Thursday, 10 May 2018

A new plan, again: Day 11

Howdy. I awake at 9 this morning, hoping for a leisurely day of reading my book and blogging. But almost immediately my brain starts spinning up into dark places, and won't stop. So here, instead, is a list of all the negative thoughts I've had thus far today:
  • While buttering a muffin for breakfast it strikes me that I've never truly applied myself to anything in life and that all my problems stem from a fundamental lack of courage on my part. Which is nice to know.
  • Halfway through the muffin I think it'd be interesting to make today's post about all the negative thoughts I have, thus externalising them, bringing them to awareness, showing people what I'm up against. Then I think that's a lame idea and it will make me seem completely miserable and pathetic.
  • I go upstairs and write a Facebook status I've just thought of about bar workers going to offices after the bank holiday and acting the same way as the office workers just acted in our pubs. It seems quite funny, so instantly I start worrying that I'm trying too hard and that it's a statement of impotence, like that quote about irony being the song of a bird that has learned to love its cage, and that really it's just embarrassing that I'm still working in a bar after all these years.
  • Some people like the status, and comment on it continuing the theme, and that makes me feel good -- so then I start thinking how sad it is that I'm back on Facebook pretending not to be but really checking the status for likes and comments, like some kind of fucking tragic goblin-faced loser.
  • I get really tired, and I think how pathetic it is to be tired after doing so little so far with my day.
  • I write up yesterday's post, and I feel it works, so then suddenly I'm thinking that it's pathetic to be happy about some dumb blog-journal when I could be writing a novel or something. That the blog doesn't go deep enough, is too cowardly.
  • I look at all the negative thoughts I've noted down so far, trying to tell myself it's not cowardly but brave to be open about this stuff -- and next thing I'm worrying that it's all totally self-obsessed and narcissistic instead, all grist for the mill of my ego.
  • As I'm going down to make a brew I half turn, remembering that while reading in bed last night I was playing with my beard and some hairs came out, and I put them by my bed to throw away later. So I sort of pause in my tracks to go find them, but already in that instant I'm turning back, having decided I can't be bothered, that I'll just go make a tea instead. This is all automatic, and the next few steps away to my door it strikes me that I'm axiomatically lazy, weak, that I will always avoid the stitch in time that could save nine. It genuinely gets to me, like it's some judgement on my entire being. Over three beard hairs. I wish I was making this up.
  • Then in the kitchen I see the washing machine and remember I was going to put washing on, but I'm already feeling sad and cowardly, so what I think is that of course I haven't done my washing, of course I won't do any now, I'm too lazy and pathetic, I can't do anything in my life that needs doing, I might as well go and get drunk and forget everything, because that is all I'm good for.
  • That belief, that I am lazy and pathetic, now roves around looking for all the examples it can find to validate itself. Haven't put away my dry washing either. Haven't messaged Fran to see if she's OK. Haven't watered my plants. Haven't thought about my career. Haven't cleaned my bathroom. And I'm at the centre, unable to do any of it.

Now, all of these thoughts are real. I really have them. But they also aren't the full story of today. They aren't indicative of my overall mood. I am an experienced self-hater, and experienced at coping with self-hating thoughts. None of these moments I have noted consume me. I am able to struggle above them, question their legitimacy -- Is it true that I should be better than I actually am? Isn't it entirely normal, healthy and human to go back on Facebook to see how a statement has been received? Is it a fundamental weakness that makes me unable to put the washing on, or is it believing that thought itself that keeps me weak?

I do do the washing. I do write my blog post. I never get those beard hairs, but who the hell cares?

Yet those dark thoughts are always there. They never leave. A continual stream of negativity running parallel to all my better thoughts, watching from the shadows, coughing when I would kiss.

Having that voice in my head is enervating. It depletes my reserves, grinds down my spirit. If I have less energy than other people, that's why. If daily life is more of a struggle, there is good reason.

Those negative thoughts aren't going away. But I am getting better at being mindful of them, letting them arise, not rising to them, and watching them fade away. They are allowed along for the ride, because they are an innate part of me -- but they sure as shit aren't driving. The longer I go with this the more chance they have of learning that. And they better learn, because I'm staying here.

I hope if you have negative thoughts you are able to feel the same. They do not have to be your truth. You are more than them. You are wonderful. Keep going.

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