I know I've been an irregular DT'er lately, and so I do feel like the prodigal blogger, but I just have to get this out and don't seem to care enough about myself lately to write it for my own eyes only.
In short, I've realized that part of me simply doesn't want to "get better." I've been down long enough and introspected enough and played around long enough to know the things that lift me out of depression (at least to some degree), and yet, I just can't seem to stick with them for any length of time. This paralysis sets in, along with all the inner chatter:
"This is stupid."
"This is too hard."
"Don't you have 'real work' to do?"
"Why do you have to make everything about you?"
"Why bother? You always just give up anyway."
"You're too old to fix yourself."
"You're just not meant to be a writer."
"You're just not one of those successful/beautiful/path-beating people. Why waste time with this shit?"
"This is just the way you are."
etc etc etc
Sometimes I catch these voices and intercept them, and try to reassure them (me?) that these are just old programmed beliefs and not "the truth," and that I can do things differently. It sounds good intellectually but the resistance that rises up is crazy. It feels incredibly childish, as though my inner 6-year-old is digging in her heels, crossing her arms, and hollering "I won't! And you can't make me!!" (sticks tongue out).
It's true that I can be stubborn and generally don't like being told what to do, even by myself. But there's something else at work in this insistent self-sabotage of mine. During these past few months I've come to realize how deeply I've internalized ideas like "Pride goeth before a fall," and "Hope only leads to disappointment," and "Fear is the best protection."
Even though I come from a loving, comfortable, tolerant home, my folks are both pretty negative, and my mum, mildly superstitious to boot. There's always been this covert faith in the talismanic power of negative emotions: if you worry enough, feel guilty enough, are complaisant enough, criticize yourself enough, are humble enough, deny yourself enough, self-edit enough, then maybe, just maybe, you'll be okay. The gods of art or taste or plain old decency won't be offended. But beware of too much confidence, too much joy, too much success (and yet, my dad was successful), too much pleasure, too much amour propre. To court these is to court real danger, maybe even to deserve it.
I realize now, as I try to invite more positive feelings into my life, that I am afraid in all the cliched ways:
I am afraid that if I love and accept myself, I will lose all motivation and "just get worse."
Yes, I am afraid that if I take pride in my work, I won't see its mediocrity and thereby gain insight intohow to improve it.
And yes, oh yes, I am afraid that if I stop feeling afraid all the effing time, something awful will happen—and it will be my fault!
I am just so tired of this see-saw of intention and action. I want so badly to string together at least a few days of empowered living, instead of giving into that inner asshole who says "Come on, this isn't you! You're a lazy, unfulfilled loser who gives up all the time. Just accept it."
I am just so tired.