My left lower eyelid shudders left and right for a moment, then it does it again.

Twitches come and go. I had one in my thigh for a time, visible through tight jeans. My eyelid has been twitching for days, and most of yesterday. I sat in Meeting thinking about this. I should not be stressed, says my inner critic. I have no job, after all. Yet I am stressed, and fearful. Life seems OK now, but will it turn out alright?

It is OK. I am stressed, and I am fearful. I have always been stressed and fearful. Now, it does not seem a sign of intolerable weakness. I do not have to fight it and deny it. My inner critic is still on my back, but I take her less seriously. I sat in Meeting, feeling happy though my eyelid shuddered away, though I had always been self-conscious and ashamed of twitching. I must never appear to make any effort at all, I had thought, and this is no longer the case.

I am stressed, and I am fearful. It is OK. It is so much better to permit my feeling than to deny and suppress it, or use it as evidence of my weakness and uselessness.

I am beautiful and valuable,
complete in myself.

Marion is keen to tell me of “Permitted work” while on the sick. Her business is a preferred employer, so I could do permitted work through them indefinitely. I say I could look it up in the CPAG handbook, which I have hardly opened. I am not interested in permitted work at the moment. I will ask her if I consider it.

Am I seeking excuses? The inner critic is full of possible attacks. No. I seek to know where I am right now. Having been so hard on myself, I now show myself compassion.

Alexej von Jawlensky, The Blue MantillaI hate stress, as I have been repeatedly stressed beyond anything I can bear. I have had two principle ways of avoiding it: finding the rules and obeying them- being “good”- and being in control. Being good is impossible, and the attempt makes me negate myself. Being in control is impossible, even if I retreat to my living room, and I hate that too.

Something has changed, though. Before, I hated the twitch. I hated the symptom of stress, the feelings of being stressed, angry and fearful. I should not be feeling these things. I should be better able to cope. Actually being stressed showed how worthless and useless I was. I feared people would notice my twitches and despise me for them.

Now- I am stressed. That is how things are, where I am. I would rather not be stressed, but do not need to deny it or flee it in panic. Just possibly, I may find better ways of improving my situation.

2 thoughts on “Stress

  1. This is a lovely post, so full of you, Clare.
    I’m sorry you are stressed. But sometimes we do bully ourselves rather a lot, don’t you find? Why not just admire the beauty of your hands, or something, until those feelings pass? More often than not, they are stoked by your inner critic(s) none of which is your friend.

    Become the watcher, and notice your beauty.

    Bless you! XXX 😀


    • I am stressed because my situation is precarious. Being in the Support Group, do I have to go to the Work Focused Interview on the 17th? Yes there is worry about the future there. But I don’t think I bully myself so much, now. The bully would demand I deny the stress.

      I am so glad you are here.


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