I view psychoactive medications with the same fear I viewed credit cards. I've seen the damage they can do. I've seen them abused. I've also seen them work. I've seen them improve lives and enable people to find power and courage to make better choices and lead better lives. I cannot pretend to know with any certainty that their effects on me will be beneficial or damaging. I fear so I do not act. I make excuses: my issues are manageable, they aren't "that bad", I haven't tried everything else yet, the side effects/risks aren't worth it, it will kill my sense of self. These are fear-based.
I feel bad about 50-60% of my actions these days. If I don't go to the gym when I plan to, if I spend too much time in front of my computer, if I put off an assignment until last minute, if I don't measure up to those I admire, if I am socially clumsy, if I am late, unprepared or lack confidence, if I lose control, if I misspeak, if I display ignorance, stupidity or selfishness. So many reasons to hate myself, yet those reasons to embrace and be proud of who I am are ignored, minimized, or entirely discounted. I need to SEE those reasons and acknowledge their existence and give them just as much if not more validity than I do those which I see so readily.
There is so much in me capable of greatness. Given dedicated focus, I could rule the world. A few things stand in my way: error and subsequent regret, anxiety related to the former, and my own ignorance. Identifying the gaps, revealing areas in which I remain blind, is a formidable task as I see ignorance, even in it's most innocent form, disgraceful and inexcusable. Anything that reminds me that I am limited immediately needs to be cut from me and discarded into a furnace. There is this innate impulse to destroy these pieces. It's primal, it's lightening fast, and it is very strong.
It was explained to me in an allegory -
A couple had many young children. The children, who once behaved as their parents had hoped, had developed into troublesome habits. Combative, reckless, and unappreciative, they started exhibiting these traits openly. Rather than deal with them healthfully, their parents cut them lose, relegating them to the woods outside their small home in the countryside. The children at first banged on the door but the couple sealed themselves in, away from their failures. The children left the home and an eerie silence settled around the couple. Months later, they heard scratching, growling, and monstrous noises coming from all around the house. They peered out to see three wild youths, covered in dirt and tattered cloth. Time had poured poison into their hearts and they hounded the doors of the house at all times. The couple became imprisoned by their discarded failures.
If you cut out what makes you imperfect and discard it as thought it doesn't or never existed, you create a prison filled with fear and denial. Your faults are out there waiting to come upon you full force. If the couple had simple accepted their children as they were, using love and compassion, they would not be cowering, fearing their destruction, imprisoned within their limited environment.
Dreamless sleep is my bliss. Silent judgement is my bliss. Sacrificing for others is my bliss. Staring at the expanse of an existence that will swallow everything of me...is my bliss.
I'd like to share some of my arbitrary rules I have pieced together over the years:
1. Idol hands do the Devil's work. 2. Those who come last on Earth come first in the kingdom of Heaven. 3. Treat others as you would have others treat you. 4. Repeated mistakes are evidence of lessons not learned. 5. People can change, it is just very hard. 6. I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul. 7. As a human being, improvement is always possible. 8. Positivity needs company otherwise, it is not sustainable.
The thought if typing 'I, my, me' over and over again, trying to communicate and build a bridge between my heart and my mind is staggeringly sickening. Ownerless introspection is a far better prospect. We all know whose perspective this is anyway...
Not judging one's self is not in synchronicity with demolishing YEARS of socially appropriate constructs like tact, empathy, and self control. All-or-nothing personalities will suffer. It's what they do. However, they love it. Every moment of pain and turmoil is a reminder. A reminder of the driving struggle. Each failure presents an opportunity to rise from it and make an accomplishment all the more meaningful. What happens if it is too easy? What if success comes without struggle? People become soft, accustomed to success and fold in the face of future challenge. However, in a way it rakes back the hard soil of trials and tribulations to expose a nurturing expanse in which creativity, boldness, and growth can thrive.
I am special because of my scars. If it all stops and they heal, what happens next? Being a functional, well-adjusted adult incites mental disease in me the way fear spreads over a child lying in bed after the lights have been turned out. If there are no monsters, then it is useless and childish to be afraid. I need monsters to not feel like I've wasted my life being afraid. Creating and self-actualizing these demons to justify my emotions is what started all this. It grew like a beautiful poisonous plant. I spent years watering it, caring for it, keeping it safe, not knowing of its destructive nature. To me, it was worthwhile, beautiful, and worth all my time and effort because this was the answer to everything. This was creating who I was going to become. I sculpted a figure outside of me. I made its proportions perfect, minding every detail. Only now do I realize I have made it too big. It dwarfs my actual existence and my eyes dart back and forth between this external structure of idealism and perfection to my weatherworn hands, my tired eyes, my dying body that created this ageless beauty. I'd gladly climb inside it and let it devour me and all that I am and stand in testament to my life in my place.
Psalm 89:47 "Remember how short my time is: why hast thou made all men in vain?"
They're stacked in drawers. Their binding caving in on itself as the previous occupants have been torn from it, leaving empty space where attempts at honesty and self discovery had been. I remember purchasing each and every one thinking, this is beautiful. The boundless potential was always perceived to be in the book and not myself. I was the problem. My contribution never measured up as consequential nor even intelligible. My handwriting slipped, the ink ran, the topic became diluted. I lost faith. It became on object, an allegory representative of my own failure to recognize and validate my own thoughts, feelings and emotions. Disgust rose in my stomach like hot acid followed by anger and disappointment. For what?
