Tag Archives: future

Anxiety & Chaos — The Antithesis of the Aspie Mind…

Anxiety and Chaos rules my mind. It feels like it’s been long buried under mountains of agonising pain, sorrow, grief. Fibro-Fog, medication, and more and more Chaos and Anxiety. I can feel my mind still there, calling, struggling to be freed, to be heard… yet, there seems to be so little I can do about digging it back out.

As long and all this overwhelming Anxiety and Chaos rules me, rules my life, is forced upon me – truly, it seems that no matter what I do to prepare against it, it floods and breaks through my defences and laying siege until I can do nothing more against it. – it will Rule me. It overwhelms me. Then, it eventually takes over me. My life. And now, it just simply continues to do so… because I have only so many spoons at all, and that number is barely above Zero, and none of those spoons are even remotely strong enough to fight against the sheer mountain of things that continue to suffocate me every minute of Every. Single. Day.

With no Short Term Memory to speak of, and pretty much no Long Term Memory to fall back on (although, thankfully, the odd one can be brought out with certain triggers, unfortunately few and far between), it’s like I am nothing and no one.

As an Aspie, who once remembered everything and anything just about, this fact is near killing me inside. I still don’t know what to do with it – the grief and frustration of going through this, being forced to live without something embedded into me, that was an intricate part of me… Quite often, it is all too overwhelming. Even the inability to control my environment was entirely reliant on this… and without it, Anxiety and Chaos reign entirely. It is painful and frightening, and there seems to be nothing I can do about it – and I feel this because I have gone through everything I can think of over these past Five Years this has been happening to me…

I physically cannot move – my condition leaves me with only the shoulders and arms and what is above it; pretty much nothing else is movable by my own conscious will. I must remain on the floor whilst upstairs because my chair (or any chair) cannot fit up here; the house is too old and the landing is far too narrow to accommodate one. This means that I remain next to useless up here – unable to move or control my own environment in my bedroom. Despite assistance, there is no way to keep it sane without someone perfectly able-bodied to take things out and put them away as required. Whilst I may be able to retrieve something, putting it back may cost too much spoons, or be too difficult – or worse, I might forget.

I have been numbed by the sheer and exhaustive amount of confusing and destructive emotions that keep washing over and drowning me. I do not like emotions – actually, I loathe them, and wish they did not exist. And, quite frankly, there are definitely far to many of them. It’s a cornucopia of horror that I flail at, until I fall victim to my terror and end up falling and drowning beneath them all. “NT” people have called this dead numbness “depression” – but I’ve studied psychology for years, and what I have has never quite been fully described by that theory, and it does not fully cover what it is that I experience.

I am TMI (Too Much [Sensory] Information) when it comes to all these emotions – and all are fuelled by my two arch enemies: Anxiety and Chaos. I literally cannot live like this – I barely even exist like this. To live, to participate in… well, something, anything… to do what I love again… That would be Everything.

So, by that measure, it seems that right now I would have nothing…?

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Cold World, Cold Hearts

In these times where this government (or Satan’s minions – take your pick) state that people need to “come off long-term sick” and “go back to work”, I have found for myself that actually employers do not want people with long-term health issues on their employment list. In fact, I have just been “let go” because I am not well enough to do everything they require of my for the minuscule pittance they pay me.

This is despite the fact that I have gone to great lengths to try and continue to work the best I can, and (in a great irony) made myself more ill by going to work when I was really too ill to work, to help them with important reports so they would get done. If I hadn’t done that I would not have complicated my already fragile health. I had pneumonia (as well as other health issues). I went to work anyway because it was important to them to have these reports done, because there was no one else to do them. For 2 weeks I pushed myself until I literally couldn’t move. I struggled until I literally couldn’t get off the floor or out of bed on my own. I did it through a pointless sense of loyalty to an organisation who clearly didn’t care. Yesterday I received an email basically stating I was too ill to work for them, in their opinion. They didn’t want someone who was ill and struggling.

