They say the first step to overcoming a problem is to identify it. I am the queen of psyching myself out. I can talk myself into circles and make the most microscopic problem into a catastrophic ordeal. There. I identified it. Actually, I’ve known for quite some time. It’s been my life long struggle. Since I was a child, I remember correlating two unrelated issues and tying them together to make them absolutely causal. If I didn’t memorize this one verse (out of like a thousand), I would never win the Timothy Award in Awanas. If I never won the Timothy Award, I would let down my parents, Mrs. Brooks, and myself. Therefore, if I didn’t memorize that one verse, everyone I cared about and looked up to would be disappointed in me, I would never earn their respect, and I would live my life sorry and alone.
My first year in ROTC, if I didn’t max my physical fitness test (obtain the highest score possible), I would be a horrible officer when I was commissioned three years later.
Being in the Army wasn’t enough. I had to be Airborne. I had to go to Fort Bragg. I had to get a few “first female to fill-in-the-blank” titles under my belt. If I didn’t, then I wouldn’t even feel worthy to wear the uniform. I might as well work at Wal-mart.
Irrational to you, but a way of life for me. A tiring way of life. So what now? It’s a problem. Next?
Well, sorry to disappoint my readers, but I haven’t figured it out yet. I still struggle daily. I wake up in the middle of the night, panic stricken thinking, “I haven’t written a song in a while, I’ll never become a professional songwriter.” I sit through a movie thinking, “I haven’t had the carpet cleaned yet. My entire house is disgusting.” And of course, “I’m having a bad hair day. I cannot be seen in public.”
So, what can I do until I figure out the next step to overcoming this problem? Well, until I discover the exact solution, I’ll just keep telling myself those things aren’t true. Like in the movie, “A Beautiful Mind” when Russell Crowe overcame his schizophrenia and seeing imaginary people by asking those he knew were real, “Can you see him?”
I ask myself, is that true? Is that reasonable? And fight to accept what I know is truth, despite what my mind tells me. The first step is to identify the problem. And a first step, is better than no step.