Right. This will not be easy and it will not be short and sweet. This will be long, heavy, brutal and ugly. But, it needs to be said and done. For my own peace of mind. And in order to explain to the world, to my friends and to one friend in particular how I work. I happen to be rather familiar with my own inner workings. I have had the dubious pleasure of knowing myself for almost 44 years. Only my parents, or rather, my only living parent, and my brothers share that pleasure. Of course some close relatives could perhaps also be among the select few who have known me all my life. How I work though is the one area where I am the only true expert. Others know my inner workings to some degree but not totally. So, in order to make sense of me, one would in essence have to be me. That’s why we are in luck, dear readers, that I am writing this. If I wasn’t writing this the information presented here would be quite useless in order to better understand me. It might be useless anyway…
What it all boils down to is this: I am my own worst enemy. This I have known for a long time. It has been discussed before on this blog. In this post from 2005 and in the comments to that post.
Some days, or rather at some moments I’m fine, but most of the time I’m not.
It feels like having an invisible wall in front of me at all times. Through that wall I can see all the things I want, all the world around me, all the people who matter – and I can’t reach them, can’t reach out. The wall is in the way. Only at some moments do I have the feeling that I’m through the wall. Things are working, I’m a “normal” person being me, the way I want to be and I can make it work. Then the next moment I look the wall is back in place and I have to start over looking for ways over it, around it, under it or through it. It sometimes takes all the energy I’ve got and does not always work. Creates enormous frustration and a lot of sadness but I do my best to overcome that by staying positive. Nobody must know how struggling with the invisible wall is driving me crazy.
My own worst enemy? Yes I am. I have set standards for myself that I can’t reach. I feel I must be perfect in everything I say or do or it won’t matter to say anything at all. I rather keep quiet than risk saying anything silly or meaningless. Yet the times when I break free from these standards and manage to speak without thinking too much about what to say or worry about what I’m saying are the happiest times of my life. The times I always miss when I have thrown myself back into the darkness of my own prison and got caught up by thoughts about not being good enough, perfect enough. Feeling worthless, small and inferior in every way possible.
There was a time not too long ago I almost thought I had beaten this inner enemy for good. Someone came into my life and slowly managed to guide me on a way through the wall and away from my fears of not being perfect, away from thinking too much before I spoke or didn’t speak at all out of fear of driving everybody away. She didn’t work miracles but to me it felt like it was. For a time I felt free and alive for real. Free of the worries that would always bring me down. Free of always trying to be perfect. Free of thinking that everything I was going to say was too dumb or too strange to mention. Free of the feeling that staying quiet must be better at all times when I couldn’t find something “intelligent” to say. Free of the fear of being silly. Free of the need to take everything too seriously. Free of the fear of laughing at myself.
But of course like all good things it didn’t last. The enemy fought his way back into my brain and built a new stronghold. The battle has to be won over and over again every day. Some days I just don’t care to fight it. Some days I haven’t got the energy. Some days I don’t see the point in trying. Some days I wish I was dead. Because I feel like I’m dead to the world anyway. I know it isn’t so but I still feel it. Just because I can’t break through the wall so I can reach where I wish to reach. Sometimes I even feel better not trying at all. Those days are the worst. When I think that locking myself away from everything is better than trying to reach it. At least when I don’t try to reach anything or anybody I don’t risk failure. I don’t risk being hurt or disappointed if I don’t reach my high standards or if I simply fail anyway. Yet those days are the days when I hurt the most because giving up without even trying is a worse failure than any other.
Keep trying. One day I’m going to win.