Oh, and did I mention they paid me pittance for this too? It’s the worse-paid job I’ve had in years. I took it because it was for – what I thought – was a worthy hospital. Is it irony when the NHS tells you you’re too sick to work for them?

I was working from home and in the last couple of weeks had the equivalent of 4 people’s jobs dumped on me – with no pay rise (and yes, it’s the worst-paid job I’ve had in several years and I wish I hadn’t taken it, because my outgoings went up considerably shortly after I started it). I struggled to go to work until I literally couldn’t move – emotionally blackmailed into it, because there was no one else who could do what I did. Everyone in my team had already abandoned this ship. It was just me left – and also my ex-boss who still had half a finger in his old role because he also left before they found someone else to do it instead.

To be honest – apart from the money thing – I’m rather relieved. The area I worked in was unravelling quickly and there was no proper organisation or management in place. My two bosses left with no substitute in place, leave me – a consultant (a temp) – alone to deal with everything (as well as the jobs of 2 other people too, on top of everything I was already doing). There was no longer any structure, training, organisation, or semblance of sense anywhere. I’m glad I will not require to carry any burden of responsibility for this – and I am certainly in no condition to do it now.

Between the pneumonia, my rather delicate condition before it came, and pushing myself to run a 3 hour round-trip commute after walking the dog for 2 hours and working for 6 hours each day for two weeks, I have now crashed and burned. Chronic pain that was almost durable before has now become unbearable. Stupidly strong painkillers finally dull the pain enough for me to walk about without crying. Before I got them, I couldn’t move without unbearable pain just taking my breath away, like I had been punched in the stomach. I can’t understand why I have this – after all these years, perhaps I will now find out (I’ve finally found a GP who’s willing to help me work it out), but what I do know is that it hasn’t made life worth living much. I am just lucky I have people, and a dog, in my life who are willing to help me.

Apparently, what I can’t do it work. My own (ex)boss told me that in no uncertain terms. When the idiots in government decide to penalise ill people for deciding “not” to work, they should probably check whether employers are willing to employ people who aren’t perfect. Who aren’t super-healthy. Who have medical conditions or disabilities that make life difficult. Business models in this country to not allow for people with health or disability issues to work in the capacity they are able to, and certainly not for liveable salaries. It’s not acceptable to work from home, Skype into meetings, or have the company/organisation help with things to make things easier – like cabs to work, which I cannot afford, but if offered I would then be able to get to work with no problems (I can’t travel by bus or train right now, thanks to the fact I can’t really walk far or for long, I cannot manage stairs, and I am unable to drive now).

If I didn’t have to do things like pay for stuff it wouldn’t be so bad. But unfortunately, shops tend to like you giving them money for their things. It makes life difficult when you don’t have any to give them. It usually means you can’t have things like food, which is unfortunate when they’re rather necessary.

Making ends meet was difficult enough as it was. Now, I really do not know how I will manage. This is not exactly a society that cares to look after its vulnerable people. I’m not exactly elated I seem to be one of them.

I can only hope somehow this is some way of changing things up in my life – foxing my hand and heart towards something that ends up being better for me that the path I was on. Perhaps that is wishful thinking – a false light in the dark. But since the alternative is giving into depression, I’d rather hang onto that. It’s a nicer thought that comes with hope. And without hope, there’s nothing.

 

Fall or Fly


A Chrysalis To Butterfly…?

So… The dark cloud descends again. I wish that it would find a hole to crawl in and stay there. But it won’t. It’s just decided to come back again – taking away that sense of myself that is already so fragile anyway. I feel like I am losing a lot, and its simply losing yet another battle in a war that can never be truly won. I now have no job, I feel constant pain, I’m exhausted and ill… I’m wondering when the good stuff is going to turn up.

