Hi

Just thought I’d let you know that I did as you advised and went to my GP – he referred me on to a counsellor and am trying to sort myself out. So thank you for that. I might have eventually have done it anyway, maybe, but the nudge you gave made me do it sooner and I’m glad I did.

Not sure it’s likely, but if you ever want to say hi or anything, it would be really nice to hear from you. Just as old friends. No pressure though – I know I might be inappropriate or have terrible timing here, but I’d rather regret knocking on that door rather than presume it’s locked.

Really like your twitter feed by the way. Genuinely interesting and thought provoking stuff. Keep at it.

Be well,

Shame

Advertisements

There’s a rubbish bin not too far from here with about an ounce of it in it. That took me too long, but it is done.

I do things to feel better. Meditate. Stretch. Run.

It works… to a point, temporarily.

But the point of trying to feel better is to become able to change my life.

It’s not good enough to simply feel better, for a moment. It has to be used.

That’s the third step.

“What?” not “Why?”

I’m trying to write two pieces for this blog. They are both highly introspective and deal with formative times in my past. Danger. Danger, Shame, danger. The temptation to wallow in past misery, to relive trauma and open old wounds, to undo any healing that has happened since — all that is strong and real. But what might be even more dangerous is the illusion of understanding that arises.

To tell a story is not the same as to understand it. As I look back at my childhood and early adulthood there are many explanations, ready to be chosen and bent to whatever narrative feels right. It would be easy to find profundity in this, to connect dots, to see through-lines, foreshadowing, find out that who I am now is really not meaningfully different from who I was then, and that patterns persist for decades. Some of that might be accurate. Some of it might even be meaningful and useful for recovery. Some of those insights might even be necessary.

But still, there is so much danger. To go back in to that mental space and glean what I can from it will take care, and a certain lightness of touch. I have to be like a cat-burgler in my own recollections. In and out, fast, quiet, find what is valuable and take it.  Don’t get distracted. Don’t get trapped.

On that note this article seems pertinent.

One unicorn, a 42-year-old mother who had walked away from a career as a lawyer when she finally realized that there was no joy for her in that path, explained it this way: “If you ask why, [I think] you’re putting yourself into a victim mentality …. When I feel anything other than peace, I say ‘What’s going on?’; ‘What am I feeling?’; ‘What is the dialogue inside my head?’; ‘What’s another way to see this situation?’ or ‘What can I do to respond better?’”

Perfectionism

I have to do something.

The fear of doing it wrong, or it being the wrong thing to do, or me fucking it all up even if it is the right thing and I am capable of doing it — all that is paralysing me.

I have to be okay with the idea of fucking up. Of making a mistake, even a big one that hurts and costs me time, because making a mistake is better than doing nothing.

So send that shithouse CV. Apply for that ridiculous job. Go to that humiliating interview. Turn up. Turn the fuck up.

It doesn’t have to be perfect. It just as to be done.

Choices

I am free to choose to do whatever I can.

I am certain to suffer the consequences of those choices.

What I am suffering right now is the result of failing to make those choices in the past.

So, what will I choose to do today?

Obsessive rumination about M.

The desire to reach out.

Composing communications I should not send.

How long before I can displace this?

How long until I have changed enough to be able to find someone?

Isn’t it already too late?

 

The Unreliable Narrator

Today I started work on a CV. It’s both better and worse than I had predicted. There is more to put in that I had remembered, but there is also so much time unaccounted for, so many empty years.

But it’s a step.

And it’s an autobiography of sorts, as is this blog in a more oblique way — this place being achingly private, and a CV being humiliatingly public. Either way I am trying to tell my story — even seeing my life as a story is unfamiliar and disconcerting — and I’m trying to find a way to understand it as less bleak, less threadbare, less arbitrary and broken.

 

Write a CV

Send it to people.

“Self-authoring”?

Find a life coach in need of a challenge?

Find out what I want.

Five year plan.

Step by step.

A strategy.

A job?

A qualification?

An environment in which I can meet interesting people.

Ways to be kind. People to be kind to.

 

Little Yeses

From HERE

In Why the Brain Talks to Itself (2009), Daniel Gilbert and Timothy Wilson found:

“The brain generates mental simulations (previews) of future events, which produce affective reactions (premotions), which are then used as a basis for forecasts (predictions) about the future event’s emotional consequences. Research shows that this process leads to systematic errors of prediction.”

“Passionate” is a word I’ve always had trouble with… Only idiots seem to regularly start sentences with “I’m passionate about…” Passionate about what? “Sales”? “Nutrition”? “Computers”? I don’t seem to feel that way about anything, though I’m jealous of those who do, despite my slight disdain.

It must be wonderful to be so driven, and to be so certain about the direction to push. Those people are blessed with a lodestar while some of us are scrabbling int he dark.

So, given that that kind of certainty and motivation is vanishingly unlikely to spontaneously appear, how do I generate drive and direction?

This article, from CareerShifters.org, has some possible ways of thinking about that.

What are my “little yeses”? What do I do that I enjoy, that I find easy, that I find stimulating and interesting? What do I do that I keep coming back to?

Reading. Reading about all sorts of things, but especially about science, psychology, history and humanity. Fiction too, but philosophically.

Writing. Writing here. Writing on social media where I am constrained by the lack of anonymity, the need for brevity and the need to be funny and/or interesting.

Bikes. Riding them. Racing them. Fixing them.

Making things with my hands. Solving problems. Crafting. Engineering. Bodging. Customising. Modifying. DIY.

These, or something like them, might be the glimmer of a few fairy lights that could guide me out of this hole.

It’s not much, yet, but it’s a start. Or the start of a start.