Emotional Work

Day 375 and Masochism

I recently got yelled at by several people who love me because I was torturing myself over something that wasn’t really important.

My therapist asked me why I insist on being so sadistic towards my own body. I told her I was afraid that if I wasn’t perpetually in a state of self improvement no one would love me. The topic came up because I had allowed myself to get hurt in physical therapy. “Why would you push till the pain was intolerable? That’s insane!”

And I had to answer honestly that everything in my life is headed in the right direction. There was no major crisis or illness or disaster this week, so I felt like I had the bandwidth to add in another “self improvement” project. To which she replied “so you can’t ever just enjoy being yourself can you?”

That kind of floored me because it’s true. As soon as I feel like I’ve got things under control, I’ll add a little bit more to the pile so I can feel like I’m making progress. I am a masochist. Joy is fleeting. Better is always worth pursuing. Maybe you feel compelled to be torturing yourself too.