I’m trying to do new things instead. I’m not sure exactly how well they’re going – but I hope for success in the end. This is hopefully where my stubbornness is used for good instead of evil… I can’t help but feeling I’m deliberately being stripped of everything I thought I once had and wanted (and I admit I didn’t really want all of them – the job, the life, etc; it just wasn’t ‘me’) – but at the same time I had some stability, security and understanding of the world through them. Now they’re going or they’re gone, and I’m not left with much. Maybe it’s to make room for better stuff, or at least different stuff. Maybe they’ll be things that will be more truthful and fulfilling to the life I really want… Who knows. It’s just a shame the pain, or dark cloud, isn’t something that’s also being taken. I could live without them.

At this moment, it’s hard to see the wood for the trees, to see hope or care about anything. That’s what the dark cloud does. That’s what falling down the rabbit hole is. It’s a dark world that doesn’t make sense, and strips away everything you thought once did. It comes for you when you’re vulnerable – when you’re tired, low, alone, and floundering. It helps you drown, and there seems to be no way out – no way to stop it from happening.

I feel like I don’t know anything anymore – everything that was once comforting to me, in its familiarity at least, has been taken away. Even hope right now seems like a distant ideal; something that can’t be grasped or even imagined. I’d like to think my life of being a caterpillar was coming to its end; simply that the chrysalis is being prepared, to wait for the natural phenomenon to occur and metamorphoses to be complete. To do so, I leave things that a caterpillar needs behind for the cocoon stage, only to pick up what I truly need after, when I have grown to become the butterfly.Pretty Butterfly

… A flight of fancy, maybe. A nice little image to cling to. It would be nice if it was true. Of course, I don’t know that it isn’t true. But nice things don’t tend to happen to me. I’ve struggled always; nothing has ever come easy… So you’d think I should be used to it by now. Except I’m not. I’m downright tired of it. It is tedious to have to struggle for everything – even the simplest things that people should be able to take for granted. Like breathing, or walking, or eating. And if I’m supposed to learn something from my trials and tribulations, then the point is lost on me. I try not to think too much about it, put my head down, gather my courage, and keep on going through the storms. If I do try and think about it, I start falling apart. I’m tired of doing that, too. I write to try and get it out of my head and out of my heart – so the morose feelings can be given to the ‘page’ instead of letting it live in me.

At the very least I would like the hope to come back. The dark cloud keeps chasing it away; I wish it wouldn’t.

 

 

Not A Challenge


Lost

I feel lost… Everything I thought I knew wasn’t really to be that way. I feel like I’m at an impasse – nowhere to go, no clue where to look, and fear that I might not find it. I have an unshakable faith, almost a blind hope, that somehow the answer will come… from somewhere. Where…? Maybe only God knows – I cannot imagine it myself. But I know I cannot lose it. That is when that awful Darkness comes and leaves me virtually the walking dead.

I feel like I’ve been left with very little to break this surreal-feeling of this strange impasse. I don’t know whether I am even in this ‘negotiating party’ of it – I rather feel like I’m being left out of the loop of whatever is going on here. Each day I feel I wake up to nothing but pain and confusion; feeling like I’ve been hit by a truck during the night, with all parts of my body feeling at best achey and at worst in agony – and also with no idea what I’m supposed to be doing with my day. I feel I have lost some direction here, and what I thought I wanted to do isn’t really what I wanted to do at all, it turns out. I have little interest in it, little care for it, and in a strange twist, I’m stuck with it.

I was supposed to work for this company on a large project, and part of the contracted deal was to go on this course – a rather expensive one. It was supposed to be a career move, so I took the deal for less money because they would pay for the course. Unfortunately with just working days 2 days to spare before the end of the first month, they decided the whole project team should immediately go on the spot (decided on a Friday morning, the project was to be disbanded by the end of the day) because they had changed their minds about the project.

