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  • Earlene Gleisner

Down and Up a Rabbit Hole

At any age of our lives, there are times when we can get stuck in the circle of regret. Pictures on Facebook or movies or statements of friends can trigger a memory when we wished we had not said or done something.

We get caught in this kind of thinking even more when we are sheltering in place for one reason or another. Eventually, if we do not break the cycle in some way, that kind of thinking can take over.

I know. Ever since I started working on a memoir, I had an edge of sorrow and shame following me. I really was not interested in looking at my mistakes, but then, one of the prompts surfaced. I was asked to write about all the things that I never wanted to write about or had not told anyone. Now I could have stepped away from the question, but I felt challenged. The instructor had suggested this prompt to shake loose some of the details that ultimately could play a dramatic part in our writing.

A four page, single spaced, purge resulted. Since I did not have the benefit of an event to attend or a volunteer cause to work on, I had no diversion from this experience. I plummeted into a depression of self-judgement.

What has begun to pull me out of this rabbit hole has been my own assignment of making a list of all the things that I remember that I did right and that are actions of which I am proud. It is a list that does not toot my own horn, as one might say. This list contains special days, performances, moments of love given and received, quiet actions of kindness.

I have a long-time friend who has a large envelope which contain what she calls her ‘Warm Fuzzies’. Inside are cards, photos, ticket stubs, and her own writings which suggest just the events and actions I named on my second list. I think it is a great idea to have this on hand for those moments or days when we doubt ourselves.

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