Self-destruct is not an option

Each day when I wake if feels as though I have 3 options:

Self-Destruct, Go with the flow or Conquer


This is my ‘safe’ place!  The one I created when Alex first left.  The one I thought was my Survival mechanism but was – in fact – the opposite.

This place is a mixture of self-pity but also immense dignity (or so I can think)!  It includes the following emotions and thoughts:

  • No one fanciable or sensible is going to contact me on the ‘dating’ sites.
  • Alex left me because I’m such an appalling person to live with (for a myriad of reasons – all negative)
  • I brought the entire situation on myself…….
  • Alex is in such a bad place I must be patient and understanding and loving and help him as much as I can to overcome the problems he has, even if helping means keeping out of his way.
  • One day he’ll come back

I can really like this place.  After all  It got me through those initial months in tact – or so I thought –  because it allowed me to be incredibly understanding and compassionate towards Alex.  It stops me getting angry and I can take on an almost “saint like” attitude of forgiveness!  This gives me an amazingly good feeling! Plus I do give myself a rather a large dose of misguided dignity.

Of course I can’t get angry. Impossible to be angry and compassionate and forgiving at the same time.

What I don’t get if I use this Strategy is

  • Respect for me
  • Growth
  • Trust
  • Adventure
  • Fun

That’s why it is the Self-Destruct option

Go-with-the flow

This is my coping mechanism/strategy.

This is where I can accept life as it is and do very little. BUT!  It can also bring out some extreme behaviour patterns in me.

I can become ‘over excitable’.  The life and soul of the party.  Crack jokes, be incredibly funny.  Park myself 100% in the present and not look to the future at all.  I can also be over flexible and allow myself to be treated by others with no respect at all.

It does also allow me to do my job incredibly well!  As I can fix anything from here.  So it’s great for my job.  But I don’t do anything about my emotional life from here.

When I opt for this option I don’t do anything about creating opportunities for myself which might give me a better future.

I like this place!  I feel I’m ‘moving on’ (those dreaded words!).  Everyone around me feels I’m doing better.

And another BUT.  It’s also the place I lived in before I met Alex. The place I’ve lived in for most of my life.

I may be giving me Fun but – sometimes – not a great deal of Respect.


This is the hardest but the most important.  Hard because it’s so new.  It requires me to do things for me that I’ve never been asked to do in my life before.

Create growth for me 100% of the time.  And by that I mean create emotional growth for me 100% of the time, but at the same time give myself a fun ‘present’.  To continue to do my job with a reasonable amount of flair, to continue having fun and be funny (when I want to be) but not allow my natural exuberance for living in the present to take over completely and so disregard my future.

This is the one I want but it is scary.  It’s new. It’s requiring me to give me the best I can.  To stop hitting the red and ‘amber’ buttons either separately or together and to give the green one one hell-of-a hit.

This one will give me a fantastic future.  I will meet my values with the rules I need for them to be met. I will be the person I was designed to be.

And then I won’t want to hit my personal “Self-Destruct” button anymore.

In times of trauma we all have our own different self-destruct buttons.  Be they self-pity, all consuming anger, over-active, do-everything strategies, etc……..   I think and hope that the trick is recognising what our own personal self-destruct button is and then do something about it to ‘kill it off’.

And then having the courage and conviction to work out what we need to do to hit the Green One!

6 thoughts on “Self-destruct is not an option

    • Thank you. I pinch most of the graphics off the internet by searching under images on Google!! Then give them a tweak for what I need! Do you have a graphics package on your PC? If so I can explain how to make them smaller / put them together!!

  1. This must have been a tough post to write. I like the way you’ve broken it all down. As I was reading I couldn’t help thinking how hard you’re working at it. I was also thinking how I might fit into the various categories.
    I never wanted to self-destruct so I guarded against it. First I wrote in my journal that I must eat well. And I did. I knew I would get physically ill if I didn’t. Eating was something I could control. I lost some weight but I’ve gained it back now. I got more help from my medical doctor than I did counselors. First he asked me “Are you a forgiving person?” “Yes.” “Good, because you have to forgive for your own sake.” Then he asked about my eating when he noticed the weight loss. I explained and he was satisfied that I was eating appropriately. He asked if I had at any point felt suicidal. I told him “no” only homicidal. We laughed at what was an obvious joke. Then he asked whether I was sleeping. When I told him I was going days and nights without sleeping, he was alarmed and we discussed the options. Together we decided on an antidepressant. And it worked for me. I have since very gradually taken myself off the medication.
    As to going with the flow and conquering, I do both. i don’t think of “the flow” as a negative. I was a middle child and the child of an alcoholic. Going with the flow is a vital part of who I am. I don’t “flow” all the time. I frequently get outside my comfort zone and do totally new activities. I try never to miss an opportunity to meet new people. I try to “stretch” myself in some way every day. To me that is conquering. When conquering starts to wear me out, I ease back into the flow.
    I’m sorry this is so long. I learned in AlAnon that sharing my experience can sometimes help another person. I also learned there to “take what I like and leave the rest.” I would be very happy if I’ve said even one thing that will be helpful to you. If not, just zap it and you won’t hurt my feelings. Either way, I’m pulling for you.

    • Pat thank you for taking the time to reply so comprehensively. You are an inspiration.

      Yes it was quite hard to write – to write it how I really mean it and how it feels to me.

      I wouldn’t dream of zapping!! It’s all important stuff. And if between us we help others then that is an added bonus.

      Thank you again

  2. Caroline,

    After a very, very tough week your post has truly switched a light on for me. I am sitting here with the light from the ‘go with the flow’ button flashing wildly around me! Hugely helpful post that has brought much needed clarity to my crazy life today.


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