So, because it was within the first month, I was not only left with any payout for being ‘terminated’ (as if I was fired for negligence, when it was they who decided they simply didn’t want that damned project now), I was also left to cover the bill for the course, thanks to a cleverly-written loophole in the contract. The agency kept on at me from the moment the ‘termination’ was called for the money to be repaid, and they suggested so blithely that they just take it away from my pay. Which would have left me with almost no money to live on at all. These slimy toads I had to spend ages to convince finally accepted I would pay by other means – which I did a few days later. Lets just say I’m lucky to have an incredibly generous family.

However, this has now left me without employment, stuck taking a course – that’s been paid for by my family now – which has no relevance to my life anymore, because the point of it was to learn it for that specific project. A project that now is gone. I have no other interest in this course at all. It is not what I wanted to spend such money on, nor spend my time doing. Without the practical application in work that I was to have, what I’m being taught means essentially nothing to me – I find it difficult to do the work involved with it, to understand the work involved, and I find it almost impossible to care about it. It is not what I imagined doing with my life – I feel coerced into it solely to secure the job… and in hindsight I probably should have turned the job down. Clearly.

 

Now I feel lost. And unemployed. Let down by cold, corporate greed  and ruthlessness – by both the company I worked for and the agency that wrote the course into the contract in such a way I would be burdened with paying for it and going on it for the next 2 1/2 months, in my own time, with no idea exactly what they’re talking about – and virtually no interest in working with it. I’m trying not to resent it. It’s hard. But if I did start to, the Darkness will smell the fear and desolation from it and come back for me, to live in me again, no doubt.

I have enjoyed working in IT – but the corporate dictation of the companies leaves me cold. Even with non-profit and charities, the word on everyone’s lips is Money. There is no care in there for anything else. I’m not that kind of person. I don’t want to work just so others can create money, and for those who are so afraid to spend it they do it at others’ expense. Contracting brings it home even more: you are nothing but an expendable commodity, and we will expend you for our own sakes if required. They save themselves first, and you’re not even considered. This is the second project in a row I’ve worked on where the work and the data has been for nothing in the end because the project closed. I’ve wasted nearly a year of my life creating something that will never be used, never be seen; results disregarded. My work has been for nothing. This is not gainful or enjoyable employment – this has ended up being nothing but paid-for pointlessness. I got my money, delivered something – but that something was disregarded and ignored for reasons only the heads of these departments and organisations know. That was not a success. I have not experienced success for many years… Now I feel like this is not something I can continue to do much longer.

I hope that I will be able to turn a corner, work out what to do as this junction. It feels like everything has simply stopped. I no longer know where to go – where I’m supposed to go. I’m also trying to avoid the Darkness – if it comes back I really am going to be lost. I’ll keep hoping and praying the answer will come – and that it might be soon. I wish that I’d had the opportunity to put that much money into a course I really wanted to do – some from of writing would’ve been the best. I realise now that data analysis can’t really be for me – it’s company-directed, and it’s always only about the money. Not the work. I need do be doing something where people care about the work – the ‘fruits of their labour’ – and not just what money the company is getting out of it, or putting into it. I want to be somewhere where people are passionate about the work they do, where they’re good at it, and the production of work counts for something – not just discarded and ignored.

 

I’ll  have to carry on with that course. I still have my proofing/ editing course to finally finish up, which will hopefully be soon. Maybe that will lead me to something. Maybe together they will lead me to something… ‘God works in mysterious ways‘ and all that. I know that happens – I’ve experienced it before, and I’ve realised it in hindsight if not at the time. I hope and I pray… Perhaps something I could never have imagined come from this. Because I’d hate to look back and see that all this confusion and pain was for nothing.

 

 

No Idea About Life

 

Insecurity & Coffee

 

 


Bring Me Home

Still living in a world without you…

 

The darkness still sits inside me. I think I’m over it… I thought I was over it. But it’s like the ghosts – the demons – still live inside me, and I don’t know why. It’s over – it’s been over for such a long time. So why am I still afraid?

