Self-Sabotage: Going Over to the Dark Side!

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?!

What Keeps Me Clinging to Victimhood? 

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.

Going Over to the Dark Side

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.

 

Resources

Bach Flower Remedies- My Bipolar Life

Overcoming Self-Sabotage- Psychology Today– lots of interesting articles around the topic of self sabotage here.

How to Soften Self-Sabotage- First Ourselves

Top 7 Self-Sabotaging Behaviours

Condemned Flower Essence Blend– Lots of Bach Flower Essence Mixes here.

The Bach Centre– Great info on Bach Flower Remedies.

 

Photo Credits

Woman with Headache by freedigitalphotos.net, Evil Witch by Victor Habbick via freedigitalphotos.net.

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17 thoughts on “Self-Sabotage: Going Over to the Dark Side!

  1. carlarenee45

    Rachel, I absolutely have had the same reality in my life of starting something and being excited about it. Feeling good about myself and thinking or being told I am doing a great job. Then suddenly it seems that I forget everything about what I am supposed to be accomplishing. I have made so many bosses scratch their head in confusion. Is this the same woman we hired a couple of weeks ago? I don’t know what exactly has caused me to do this. It has been a problem throughout my whole adult like and in my childhood too. I think with me, it is simply the negative thoughts and feeling that come into the forefront of my mind and literally cause me to freeze and lose my focus. I know I have been trying so hard to put positive influence into my life and it is starting to help. .I enjoyed your post and how it related to me too sweety! I hope your day is wonderful!

    Reply
    1. rachelmiller1511 Post author

      Thanks so much- it’s great to hear I’m not alone! The way you describe it is exactly how I experience it- I feel constantly stuck and like I’m never going to amount to anything. Thanks for relating, makes me feel a bit more normal! Hope you’re having a great day too xxx

      Reply
  2. mentalhealthtalk

    I have learned recently that rage and anger actually come with being human. I am terrified of both in me–so raw and they feel so powerful. In turn, this makes me terrified of these emotions in others.

    I was wondering what Bach you were taking and then you listed it. I hope they help you and your inner child.

    Much love,
    Trish

    Reply
    1. rachelmiller1511 Post author

      Thank you Trish. I agree, I think it is the power of rage that is so scary, as well as losing control. I’m also very scared of other people’s anger, so avoid confrontation at all costs. Like you say though, it is a human emotion- we’re only human!!

      Reply
  3. Rev Dani Lynn

    I have a family member that is bipolar or something similar (we’ve never been able to get an accurate diagnosis) and I am familiar with the signs/behaviors you speak of. — Your last line about your inner child really moved me. “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.” – – In general, most of our adult issues seem to stem from inner child issues. I’ve never put a link to my site in anyone’s comments, I don’t feel comfortable doing it, but I would sincerely like to invite you to read this. – http://spiritualmysticism.wordpress.com/2012/04/27/discovering-your-own-personal-energy-garden-live-book-chapter-3/ – – And by the way, I’m a huge Star Wars fan. You’re using Anakin and Luke to reflect your dark/light sides, but they’re two different people. I’m suggesting you consider Anakin and Darth Vader, same person, dark/light, yin/yang. We all have Anakin and Darth Vader inside on some level, with or without bipolar, that’s human nature, and we all ultimately need to find a balance between them within ourselves. (I’m not implying that it’s not more challenging with bipolar, I really hope this doesn’t come across that way.) – – You have a wonderful blog. I hear such a smart, funny and amazing personality come through your posts. 🙂 Love & Light.

    Reply
    1. rachelmiller1511 Post author

      🙂 Yes, it does make more sense to use Anakin and Darth Vader- hadn’t thought of that!! 🙂 I love Star Wars too!

      Thank you for such lovely comments about my writing, I’m very grateful!

      I enjoyed your article too. I think it is making peace with our inner child that is the most difficult; I don’t even know where to start! Sometimes the sheer amount of “baggage” to sort through is overwhelming!!

      I really hope forgiving my inner child helps me to forgive others, like you suggest in your post. In my mind I guess I thought if I can forgive other people first, then maybe I can forgive myself. But, yes, I think everything does start with ourselves really.

