3. Hi missinginsight, I'm tricky a new blogger. Viewing yourself as someone who is doing the best she can sounds like a great idea to me, thanks i'll take that on myself as I trip over the vacume on the floor waiting for me to turn it on. love reading your journal.


  4. Hi, Tricky.

    Welcome to the blogging community. You will find alot of support here.

    I'm glad you are trying to view yourself as someone who is doing her best. As you trip over your vacuum, I trip over mine as well, and my gym bag!!

    Take care and stay strong.


  5. Hi there. Hang in there. We are hard on ourselves too. I have met so many survivors who are so supportive of others and tear themselves apart. This is the work we have to do. This is healing. You are doing it. Paul.

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