The pain still feels like it’s tearing through me – but it’s been more than a decade since the knives sliced through my heart. I still feel like I’m there, feeling every stab and tear, feeling every word and tormenting ache. I feel like I never moved on.

Ten years since I left the pain; nearly thirty years since it started. So why does it still haunt me so? What is my exorcism to be, so I can finally leave it behind?

I know… It’s my life – it’s real, it’s true, it’s mine. I cannot run away from it. I don’t want to – not really. I want to learn from it, mature from it, be a better person for it. Instead I am burdened and tormented by it. But where it should be left is in the past. It has no place in the present. It has no place in my heart. The only place it has is in my history – and it’s been and gone and done with.

You’d think I’d be simply relieved it’s been and gone and done with. So why aren’t I? Why am I hoarding this poisonous toxin of agony to the point where it’s killing me? The residue of my past sticks to me and it feels like there’s no getting rid of it. I seem to have a personality incompatible with getting through this – obsessive, intense, analytical, introverted and socially inept… It’s not a constructive character to be able to bounce away from being dragged through Hell and expected to function well afterwards – especially when functioning wasn’t an easy thing to do in the first place.

But in attempting to get away from these “character flaws” (as I’ve seen them) I’ve attempted (on so many occasions) to mask them – be something I’m not. Without accepting what I am, and attempting to realistically modify myself and grow appropriately – without hiding behind smokescreens of fake interests. The only identity I seem to know is “Victim/Survivor”… So I suppose on some level it’s no wonder I continue to “fake” personalities.

…So is it strange I feel like I fluctuate between being super-obsessive and bossy – actually, dementedly overbearing – and slinking into a bland nothing of no opinion whatsoever, trying to be nothing but agreeable? I can’t find the middle-ground, where I feel I’m allowed my personality, my opinion, but I’m also laid-back about things. I have little – no – social skills… I struggle with interaction and guess what the “right” thing to do is – and I can’t seem to learn. I don’t really know how to behave around people.

 

There’s a part of my brain that says, not worry about it – it’s just who I am and if I want to learn, then I need to just be comfortable with this fact and then I  have a platform to learn from. I suppose by that, I mean that if I’m not willing to accept who (or what) I am, then I can’t really ever learn to expand on what I am. Instead I keep pasting over faked attempts at pretending to be like other people. And I’m not. A fact that frightens some intense part of my brain. I was bulled from the first time I walked into Playgroup because I was socially inept, different, quiet, academic. The kids started first, then from Primary the teachers enjoyed joining in. Openly so. It was not a pleasant experience, and I think – I strongly suspect – this is the reason I am too scared to be myself. It’s a little overwhelming when people are responding so negatively to you for who you are.

I know on some fundamental level what I am – but I suspect an equal fundamental problem is that I’m afraid of it. No, I’m not horrible or evil. That’s not why… It’s because I’ve always known (I suppose the right word is “suspected”, because I’ve never had it actually confirmed) that the reason for my lifelong torment at the hands of others. I think I’ve just got to the point where I simply rely on reacting to what’s going on, hiding myself behind it.

I’m somewhat scared I don’t even have a personality anymore – not a core one. I worry I never even had one in the first place. I’m scattered everywhere, stretching myself over so many things. I’m not sure what I truly like, what I’m good at, what I can do – and what I shouldn’t do. I feel like a chameleon without a home – just changing all the time, with rapidly-changing background to sync to. I’m exhausted from it. I just want to be “me”. Whatever that is.

But I feel – somewhere – like I do have a home. That I could have a home. A real sense of my own self… But it’s hidden. Like the centre of a horribly complicated maze. Trapped within the ruins of my life; the ashes of what has been. The fires of Hell long burned out within me, but has left nothing but rubble and ruins. I stand in those ruins, looking around me, wondering what’s become of me – of my life. My existence. Am I building or rebuilding? Am I creating a whole new life or am I having to create one from scratch, because I was too young when the fires started burning to have started one in the first place?

