I’ve recently begun to realise that a major theme in my life thus far has been self sabotage.
Whenever I begin a new project, healthy eating plan, hobby or even job, I start out feeling excited and enthusiastic. I pour my all into it for a while.
But soon anxiety creeps in, even panic. I become immobilized. It feels like a huge brick wall has been placed in front of me and I’m absolutely powerless to move forwards. I can’t really figure out what this is about.
Why do I Self Sabotage?
Obviously there must be some positive to me self-sabotaging, or else I wouldn’t do it.
Maybe I get scared that I might succeed and therefore have to deal with the consequences- people expecting more of me, expecting more of myself?
Could it be that I over-identify with being “sick” in terms of having Bipolar Disorder and my identity is now formed around victimhood. It is painful to even consider that this might be the case. Who wants to admit to feeling like a victim, right?!
Well I could say it’s down to:
- perfectionism- if I can’t be the best, what’s the point in trying? A powerless victim’s perspective.
- low motivation.
- poor focus.
- dysfunctional thought patterns.
- possibly attention? (Hope not, but I did always get more love and attention at home when I was ill- horrible to admit).
But ultimately I think these are just the tools with which Self- Sabotage equips itself.
The Painful Truth
If I really look deeper and am 100% truthful with myself, it really comes down to:
- REVENGE- there are people in my life I am raging with. If I am successful, that success can reflect on them. I want them to see how much I suffer and how much they’ve hurt me. I want them to suffer with me. I don’t want to make them happy or proud.
ARGH! I’m a Horrible Human Being! I’m Anakin Skywalker! ARGH!
I can’t believe I’ve said that. It makes me sound like such a horrible person. I’m also fully aware that this is gonna hurt me far more than anyone else, but hey, when is rage ever rational?! I’m also aware that only part of me feels this way- my dark side. The light side of me (Luke Skywalker- if you will) of course wants to make them happy. There is this conflict inside my head, an ongoing epic battle- between the forces of good and evil (say in deep, gruff, trailer voice with evil laugh- wa-ha-ha-ha!).
Suppressed Anger, Bipolar and Depression
I guess that’s how angry I am inside, absolutely raging. I’ve never been able to express this anger. I’ve been too scared of it. I thought it would destroy me. But if Bipolar and Depression can stem from suppressed anger (see earlier post: Bipolar Disorder- Repressed Anger), I think delving this deep into my psyche is completely necessary in order for me to become aware of my thought patterns and beliefs. If we become aware of dysfunctional thoughts, that puts us in a position of power to change them.
There is Hope
This is my dark side. We all have a dark side and this is mine. It stems from a very very angry inner child who feels powerless, victimised, rejected, bullied and alone. She is having a massive tantrum and is rebelling. This is the only way she can get my attention. I don’t want the world to see her. I’m ashamed of her. She isn’t the “good” Christian child she was brought up to be.
For me to move forward healthily in my life, I need to find out what she needs and really listen to her, forgive her, accept her and love her. She holds the power with which I need to move forwards in life.
My Mix of Bach Flower Remedies I’m currently taking to Overcome Self-Sabotage:
Willow– to overcome self-pity and resentment.
Chestnud Bud– to help learn from mistakes.
Crab Apple– spiritually/emotionally cleansing, helps overcome self-hatred.
Gorse– to overcome hopelessness and despair.
Mustard– to overcome deep gloom brought on for no apparent reason (can often be due to suppressed/repressed anger).
Pine– overcoming guilt.
Hornbeam– overcoming tiredness at the thought of doing something.
For more info on Bach Flower Remedies, and recommendations for Bipolar, Depression and Anxiety, click here.
Overcoming Self-Sabotage- Psychology Today– lots of interesting articles around the topic of self sabotage here.
Condemned Flower Essence Blend– Lots of Bach Flower Essence Mixes here.
The Bach Centre– Great info on Bach Flower Remedies.