This is an excerpt of what I recorded in only one morning (B is my 3 year old son):
9:00 am: B. asks to watch a show.
My thoughts: “But shows are bad for his brain. I shouldn’t let him watch shows. I should engage him in enriching activities. What a failure I am as a mother…”
My body: My stomach tightens.
10:15 am: B. slouched in the car seat and staring out the window blankly.
“OMG. Is there something wrong with him? Does he have the coronavirus? Is he going to die? I feel so helpless. Should I drive straight to the hospital?”
My body: My left hamstring cramps and spasms. My stomach is in knots.
10:20 am: B. says he is hungry
“I forgot the snack in the fridge. OMG. Why can’t I get it together? How do other moms seem to be able to do this, and I can’t. I need help.”
My body: My jaw and facial muscles on the left side tighten.
10:30 am, I do not have B.’s indoor shoes for the babysitting room.
“I forgot B.’s indoor shoes. Oh no. Maybe the babysitter won’t notice. They have to let him in. What if they don’t let him in? Why can’t I get it together?’”
My body: My leg is fully dragging now. My tremor has begun. I am having trouble focusing.
I obviously have a body that is extremely sensitive and at its maximum capacity for handling stress already. Would these symptoms still have come on without my constant barrage of worrisome and self-critical thoughts? I don’t know. I did notice that my thoughts have me in a constant state of self-criticism and stress.
In my first coaching session with Lilian, she recognized that the habitual worrisome thoughts and pressure that I put on myself is a subconscious habit that I picked up in childhood. We work through using different techniques.