 

At end of all this, I just want me… Myself. Something that’s really real and genuine within me. I feel like dropping down, calling up and begging to be set free from myself and my questions, my torments. I feel like calling out Please Bring Me Home To Myself. 

 

 

2013-01-13 22.01.23


Starting Over & Changing The Game

 

The hard work begins here…. I have started on this (long?) road of my training with Chapterhouse Publishing’s course in Copy Editing and Proofreading, and I have just enrolled.

I will be waiting for the manuals with the tools of the trade I feel already quite familiar with to arrive, so I will finally learn the “proper” ways of doing it that other people will be requiring from me.

Working with Cat is always really straightforward – she’s a good writer and writes fairly short articles, which she then just emails to me and I edit on MS Word – or Google Docs, if I need easier online access. The mistakes are usually minor and quickly rectified, and the articles are always interesting and entertaining to read. All bonuses when it comes to these things! I rather think it will not be quite so easy when it comes to doing it professionally, though…

I am aware that a lot of copy-editing is still done on paper and requires specialist correction techniques so as those who receive the edited copy can adjust the writing accordingly. It’s learning this skill that will be important, but will also make editing much less straightforward than the way I edit Cat’s writing. Other than that I’ve had the experience of editing and proofreading copies for years, for so many things, so I think I’m ready for it!

What I am looking forward to (in the – hopefully – not-too-distant-future) is attaching my natural fascination and acquired skills with IT and programming to the learning how VBAs and analytical tools can be used to assist with editing. The SfEP (Society for Editors and Proofreaders) runs courses on these skills – as well as specific website editing courses – and it’s something I’m looking forward to doing when I’ve gained the relevant skills to apply for them.

I’m not really naturally inclined to handle paper – electronic and virtual things are much easier to use, manipulate, and don’t clog up space, and they also much more fun to play with. For me, it was the final pro-point to trying to start this up as a career, as I could “geek-it-up” and continue to use my IT skills with it, and learn new ones too – a huge bonus. I would love my main focus to be with on-screen editing, website editing, and using programs and software to help me do this job to.

My original dilemma was that I didn’t want to leave the geek-world of IT behind for “traditional” non-IT work. The only “old-fashioned” thing I embrace is reading real books – as in ones made of paper, not Kindles. After reading that these skills were becoming core skills, and were being coveted by the “clients”, I was finally convinced that I would be quite happy slowly transferring my career into this industry. 


After reading there were even specialist courses on doing these things, it was the final tick for my boxes, and now I’m excited about learning how IT programming and analytical tools can be applied to copy-editing. I will also enjoy this, as it will then mean I can still use my “toys” (IT software and programs) to work – something I would have sorely missed if they weren’t the way forward in this industry. 


To be honest, if I hadn’t read about them, I would never have even really considered it as a serious option as a possible future career. Now I realise how I can finally mesh all my passions together to do one pretty interesting job – and I will be really focusing on getting on with the training, and honing transferable skills I already have to something I pretty much to anyway.

I would also love to put these to good use within the IT or gaming industries – editing and proofreading for game writers or IT manuals… But that’s for the future. I’m still putting it down as a goal though!


For the first time, I may be genuinely looking forward to the future… 


Finding Futures…

I’ve always been a geek… A book-worm, book-writer, game-lover and loner. As a toddler and young nipper, my real best friend was my Daddy and we played together for hours every day – sometimes with nothing but our own extensive and vibrant imaginations. I was myself and I didn’t question myself. They were good days, and I revelled in being exactly who I was – warts and all.
 


But that just wasn’t OK with my childish peer-group (and in fairness, we were all children…). Since I stepped into the permanent company of others, I’ve been slowly trying to hide myself and my nature. Unfortunately, for this loner, I had to start school, and I slowly but surely disappeared, trying to turn into a ghost of nothing to avoid teasing, jeers, and out-and-out bullying… From the young students and the teachers.
 


