Saturday, 1 September 2012

The Core of the Matter

     Another concept that really stuck with me when I read the book on Adrenal Fatigue was this:

"For more than seventy-five years we have known that the adrenal glands cannot heal from fatigue unless they have the opportunity to rest. Long periods of bed rest are not feasible for most people, nor are they usually necessary. The particular kind of rest you need when you have adrenal fatigue comes not so much from lying down, but from standing up for yourself, and from removing or minimizing the harmful stresses in your life."

    I think this is where the core of the matter lies: To stand up for yourself. I can see now how that one thing would be the one that would make the most difference in my life. I didn't know how to do it though.
When I read that, I thought: "That's all very well, but how on earth do I do that?" I just simply didn't have a clue. If my FOO asked to come over to stay I didn't feel that I could say no even if it was inconvenient. If I was invited to a social event I felt I had to accept even if I didn't feel like it. I always felt like I couldn't say NO. It's like it didn't exist in my vocabulary. I only felt that I could say NO if I had a valid excuse, but to say a plain NO was just beyond my capabilities. I couldn't even imagine myself just saying NO.
I think this is the thing that kills me with a lot of self-help books: 1) a lot of the material is focused on what the problem is (which is kind of pointless, because we already know what the problem is, otherwise we wouldn't be reading the book in the first place) and 2) they tell you what to do but not how to do it.
So why was I unable to say NO? The short answer is because in my FOO saying NO was not an option. When I did start saying NO to one of my siblings, she turned into a gorgon (well, not quite literally, but you know what I mean). So I wonder if this inability of saying NO came from the deep down knowledge that the minute you said it, all hell would break loose. Come to think of it, I have no problem saying NO to my husband. So maybe it wasn't so much that I was not capable of saying NO but the fact that I knew the battle that would ensue if I did. The way things were going with this particular sibling was that I either stood up for myself or accepted a life of endless servitude. So I had to really improvise as I went along because there's no way I was going to be anyone's unpaid slave. Later on I did find some really helpful stuff which I wish had been available to me for when I was in the eye of the storm but to paraphrase my favourite french writer: "our destinies and our desires rarely play in unison." Still, better late than never. Some of these new found tools are proving really useful, because at the end of the day, there's plenty of narcissists to go around and even if you have cut or limited your association with the Ns in your FOO you might still have to deal with the ones that you might come across one way or another.
Standing up for yourself is like lifting weights, you have to build yourself up first. More on that in the next post.


  1. Hi Kara,

    Great post, I don't get the 'how'. And I think it is like lifting weights - good analogy. When I started standing up to my NM it was tough and with other Ns they got mad because they couldn't count on a certain reaction from me. They wanted to keep me in this pigeon hole of doing stuff for them when they snapped their fingers; and then it changed and I didn't go back. And a few of my N friends I think are waiting for me to go back. One friend in particular thinks it might be a phase.

    I look forward to reading more about this.
    T Reddy

    1. Thanks T Reddy. "They wanted to keep me in this pigeon hole of doing stuff for them when they snapped their fingers" What a good way to put it. This was my experience too. They don't like it when you change the status quo.


    2. Here's to changing the status quo! xx

    3. The status quo sucks. We have nothing to lose by changing it. xx

  2. I was so proud of learning to say "no." It took me a while to realize I was saying "no" but not to the things I needed to the most. Live and learn. So glad I found this, today.

    1. "The most important thing I learned after I became 40 was to say no." Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
      I was also saying no to myself. Now I am learning to not deny myself things that are good for me. :)

  3. Yes, excellent point. The vast majority of self-help books, IMO, not only don't tell how, but they gloss over the complexity of the process. I suppose that's because nobody can make any money saying "this process involves an entire sea change in how you view yourself, the world, your family, relationships, spirituality, personal growth, and everything you know to be true. You will have to get into the habit of questioning your self-identity, your assumptions, what you've been taught, how you've been taught it, and the emotional repercussions of it all. You will also have to learn some basic psychology, challenge your narcissism, work to increase your self-awareness, and deal with your fears, anxieties, and those pesky repressed emotions that are causing the problems in the first place." LOL! Nobody wants to hear that stuff!

    There are a few good ones out there, but I think you're right, that I learned what my problems were but not really how to fix them. I had to learn that from all of you. I don't think books can do it for us.


    1. You make a brilliant point Kitty, who would buy any books if they told them that straight from the start? :P
      That's why I've learned so much from you too, because you have actually been through it, whereas a lot of this writers talk from an outsider's point of view. Yes, books don't give us feedback or encourage us to do better like we've been doing with each other. :)

    2. Couldn't agree more, or have said it better myself. Love and hugs to you, hon. XX00