I’ve been keeping to myself lately, from a virtual blogging aspect anyway. Almost a month ago, I became gripped by a deep doubt about almost everything. In particular, my writings here as well as my semi-private journal. It was akin to suddenly feeling like the Emperor in his new clothes, as though I had been engaged in a massive and very public overshare.
I only barely managed to keep myself from outright deleting a number of posts, thanks to the urging of friends. I still made several of them private, though. I still can’t say exactly why, though I imagine it’s the same mindset that grips anyone who creates as a major part of their life. Like a painter who suddenly decides something looks terrible and paints over the canvas.
I’m willing to bet it’s related to my still-faltering self-confidence and self-esteem, both of which took a major nose dive around the same time I decided that everything I had written for the last two months was utter and complete crap. When combined with the sense of nakedness and subsequent embarrassment at my self-perceived overshare, it’s unsurprising that I was so suddenly taken with the desire to virtually set my writing on fire.
However, the horses, as they say, have long ago left the barn. While I shouldn’t really care what other people think of me in the first place, I should be comforted rather than fearful of the fact that, with a single exception, not a single person has removed themselves from my life nor have they said anything disparaging about my writing. In fact, I’ve gotten a lot of very positive feedback and encouragement. If a massive display of TMI was really something I had to worry about, I would have learned of it weeks ago.
Still, the feeling hasn’t gone away yet. I wish I knew how to dispel these notions, because they’re keeping me from completing other major projects that have the potential to lift me out of the overall sense of uselessness I feel about my life. Which is yet another attitude that should be filed under “patently absurd”, but I’ve yet to figure out how to truly convince myself of more positive things.
Part of the problem is having bipolar illness. I’m still cycling, in the vernacular, and often whatever mental gains I make when I’m feeling up are completely undone while I’m feeling down, which is unfortunately the greater percentage of the two. At least when I’m up, the most annoying things I have to deal with are insomnia and a greater than normal enthusiasm. I’ll spare you the list of things I deal with when I’m down.
I’m trying hard to be patient, though I often feel that I’m failing at it. It can take months or more than a year for someone to truly stabilize and achieve some sense of emotional equilibrium, and sometimes I just don’t feel that I’m up to the task. At nearly 40 years of age, I feel a bit like Bilbo at the beginning of The Fellowship of the Ring: “….thin, like butter scraped over too much toast.” A great part of me is like, “Really? *sigh* After everything else, do I really have to deal with this too?”
A great part of me is also very angry about the “everything else”, and it’s entitled. Regrettably, there’s no one left to be angry at, and so in a very real sense I’m suffering the ill effects of a Buddhist parable – being angry at someone is like holding a hot coal with the intention of hurting them: you’re the one who gets burned. Along with being patient, I’m also trying to cultivate “letting go”, even though it isn’t fair and I still bristle at some of the injustices in my life, mostly because I was never really given an opportunity to have my feelings be known.
I’ve never been someone who prayed, mostly because I didn’t feel I had anything to pray to, but that’s changing as I get a bit older. Even if my prayers aren’t TO anyone or anything in particular, that doesn’t mean that sending out that energy and thought out into the Universe doesn’t do some good, even if it’s only inside me. So my prayers of late have been that I might be better at letting go, better at acknowledging the good things that others see in me, and better at forgiveness. I also pray for inner peace and an accepting, quiet mind. Please, just a mind that will STFU every now and then.
the things that we’re concealing
will never let us grow
time will do its healing
you’ve got to let it go
Rush – Open Secrets on “Hold Your Fire”