In trying to fit in, get along, and “manage” in this world, I’ve made some lunatic mistakes – including attempting to take my education and career towards nursing. It took a few rather horrific incidents and one wonderful woman (as well as the support of long-suffering parents) to start me on a different path – and I somehow managed to land myself in IT. Much to my relief. The silent geek in me breathed a sigh of relief and clearly hoped that one day it would be let out of its carefully-crafted cage of silence.
 


Gaming was my first real foray back to that part of me, outside being overtly Goth and pagan. I realise I’ve always been a gamer – not a computer one (I had to wait for technology to catch up with my expectations) – but always I’ve loved games. If I didn’t own every board game, I certainly played them – and every parlour-type game and “pub quiz” style game was mine to be owned… I strove to win each time, even playing against adults – and often-times I did. And to be honest, I got too used to winning I was a really sore loser!
 


I never really kept friends if they came along – they couldn’t really keep up with my more grown-up things I liked, and tended to win easily at games, which made them not much fun to play with anyway. I stuck with preferring adult company because they were on more the same level as I was and at least challenged me somewhat.
 


When I was introduced to real gaming – firstly with the fabulous Eternal Darkness on the GameCube – I was suddenly blown away by what playing these games was really like. I also realised that I now suddenly didn’t need other idiots to play with. I no longer had to be bored and rely on waiting for other people to play – I could play alone and buff up the difficulty to challenge me (as opposed to trying to upgrade to whatever adults were around instead of the kids). I could indulge in my geek-side – one that loved fantasy, stories, technology, computing, and playing games. When I found RPGs I was away, and finally The Elder Scrolls and the Fable franchise gave me something useful to be obsessed over, instead of struggling with feelings of serious depression and musings of self-harming that still plagued my mind.
 


Somehow, playing these – like any gaming fan(atic) does, started pushing the other nonsense out of my head and I started indulging more and more in my true “geek” nature, and began to not give a hairy rat’s backside what other people thought, or whether or not I could play in the sandbox with “normal” people (non-geeks).
 


With this has slowly been a quiet confidence building as I get to know myself properly. I have felt so lost that I now feel I’ve been given the most awesome GPS system with a clear You-Are-Here and a big glittery breadcrumb trail (a la Fable) to where I need to be to just be me (… I can’t even really put “again” here, because I don’t think I’ve really been “me” since I first started school).

I feel like I’ve been given a vehicle to grasp onto to bring that side of me back out again, this time with more strength, confidence and the courage of my own convictions.



Most of all, it’s allowed me to realise that it’s so tiring trying to be someone else. I have a lot more buzz when I’m embracing the things that I love instead of trying hard to focus on things I genuinely really couldn’t give a hairy rat’s arse about at all. I think I’m happy now trying to just put my energy into simply being me – I’ll hazard a guess I’ll get a lot more out of that.


Hopeless Creatures

Crippling self-doubt… Despite the way it’s worded, I negate the thought that it is self-inflicted. I can not believe that we naturally self-doubt – we are survivalist beings who will kill before being killed – in reality and metaphorically. I think the sad truth is that we are influenced by others to the point where we really do believe anything they say. If we hear more negative than positive, this is what we end up with… That crippling self-doubt.

 

I am guilty of feeling this every second of every day. From too many people to count, I was forcibly made aware of the fact that others thought I was a joke and a waste of space – from teachers and kids at school, to people at home. I was assured that, by the majority, that I wasn’t much to give credence to. It has unfortunately stayed with me ever since. It has affected me my whole life, contributed greatly to my illness and lack of recovery for a long time, and prevented me believing I should, and could, have a future. A decent life that I could be proud of…. Instead of the flittering existence that I have experienced – flying around from one thing to another, hoping to find something that I gelled with, something I could attach to and feel was “me” and “mine”, something that I could really feel comfortable with.

