I must admit, in case of trial by WordPress (eheheh), that I am writing this purely because it has been a few days since I’ve written and I told myself this wouldn’t happen again. Oh, but am I aware of how far my pep talk reaches – not very.
I quickly fell back into the mentality that if I didn’t have anything to write about then I shouldn’t write at all, but that’s kind of counterproductive to the entire “I’m writing to write” idea I had in the first place.
It’s hard though, I tell myself I’m not writing for an audience so I should write whatever and not worry if it’s read. But, it gets harder than that when I see many of you as friends instead – then it’s letting down buddies with rubbish stuff! And that’s where I start to shrink.
I think I have a real fear of disappointment. I’m not sure if it’s a typical English upbringing or not but I never really experienced praise for anything I did. I think it developed both a what’s the point mentality in my younger years, but also as I grew older a contradictive idea that I didn’t care anymore, and it was for me. However, still with such a desperation to please, that cornered that bit of self-worth in the background.
Please don’t get me wrong, I have wonderful parents who taught me a great deal and my childhood was spent climbing castle walls and learning about our history – I’m certain it’s where my love of fantasy spawned. I just don’t recall much in the way of praise, not the way I saw my friends receiving it. And perhaps, and this is also just as likely, given I have had depression for an awfully long time, perhaps my ability to appreciate it or even feel it is the real culprit here.
Either way, my need to please mentality has become an obstruction in many areas of my life. In some parts it even fuels my OCD. I’ve spoken about OCD a lot, and in the ways it has changed my life, but one aspect of it that I haven’t mentioned before is the constant call for approval. The ritual of asking questions (the same question) over and over and over and over until the person I am talking to either leaves, argues, or shows disappointment – and ain’t that funny, OCD brings out exactly what I’m desperate to avoid.
The anxiety over messing up at work, on an assignment, on writing can very easily become a physical (I must turn this switch on and off 8 times or I’ll fail) or a verbal need to carry out a ritual until that anxiety settles. The irony of course being that the time I’m spending carrying out a ritual could be spent on that work and the destruction of relationships being caused by the constant questions (and I’m not talking about a few questions here, I have kept someone locked in a ritual with me for hours in the past – driving both them and myself mad… or madder, I suppose) could instead be spent building relationships.
And to think, so much of this anxiety is from an utter place of “I must please”. Even down to body dysmorphic disorder, which has close ties to OCD – as I’m sure I’ve mentioned many times. All that time I have spent flipping out, attacking myself, screaming, crying, researching surgery to “better” myself, locking myself away because “I’m too ugly to be seen” of course makes any outsider who doesn’t understand the mental illness see me as vain, when instead it is an incredibly difficult to control obsession over appearance, and the inability to cope with the negative feelings it creates which perhaps in my case circles back to if I’m not pretty enough then I can’t please… who.
And that’s something I am consistently trying to ask myself: who am I trying to please? I am smart enough to realise, for example, that everyone has their own idea of beauty, as such we can not please everyone when it comes to our appearance – nor should we try to. Yet despite being well aware of this, it still barely minimizes the extent to which my lack of self-worth affects me.
But that lack of self-worth, that fear of not being good enough, of never being able to please anyone is destroying my life. Has destroyed my life. Slowly, it has invaded every aspect of it and now it is in control of the one thing I called sanctuary for so long – writing.
I can’t let that happen any longer, it has been long enough. The only way I can think to combat it is to write more even if it’s rubbish, write more even if it is ugly, or makes me uncomfortable. Write more even if no one is reading, because in the end shouldn’t we all have something that we can genuinely feel is just for us?
I know, in that case why post this publicly? Well, because at the core of all of that above is one very specific cause: fear. If I am afraid of what people think of me, of never being enough, as of right now I can only think of two choices.
Hide or Seek.
Right now, I’m choosing the latter. I’m choosing to seek change and wanting to see where it might take me.
I understand how this entire post can be seen as nothing but the same as what I usually write, but the difference is I’m writing this while my brain feels flooded and nothing more than a foggy mess and while I just don’t want to, but rather than listening to the voice telling me don’t, I’m remembering a promise I said to a friend a year ago: I’m going to make you proud.
I can’t do that without the small steps.
Geez, and I thought I had nothing to write about. I guess the title to this no longer makes any sense. Maybe none of this makes any sense, I don’t know, I’m not going to re-read it. If I’ve also written many similar posts like this before, then, well, so be it. Getting over any illness isn’t easy, and two steps forward one step back can just as soon be two steps forward twenty steps back.
Hey, at least I’m dancing!
I hope you are all well!