Date: 2017-01-24 03:02 am (UTC)
loligo: Scully with blue glasses (Default)
From: [personal profile] loligo
Andy and I walked across England for our honeymoon -- or technically, he walked across England and I skipped 20 miles in the middle. So that tells you right there I'm a quitter.

I was doing fine for the first 5 or so days of the trek, ranging 8-15 miles per day. But then we had a 21-mile day, and my feet just gave out. I had to make it to our next B & B, so I kept putting one foot in front of the other, trying to mentally distance myself from the pain. When we got there, I sat on the floor of the shower and sobbed.

I was able to walk the next morning, so I walked, though I started developing shin splints that took months to heal after the hike. I walked every day as long as our mileage was under 20, but when it came to a 23-mile day, I asked our luggage service if I could ride with them. I met Andy at a pub near the end of that day's mark, so we figure I missed about 20 miles. And I am totally okay with that decision. I never think "Oh, if only I could TRUTHFULLY say I've walked across England!"

I am easily overwhelmed by things. When they were handing out gumption, you probably got my share.

But I've realized in recent years that the real core of the problem is that when I'm overwhelmed by something, be it a physical sensation, or an emotion like anxiety, I lose my inner balance to such a great extent that I feel like I don't exist anymore. I lose my sense of self, and become nothing but the horrible sensation. It's like the dark side of "the flow" that people are always talking about.

I do experience the positive version of the flow sensation, and I really enjoy it, but for me, positive flow always involves eagerly taking in and tasting and cataloging sensations at a pace that is comfortable for me. When the sensations or emotions come faster than I can process them, I just have to shut down.

I have a lot of feelings of inadequacy about being this way, so I tend not to contemplate questions like "what awesomely challenging thing would I do if I could?" Because I can't.

I mean, I guess I have done some things that some people might find challenging. I got my PhD by age 26. But my ability to persist and achieve in intellectual/artistic pursuits was trashed once the kids arrived, so I don't foresee any grand challenges in my future.
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