Can't Shake Feeling of Self-disgust.

I just realized something about myself. I live every day with the constant nagging feeling that I am not doing enough.

If I am not always doing something "contructive" , I am in a perpetual state of guilt, shame, anxiety and paranoia. (I know this has to come from when I was a kid, being called "lazy" by my mom and having to walk on eggshells all the time)

No matter how much I get done or accomplish, that feeling is always there lurking in the backround. It makes me feel horrible about myself and leaves me stressed out and exhausted.

That is my crappy neurosis and I wish I knew how to shake it.

sava744 sava744
31-35, F
2 Responses Feb 10, 2009

Hey, <br />
I've had the same problem all of my life... I'm not cured, but I found that what actually helps is to FORCE yourself not to do anything. I figured that if we were programmed early in childhood to always achieve something, or else we got criticism for being lazy, we can now reverse that habit as adults! I know it's not easy, but try to take moments or hours not to do anything. If you persist, with time you will see that the world doesn't end when you're not constantly active! I guess the only way of breaking down old habits is to build new, constructive ones.<br />
Good luck!<br />

Hi sava. I work with a lot of people who share your experience. In Transactional Analysis Psychotherpy what you describe would be understood in terms of ego-states. Paul Federn who origonated the concept of ego-states described an ego-state as: the totality of a person's experience of him or herself and the external world at a given moment. In T.A. there are considered to be three initial ego-states the Parent, the Adult, and the Child ego-state. The Parent is the part of ourselves that we introject from our real parent/s. This part of ourselves is where our self critisism origonates. Our Child ego-state is the part of us that contains our thinking, feeling and behaviour from when we were a child. The 'dialogue' between the two results in how we feel at a given moment. I.e. if we have a very critical Parent ego-state that demands that we 'do' in order for it to 'give us a break' then we only feel ok when we have done enough to satisfy the Parent. Unfortunately it sounds as though your Parent has incredibly high standards. <br />
The other aspect of the Parent ego-state is the nurtering Parent. This is the part that needs strengthening in order to counteract the critical Parent and learn to go easy on ourselves. Check out some Transactional Analysis sites if this way of viewing things appeals to you.<br />
I know what its like to have a very critical Parent. And i also know from my experiences in therapy that life can be something to be enjoyed rather than endured once again.<br />
Good luck on your journey.<br />