The Mountains We Make

Posted: August 16, 2011 in theSlice

The Mountains We Make

Sometimes I don’t realize how much of an obstacle I am to myself.  If I would just get out of my own damn way, it’d be smooth sailing (or at least a serene float down-stream.)  But I have this tolerance for pain that gives me an inability,… a blind-spot, for knowing when I should bail. Bail water out of the boat AND bail-out of the situation. Just opt out.  UNSUBSCRIBE.  Because giving up is “failing” and I was raised with that option NOT in my gene-pool.  If ya got a B, it wasn’t, “great JOB!” — it was, “You’ll get an A next time.”  And so — I was imprinted with that mentality (seeming like such a good-ish thing to help your kid strive for improvement and being the best) pressuring myself — until I completely burned out.  Burnt to a crisp.  Crrrash & burrrrn.  To the point of not even knowing if best was ever going to be good enough.

So what I had to learn, was that average is okay.  Not-first was quite alright.  …That imperfect was not failing.  I didn’t have to be an over-achiever shooting-star (reference previous crash&burn statement), who did better and MO’ than everybody else.  I didn’t need a workaholic job-ethic that would shame the pyramid builders, no really 8 hours IS fine. What I found out from “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff (and it’s all small stuff)” is that I needed to lower my tolerance for stress.  LOWER it.  Like there’s some sort of temperature gauge sticking out of my ass — ‘Warning WARNING Will Robbins DANGER, stress is approaching’ — then I’d hit the dial to dowwwn.  Yea.  That was it.  So basically, what happened is that I was virtually in a recovery-program for reducing my addiction to the GUILT.  The guilt that I wasn’t there for everybody all the time, that I didn’t remember everymutha’lovin’ detail of EVERYTHING, that I wasn’t doing it ALL, that I was fallible.

What I struggled with as I was lowering my stress (aka the mountain of shit I heap on my head that I was trying to scrap off) — was redefining what I perceived as ACCEPTABLE.  What I accomplished that day,… was it something I could live with?  And it’s been a process.  A huge pendulum-swing path, one extreme to the other one extreme to the other, until gradually the bipolarness lessened. or maybe I learned my lesson.  (Imagine that.)  As my threshold lowered, my radar for bullshit got more sensitive.  I started to discern what I didn’t have a gene for, I needed to compensate.  Like losing one of your senses and having the properties of the other ones increase.  An example:  I’m recovering eating-disordered, I’ve mucked up my hunger-pang-instinct to the point where I basically don’t HAVE one.  I don’t associate “fullness” with the amount I’ve eaten, nor do I associate my LACK of eating with the possibility of mood-shifts.  Essentially my brain chemistry is fubar so I need to be a reasonable adult and figure it the fuck OUT.  I mean, how many times can the excuse “the gas gauge is broken” justify running out of gas in the middle of nowhere?  The phrase “howz that workin’ for ya” applies.  So yea, it took me awhile to realize that the propensity to take a crap-ton lot of pain and stress is NOT a talent! Muther of GAWD.

And you wanna know the best part of being “average” at performing SOME things?  …Is that I do not have to be any less fucking EXTRAORDINARY.


  1. Belinda says:

    Kath, your cup runneth over. Love you.

  2. Lisa Bellomy says:


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