      The fact that you’ve managed to forgive yourself gives me hope that I can too 🙂 Thank you xx

      Reply
  4. Sandy Sue

    One thing you didn’t mention (or maybe even consider) is that you might be setting unreasonable expectations for yourself. I know my delusions about what my real limitations are can be completely wrong. Since anxiety, social phobia, agitation, exhaustion all play a part in my illness, I have to account for them in the plans I make. And then be okay with adjusting plans and goals when the illness shows me I’ve been unrealistic. I’ve found that taking baby steps works best for me. If I have a long range goal, I have to break it down into teeny increments. The first bit may take me years to accomplish, and cause me to adjust the goal. That’s fine. I figure any movement in any direction is still a huge achievement.

    Reply
    1. rachelmiller1511 Post author

      You’re so right. I do still expect myself to do as much as I was doing before Bipolar, Social Anxiety, etc took over. I’m so stubborn and proud! I think I’m ultra hard on myself because I can’t do all that I did before. Thanks for pointing this out- I think I’ll look at what I’m expecting of myself and consider smaller goals.

      Reply
  5. Summer Moon

    Wow, this post really makes me think. I found myself relating to a lot of what you said in it. “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.” This right here really hit home, and that scares me. I don’t like to think that I am sabotaging myself so that I can hurt others in the way that they’ve hurt me, but I have to admit that reading what you wrote here makes me wonder. I know it’s not all due to that, but I have a few very specific things going on in my head right now that popped up as soon as I read that. You’re right about rage. It’s never rational. When I’ve been in the midst of raging, I wouldn’t be able to admit that. Heck, I wouldn’t be able to even fathom such a thought. It’s almost like that part of my brain shuts down… the part of the brain that observes and interprets my actions. So, if it’s anger that’s making me possibly sabotage myself so that others see how much they’ve hurt me, then I guess that makes sense that I wouldn’t realize it while in that moment of sabotage. Talk about a lot of ideas to swish around in my brain tonight. 🙂

    Thank you for this great post, Rachel, and thank you for giving me something valuable to think about.

    Reply
    1. rachelmiller1511 Post author

      You’re so right about rage- it DOES shut off our rational brain. It’s like a primitive state, there’s no getting through to me when I’m like that! Luckily it doesn’t happen very often!

      It was scary for me to think about and admit too. I don’t think revenge is my sole motivation. I think the voices of those I’ve grown up with have become ingrained in my head as my inner bully. So I think some of that anger is towards myself. I feel unworthy to develop talents or be successful. Gosh, we can be so silly sometimes can’t we! I know I wouldn’t be so mean to anyone else!

      If you do resonate with any of this, try not to blame yourself, none of it is intentional! Thanks for taking the time to think about my post Summer, you’re great! 🙂

      Reply
  6. tim

    I have to remind myself that i am hypomanic….i see a therapist who i talk about it with….it wasnt easy finding one i.could trust either…everything in your post i was totally seeing in myself just kept hitting me…lights going off..
    …im a guy though…and as im typing this out im realizing how im 33,married with a.daughter and have spent all of my years battling…and i thank you for writing that..because now that i have an answer i can allow not those things to be at the center of my “world” but instead keep that i do have a medical condition there instead…thank you…i dont know you but much love and prayers to you

    Reply
    1. rachelmiller1511 Post author

      Bless you! Thank you so much. I’m so happy this gave something to you, that you could understand yourself a little better from the post. That is what I strive for. So to hear that you connected in this way is wonderful.

      Sometimes I think it is best to surrender to this inner battle we go through, and find peace with ourselves just as we are. We don’t have to achieve or be how anyone else wants us to be. All we have to do is be us. We over-think things so much and end up trapped in fear!!

      Thank you so much for your comment, I really appreciate it.

      Reply
  7. Dr. Darla Nofziger, ND

    Thanks for adding Blessed Flower Essences (Condemned) as a resource! Our Combination Flower Essences are more than blends. They are multi-chord remedies (each essence in our combinations) have a total of 16 healing frequencies. They also have cellfood which acts as a cellular carrier. This helps deliver the essences to the deepest level.

    I love your site. It is open & honest as well as very helpful for people. The flowers you listed for anxiety are all in our anxiety blend except it has Impatiens as well. Keep up the good work! If you send me your mailing address, I’d love to send you a a sample of your choice for FREE. To help you choose you can visit… http://www.blessedfloweressences.com/Blog/products/combination-essences/

    Reply
    1. rachelmiller1511 Post author

      Thank you so much- that’s really kind of you! I will spend some more time on your site then and choose something. I’m interested in what you’ve said about the remedies being multichord and containing cellfood- I will have to do some more research.

      Thanks very much again.

      Reply
  8. Pingback: Star Wars: The Force Awakens….Inside us? | Emotional Wellness

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