Why am I drawn so potently to these books, these journals? They beg me to fill their pages with SOMETHING substantial. What I seemingly have to offer is never enough, but that judgement does not come from them. It comes from within me. The same force that wishes so badly for tangible representation demands I destroy all attempts.
Life events. Objective renderings often led me to become underwhelmed with all that I have done and continue to do. Such hyper-focussing naturally breeds discontent and listlessness that precedes hopelessness. Without hope, people like me die.
Creative fiction. My thoughts are not of fantastical things. I seek no dragons or mighty battles. I seek knowledge which I would rather find in textbooks and thus far have not felt compelled to write a textbook nor the confidence in any material to think myself capable of it.
Short form. Poetry and prose have always had a hook in me. I think in prose, full of detail and fervor for metaphor and simile. That is the universal appeal of Twitter.
Date: Tuesday October 23, 2012 09:15 AM to 05:15 PM Location Name: Walmart #2497 Address: 1300 US Highway 22E City, State Postal Code: Phillipsburg, NJ 08865
This email was received shortly after I signed up for this shift the day before it was to take place. I could not have been happier. With this shift, and the subsequent paycheck in two weeks, I would be out of my 'official' debt crisis. The weight that lifted was tremendous and for the first time in weeks I was able to fathom getting an oil change or going food shopping. Being the thorough-minded person I am, before I was to leave for work this morning, I checked my shift confirmation. Why? I really don't know. I got the confirmation email stating I was working today but I felt like just another peek would quell my thirst for certainty. I could not have been more glad I checked. The shift was not listed under my confirmed shifts. A quick call to the scheduling department and I found out that I was not in the records as having signed up for the shift and it is no longer available.
With regards to the email above, you can understand my surprise and all I could do was mumble half-hearted drop offs into the phone about disappointment and trust while laughing insincerely into the receiver. The representative on the other line offered no solutions, only apologies. She even tried to explain that I may have clicked the 'confirm shift' button twice, thereby canceling my claim to the shift. "There's nothing I can really do at this point." I heard you just fine the first time my dear, but not only do I hear nothing useful coming from your contributions to this conversation, but you ACTUALLY try to blame ME? So, I tell her what she is going to do. I hate doing that because, 1. NOONE likes to be told what to do, it pisses people off and 2. IT MEANS I AM DOING THEIR JOB FOR THEM! So now I am waiting to hear back from Mollen Immunization Clinics, hoping some poor schlub wakes up with a wicked migraine or ate bad shrimp last night.
At work: *Say more by saying less. Don't lie. Don't purposely withhold the truth, just don't overburden the client with information. Solve their issues quickly and efficiently and ultimately your one source of job dissatisfaction will fix itself. THAT, and get a real job with benefits and a ton of hours like an adult!
At home: *Be concise. There's no need to justify yourself. Silence is just as important as the conversation it occupies.
In general: *Communication is so very important to successful interactions and it is about time some effort went toward improving those skills. Look into this as it will benefit you greatly in many areas of your life.
***************************************************** Self Improvement Goals for Next Month: - Use your time wisely but do not overburden yourself with unrealistic expectations. Know your limits and GENTLY test their flexibility. - Challenge yourself to make healthy choices even when they are not convenient. - Check your email daily. Make it something you do when you are at work and before you go to bed. - Less complaining...more doing something about it. - The small things are just that, small things. They have a tendency to pile up but if you keep on top of these things, they are easily manageable and you know it.
My facebook updates have begun to look more and more like fortune cookies and inspirational posters with kittens. It is a change I like, but it is taking a lot of effort to keep it up. I always worry that on my never-ending journey toward self-improvement one day I will wake up and not even be 'me' anymore. I have a fear that I will take it too far and apply myself too vigorously at it and become something I think is the definition of success by others standards. That is not what I want. I want a better me on my own terms. I want to embrace my flaws but fix them. Mistakes are forgivable if they are lessons learned. The dedication I feel toward my current project really inspires itself. This drive is both a useful and dangerous tool. Self-awareness often leads me to the base of a pine tree, missing the forest for the trees.
"...use simple, direct language instead of trying to express yourself eloquently."
I am beyond broke. I have a $300.00 debt to pay to CAP, I have an overdue PSE&G bill, and I have to come crawling back home every weekend to pass around my tin cup. I called my dad because he never returned my call about paying my car insurance this month. He had been avoiding me because he also didn't have enough money to pay his bills. He apologized but remained stern enough to say I was foolish for going back to school right after getting my nursing degree. I could barely hold myself together for the rest of the conversation but managed to choke out a pitiful goodbye as I hung up. I had called my grandma previously before spring break and she said she couldn't help me right now because she was in the red with taxes. My mom just took me on a trip to Pennsylvania. There is no way I can get out of this hole without taking out more loans. But that takes time. Time I was stupid enough to waste until it gets this bad. I need a miracle, I need to not be alone right now.