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Is Anybody Out There?
Are you getting these messages? Am I talking into the void? Or is it possible that there’s someone out there who cares about me? Is it possible that my future self can look back on me now and feel anything other than loathing? Is self-compassion a possibility?
It hit me, just now, that I’m writing again. Getting myself to sit down at this computer has been such a struggle. It built up in my mind to the point where it felt impossible. The truth is, I’ve had a lot to say, but no voice to say it – I wasn’t sure there was a point. I’m still not sure. It’s not like I’m getting anything out of this. I have the vague hope that someone out there might read these musings and realize they’re not so alone. That’s all I ever want when I write. Yet, lately, writing has become a terrifying thing to me. Not the writing, so much, but the thought of others reading it.
I’ve recently sent out my book to a couple of people for beta reading, which I’m beginning to think was a mistake. I’m learning just how much self-awareness I lack in my writing, and how I might think that something is good, but someone else won’t. It’s really nerve-wracking, and of course it’s destroying my already fragile self-esteem. I had some idealistic notion that this would be a way for me to face my fears and become unblocked, but it’s really just been terrifying. It’s giving me so much anxiety that all I want to do is block out any thoughts at all. My anxiety tells me that there’s no point in trying. That any time I try to do something bigger than myself, I always end up freaking out and ruining it. That I’m always going to be a procrastinator who sits around all day doing nothing, and my life will always be small and worthless. The only way to block out these thoughts is to do the activities that give birth to them. It’s a vicious cycle.
The hardest part lately has been the grief and pain that seems to come out of nowhere. Sometimes I won’t even know what the trigger is. But all of a sudden, I’ll just be drowning in it, with nowhere to turn and no idea what to do with out other than shut it out and keep it from happening again. I don’t know if I’ll ever be me again, or if I’m going to be stuck like this forever.
The worst part is the hope. The hope that I’ll beat my addiction to wasting time and stressing myself out, and might actually make something of my life. The hope that I might actually inspire myself to be who I want to be. The hope that I might be able to touch someone with my words. That hope makes me do crazy things, like try. And the trying inevitably leads to a mental breakdown and backing out of whatever I got myself into.
Even worse is the regret. Drowning in regret. Breathing it in and steeping in it, until sometimes it’s all I know. I do thing that I know will add to the list of those regrets, but in the moment, I can’t stop myself. I cringe to think of all the horrible things I’ve done, all the people I’ve hurt, and the ways that I’ve let myself down. The only way to avoid that crushing pain is to not feel anything at all. And then the cycle begins again.
I’m really good at being compassionate and objective when it comes to other people. Usually. But I really hate it when others tell me that I’m doing the best I can. If this is my best, then I may as well just end it. No. This can’t be the best. There’s got to be something better. Something more. Because I know that when I’m doing my best, I feel so much better than I do right now. When I’m doing the best I can, I take the world by storm, and nothing stands in my way.
No, I’m not doing my best. I’m doing the absolute bare minimum to survive. To get through each day with my heart still beating. Maybe sometimes that’s the best I can do, but that’s not me doing my best.
Did that help you at all? Do you see now that you’re not the only one? Does that make the load easier to bear?
Thanks for listening, as always.
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“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him.”
~ Romans 15:13