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.
I 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.