Now, I don’t know of course if this kind of self-hate is the same as yours, in substance or in strength, but surely there is a familiarity.
Those feelings must spring from somewhere, and IMO it is very much the same source, so to speak. Something inside is broken and needs fixing. Medication can help but it has side-effects and it is NOT a cure. See a health professional about this, but make sure you see more than one.
What helped me was, to some extent, therapy but mostly therapy I trained myself to habituate – i.e. I learned how to think differently. All the time.
To stop the hateful thoughts and replace them with something else. Cognitive behavioral therapy, I believe it is called – and it was a self-made variation thereof I used, with some help from therapists.
But what I would really like to point out is that I did not seriously commit myself to this kind of therapy, including the 24/7 practice (which was the most important) before I realized, deeply, that my current status quo would lead to self-destruction.
You can fill in the blanks there … But I realized that I hurt myself and that ultimately it would not do me any good to continue.
Whatever it was inside me that apparently believed I would do something or other that I, well, needed by hating myself … that illusion was dispelled and I could finally seek help.
So I need to learn to do this – acknowledge my feelings about financial scarcity – and at the same time let go of them and focus on just living the best I can, every day.
Before there are no more days.
How the hell can it ever work to strive for realizing something that will make you happy, but strive in a way that makes you feel stressed and struggling?
I went to a therapist in 1999, when I first started experiencing depression. She told me I should get up each morning and draw for 25 minutes.
Get up early and draw before anything else.
She told me that – and other things.
I tried to do this for a while and failed at it. And things got a lot worse.
Not necessarily because of me stopping the drawing-routine, but I have always wondered.
Now, recently I started drawing again in the morning. I have an idea for (another) graphic novel …
But the point is that I feel really, really good about this routine.
And it wasn’t so difficult – the first week at least.
And now I can see results!
So I will go on. And see more results.
And feel more good.
As I get older I find that I still struggle with fears, perhaps more so than before – fears that come out of nowhere.
But, I suppose, founded in reality. Or potential reality.
Fear of growing old, dying suddenly, getting ill, becoming handicapped, losing Char or Jay like that, etc.
Those and other fears. But the physical ones – about physical danger – seem more pertinent. They circle like shadows of sharks.
I have before berated myself for those fears, but as I grow older I also find that the only way to deal with them properly is to accept them completely.
And then use the rest of the time to the best of my ability, regardless whether the fears come true or not.
It is difficult but it is the only way. Otherwise you get a vicious circle with fear of … fear.
And I could say the same about a lot of other sharks.
You know the real best here is that I don’t feel stressed about this any longer. I do one bit every day on The Blog, which may or may not be a creative project-related thing. And that is it.
I accept if it fails again. I accept that the majority of my life is going to be about earning money and taking care of my family. For the foreseeable time.
I prioritize during the day to draw if I am home and have a break, and I am not going to be online because why the hell would I need to check Facebook for the 7th time? Really? Why the hell?!
So I haven’t this evening either. But that is an aside.
What matters is that I have a feeling of true strength. For the first time in a long time.
I have to accept it’s going to be back and forth emotionally from now on and I have to show that to others and remind them of that as well – especially my mother. Both experiences are okay and natural, but we have to – have to – continue to move between them. Never stop. Especially not in the valley.
this date I will call to check on my mother, and she will sound … happy.
Despite the new cancer-threat.
Or at least … in “good spirits”, as they say.
Not denying reality, but not sounding like it’s about to break either.
I believe that despite her frailty in some situations, my mother has gotten a lot stronger over the years. Especially after surviving one bout of cancer in 2003 but also in general.
I don’t know if this signifies anything, but on a day like that it will be enough for me.
When dark things do happen to you – loved ones die, illness, separation and much more – one of the first things to remember is to ask for help. It is so easily forgotten, but it is the first best step out of the dark.
No sense to sell out my sense of calm in the present and stress and try various ill-thought through activities to ‘insure’ I will earn more, in the future.
No sense at all.
Except follow a plan I already have about what to do, when to do it, and be calm when I don’t have the time to do it, because of babies, dishes and other life-things.
But I did it fine. Today.
It helps to slow down, though, in my thinking and doing. The slower pace makes me feel less stress and better able to make decisions.
I just have to remember it.
We do have to accept the difficult birth of Jay and move on. And to some degree we already have.
We both know it is necessary. We just have some pain left that is difficult to keep inside or find a place for. Some painful memories.
We have to accept those, not feel ashamed.
The question is how? Will a dream that may or may not have been precognitive about the experience help? Will it help if I tell Char about it? Will she even believe it?
I don’t know.
I just know I have to get on with my work today, and then later with caring for Jay. That is what is necessary right now. I will have to let this go. That is the right thing. For now.
And then return to it later. For a while. Try to learn to keep it in me a bit more or maybe find a better place for it.
That is also the right thing.
How the hell can you gain anything by not focusing on it?
How the hell can you make something real for you that you badly want by constantly criticizing yourself for not having it?
How can you arrive at a place without setting a course?
I admit it: I am a self-keep-a-down-holic.
I have hurt more people by not exploiting my full potential and changing the world and earning more money to share than I have by keeping myself down.
I will have to have the courage to look at that statement every day from now on and really feel how much it hurts. Only then, I feel, can I begin to see – deep deep down – that what I have been doing so far has been wrong and has not worked.
I have saved no one, not even myself.
If there is a power in admitting the truth, I so badly want to feel it now.