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Wednesday, 5 September 2018

Day 131: Untangled

Woke up hating myself this morning. All the usual reasons. I'd overslept; rather than seizing the day I'd rolled over and spent the last two hours feeling pinned to the bed, thinking how the healthy decision would have been to get up, but feeling unable to do so. And I was thinking about my writing, how I'm not pushing myself enough, how disappointing it all is, how simple and safe and boring. How I'm not making any progress. I'm trapped in stasis. How I've been eating ready meals and oven pizzas most nights again, and averaging one piece of fruit every other day. How I haven't been shopping at Unwrapped. How I never follow through on plans. The moment things get difficult I give up. How I'm a worthless waste of space, a pathetic ugly moronic loser.

Like I said, all the usual reasons.

And then I got up and stood in the shower. I got out of the shower and dried myself with my towel. I did my teeth, did my beard. Put on clothes. I took a bag for life and an empty Kilner jar and walked to Unwrapped, and then to the greengrocer's on the corner. I ate breakfast - cornflakes with milk, satsumas, an apple, a banana, a croissant - washed up, made a large pot of coffee.

I paid my rent, checked some dates on the calendar, did some other sorting work. I briefly felt awful that I still don't really get the next part of the story-structure stuff I've been putting off for weeks - but then I watched an episode of Community and made notes about the hero's journey, made notes about Bourne Identity, read up on story circles online... And by the time I had to get ready for work I felt like I had a better grasp on the subject than ever before.

And, OK, I know all that is not very impressive. It's pretty much the bare minimum that an adult should be achieving. But for me it was a big deal. This self-loathing I feel every day is such a weight on me. It is self-sustaining. It perpetuates itself. You feel worthless and that saps you of all energy, which makes it impossible to do the things you know you should be doing, which makes you feel all the more worthless.

I have had so many mornings waking up like this morning and letting that weight of negative thoughts crush me. Churning over in my head all the reasons I'm a failure, each reason leading to ten more reasons, which each lead to ten more, spreading outwards, forming strands between what were disparate incidents - the social failure last Thursday, the sense of loneliness in the corner of the party last month, not buying enough fruit yesterday, classmates laughing at me decades ago - the strands solidifying into a thick web that encompasses my entire consciousness, with me enmeshed in the centre, trapped and tiny and helpless, unable even to struggle, unable to move even a finger.

And once that process starts spinning up it's so difficult to halt, it carries its own energy and the energy builds as it goes, and often I'm not conscious it's begun, and then suddenly it is everywhere. And struggling only tangles me worse, the energy to fight back can so easily just go into energising the self-loathing, and then I get frustrated, and then feel helpless, and then suffer more.

So to feel the beginnings of that happening this morning, but then to gently, lightly climb over the first of the webs, to walk away and get on with the mundane work of my day, well for me that is huge. I'm going to recognise that that is huge. I'm going to feel good about it.

I'm going to give myself that.

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