I’m not into punishment. Wait. That came out wrong. Let me re-phrase.
When I was a kid, the possibility that I would get in trouble (if caught – I was kind of a bad kid) wasn’t much of a deterrent. I would smart talk my parents, have temper tantrums, etc. KNOWING that I was going to get in trouble, and carry on anyway. As a teen, I got up to all kids of inappropriate and illegal activities, almost as a dare to the universe. “Go ahead and have me crash the car/get arrested/die. See if I care!” I was what you might call, ummm… defiant.
On the flip side, I respond very well to positive reinforcement, aka rewards. I always have been, and continue to be, very into pleasure. Ok, that ALSO sounds wrong. Get your minds out of the gutter. It can be little or big things, but I need something good waiting on the other side to get myself through unpleasant/painful/sad things. It can be little – knowing I have a dumb TV show to watch at lunch on Monday can help me get out of bed Monday morning. Having a bowl of ice cream to look forward to after my injections. And those things are innocuous, I don’t worry about them so much. I think it’s normal to look forward to things, and if that helps me get through the day, great.
Helllooo, I showed up! Where’s my reward?!
But I sometimes feel extremely childish for needing an immediate reward. Don’t “they” say that the definition of adulthood is delayed gratification? I guess I’m not an adult then. Because intellectually I KNOW the real reason I’m going to work on Monday morning is because we need the money, and I’m lucky to have a job that pays me as well as it does. Intellectually I KNOW the real reason I’m doing these injections is so we can have a baby. I KNOW. Big picture, y’all. I got it. So why can’t my mind catch up to what my brain knows? Why am I so stuck on this cycle of dreading something unpleasant, doing something unpleasant, getting a reward, feeling better, then starting the dread again?