Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Day 71: When gathering Information is no longer Practical | Motherhood Paranoia

During my pregnancy, I tried to prepare myself the best as I could by reading up as much as I could on taking care of a baby/child and parenting and went to a pre-natal class to get some last questions answered. You’d think that after 9 months of reading that I’d be pretty well informed and confident to walking the actual practical process of taking care of a baby. Truth was that on the day we got released from the hospital and we were busy leaving the parking lot, I was thinking to myself: “Oh cr*p, can’t someone give me a manual on how to do this thing?”

Having an actual baby and going through the daily process, more questions came up. As I would nurse Cesar, I’d be reading up in more books, looking more things up on the internet. I wanted to be informed about every single point or question I came across. Because every time a point opened up that was new, I was faced with uncertainty – and that was not something I liked in relation to having a new born lol.

So from that perspective – finding all the information and making sure I was informed on all points so I knew what practical steps to take if ‘this’ or ‘that’ were to happen – was a supportive action.

But then, I found myself researching the same points over and over – and finding the same answers over and over – and found an anxiety that started generating and accumulating each time I participated in ‘let me just look this point up one more time’ or ‘maybe there’s something I’ve missed’. Because the evidence was clear: there was no new information coming up whatsoever; so there was no practical reason to continue looking, I already knew what I had to know.

So now within having reached a point of ‘knowing all there is to know’, I knew that the next step was to actually walk the practical process of applying the information, when the need for it would arise. Here I got scared because, I wanted to hold on to ‘being in preparation mode’ and still being busy gathering information as being in that process, I found a sense of safety knowing I do not yet have to trust myself, I can still pretend that I ‘don’t yet know’ and that I need more time to figure things out.

So when there was nothing left to figure out / look up and I got faced over and over with the same answers and information – this would each time re-enforce the self-belief that ‘I cannot trust myself’ in the sense of applying the information, and each time I would look things up again, I could feel myself being disempowered over and over.

So one night during one of our many nursing sessions, and noticing how totally unpleasant the process of looking things up and educating myself had become (which at that point wasn’t educational anymore but merely obsessive) – I put down my tablet which I would use to google things, turned it off and just breathed. Because I realised that what I was doing, was no longer practical but had become compulsive behaviour to excuse why I was putting off trusting myself, within knowing that I would be able to draw from my repertoire of knowledge I had accumulated, and actually put it to the test. Where as long as I was still ‘researching’ and something would happen, I could still ‘claim ignorance’.

So I just sat there nursing, breathing and letting go of all the fears and anxieties. After all, if a point would open up like some form of emergency, it was not going to help me to be in a state of anxiety and insecurity as I’ve seen in the past that this disables me within being able to clearly assess what is going on and what I exactly need to do, as I then within anxiety start to doubt myself and mix up information. So the best thing I could do was just to let go, trust myself and not let myself be tempted to look things up just ‘one more time’ as this would only turn into paranoia about me not being able to practically walk the reality of taking care of a baby.

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