 

I have, in all my life, never believed I could do anything – as in anything at all. I’ve always been felt that I must never believe in myself. I’ve tried to override this feeling – and with the help of a couple of amazing therapists, I have at certain times been able to. There are some things I have done that I am so proud of because I told that doubt to go and stick itself up its own backside, and I have reaped rewards I am so elated to have been privileged enough to have experienced.

 

However, there is one category of enemy that rallies against this feeling and plays entirely for the Crippling Self-Doubt Team… The classic cynical looking-out-for-you words that come out of the well-meaning and cynical mouths of others – and of course this is the wonderful: “But don’t get your hopes up…” (and all its derivatives).

 

This will immediately take the winds out of the biggest sails. I got it quite often before going to auditions… You know, because heaven forbid I should a) Be confident, and b) Get “hurt” by rejection. All it did was wreck my confidence, because nothing says “I think others are better than you” than those damned words. They’re well-meaning bundles cynical negativity, and they are also crippling. They also makes me want to poke the speaker in the eye.

 

I am not made of crystal, bone China, or glass. I am not delicate or easily disappointed (in fact, life has very much taught me the very opposite)… I have regularly been rejected my whole life, and I am no pampered princess that doesn’t understand the word “no”, and I am certainly not going to break if I am rejected. I get rejected all the time for jobs (as an IT contractor, it’s been a part of my territory for years – for every contract you get rejections… It’s simple maths).

 

In fact, who hasn’t been in that position where you go for interview after interview and are rejected, before you finally that cool job? Why is that different for auditions, or anything else? Why are we programmed to be against anything that is artistic, but not what is “conventional”? How many people for that Retail job, or that Office Admin job that you got?… So why is it different if it’s an acting or singing job, or anything else? And why are we told the markets are “competitive”, “over-saturated” or “difficult to break into” if its acting, singing, painting or writing – but not if it’s a Systems Administrator, Retail Assistant, Accountant or Office Clerk… Yet I imagine more people go for those jobs, and are skilled and qualified for them, than people who are going into arts and entertainment, or similar. But when you go for those jobs, you don’t hear all that pessimism, because they’re classed as “normal” jobs. Why, though, I still cannot fathom.

 

I want a full pack of cheerleaders to make me feel like the coolest person in the room when going up for something – whether it’s a job interview, audition, test or anything that requires confidence to get through it successfully. Imagine if someone told that to a football team before they went out to play in the qualifying match of the World Cup… I doubt that has ever happened in the history of any sport. I’ve recently asked for some possible support for the possibility of doing something I was really excited about. This very reaction has now blown the self-belief I spent quite a long time building up in myself as I secretly thought this thing through. I am now left feeling quite lost at sea as to what to do about it now. My initial reaction is now to play it “safe”, instead of taking a chance and trying something new…

 

I’m sure many will argue that others shouldn’t be able to do that to you. And they would be right. A popular saying is something like “No one can make you feel inferior without your permission“… However, when you’ve long ago been broken down to beyond your very core, you are wide open to all opinions, especially negative ones.

 

So I say this to people – no, I implore it… That these words are never to be uttered again. Because without hope, exactly what is there? Cynicism is the breeding-ground of self-doubt in people, and this is the ultimate arch-enemy of hope and confidence. Unless you’re bizarrely arrogant, everyone knows there is the possibility of failure at some point – but guess what? Failure really isn’t the end of the world. Loads of things have failed… The world still lives on – as you may well have noticed.

 

I can tell you that without hope the world does stop turning for some, though. It stops turning when they’re so low they don’t even care if they can remember their name, or what day it is. In extreme cases, it stops turning forever. So if you want to make sure someone isn’t “disappointed”, make sure that person doesn’t end up disappointed at you, or because of you. Because they already know inside themselves they could be disappointed by the outcome of what they’re doing (they do not need to be reminded) – however, they did not know that you were going to be the one who was going to sound like you are already feeling disappointed for them before they’ve even tried…

 

 


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