Mental Health


"Drongo bird in the rain" © uditha wickramanayaka, 2014. CC BY 2.0.
Drongo bird in the rain” © uditha wickramanayaka, 2014. CC BY 2.0.
I haven’t written much of anything this month. Haven’t gone to the gym a whole lot. I’ve been sick for the last week, yes. But it was a problem before that. It’s not motivation or self-discipline. Well, it might be a lot of that. But there’s something else in there. Something sitting beneath the surface that has more to do with my brain than anything. With running over the same damn things over and over and over again. With getting all caught up in all sorts of catastrophes that haven’t happened and probably never will. It’s the closing in, the shutting down. That’s what gets me. That’s what battling February was supposed to be all about.

I don’t know where it went. What happened to it. The month. All the plans that I had to make it through it. All that shit. It slips through your fingers like one of those frogs we caught as kids. Constantly leaping away from you and there isn’t anything you can do about it.

No. I don’t think that’s true. Not really. I don’t think true helplessness exists. Not in the way I’m trying to make it. There is always an ability. A promise I can cling to. There is always a way to get the things I want to get done done. There is just that part of me that is terrified of it, isn’t there?

That doesn’t know what to do with success. With getting clean. With relationships that last. People that stay. There is that part of me that doesn’t know how to believe that what they’re all saying is true. It’s not even just a part by this point, is it? That’s the default state. On edge and wrapped in disbelief. Untrusting and apprehensive. Positive that this is all just daydreaming and planning. That none of this is going to last and none of it is worth anything anyway.

And I start to wonder if the reason I don’t see any success in these ventures is because I’m always doing it for someone else. Not even really for them. Doing it for the memory of them. So that if I run into a person from my past I will look like someone they never knew. Is that really the driving force behind most of my ambition?

So I can say this version of myself didn’t do the things the old versions did. That this version is clean and fit and well-dressed and has gorgeous flowing hair you can stick your hands into. That this version is the better version. The version you don’t get to be a part of. The version that’s not for you.

I’m trying to balance that with the idea that I’m proud of where I came from and I’m not ashamed of who I am. That I made poor choices, but that they made sense for the life I was living in. I say I don’t have any regrets and at the same time I say I want to do it completely different.

And these things are not meshing well for me. This thought process does not get me to the place I want to be. Another one of those things that pulls strings behind the curtains and forces me into positions I’d rather not be. This is not the type of life I want to be living. The one that is always suffering from some past heartbreak. That’s not the type of shit I want to deal with anymore. Constantly living in shadow. Explain to me how that is any fucking fun at all. How you can ever feel like you’re actually improving.

The mileposts are always moving. You’re not going to realize one day that you’re no longer hurting from the things that you did, from the things that happened to you. Accomplishing things now is not going to undo any of it. You’re trying to put back together a broken plate with glue that doesn’t adhere. This is an impossible task. A waste of time. This is not how you move forward.

It’s interesting, though, isn’t it? That you could do the same things, but change the reasoning and it will change everything. They say that, don’t they? That it doesn’t matter so much what you do, but why you’re doing it. And I’m sure there is something to that. And something that helps explains how if the reasons aren’t right then you’re going to have a really rough time.

My motivations are all wrong.

No. Not wrong. Just not conducive to progress. Not the kind that I want. I’m trying to build something gold out of rebar. No matter how good it turns out to be, it’s not going to be the thing I’m trying for.

6 thoughts on “Open

  1. I’m not sure that your thinking is so terribly wrong. You are different today, this version doesn’t do the things you used to, your life IS changing/changed and there is such beauty in that. While the past will be addressed, it is over….there is only now and forward movement. The past happened, and it can’t be undone, but we can unattach from it, and not let those stories define us today. The pain lessens and while you can’t put it together again you can reframe it…that’s a good thing.
    Motives matter, but not so much. There is an aphorism…you can’t think your way into right action but you can act your way into right thinking. Sort of “build it and they will come”, no?

    I hear you on the no regrets bur want a do-over…that’s life. But we don’t live there anymore, that part is over, except what we hold on to….at some point that becomes a choice (i’m not sure what point that is..I’m still grasping).

    I feel weird responding, i;m not sure you want a response, but you made me think about these things and so….


    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to respond so thoughtfully. These are great reminders.

      I find myself often struggling with unattaching from things that have happened, from habits I’ve formed, from thought-processes that don’t serve me. It’s hard to remember that I don’t have to change everything about myself in order to do that. Whenever I do that, I change. I think that’s exactly like “acting your way into right thinking”.

      It’s so hard to feel like we’re moving forward. That we’re not just repeating the same thing over and over hoping that it will somehow be different this time. I feel like Sisyphus most all the time. Thank you for reminding me I’m not.


  2. The line, ‘trying to build something gold out of rebar.’ Whoa.
    I hear you. I live my own version of this heartache. I can’t tell you how to change it, or fix it. I can tell you that you’re not alone.
    That sometimes it’s not about forward motion at all. Sometimes it’s more a shift- maybe sideways, maybe a shift of idea or outcomes. A paradigms shift.
    You are beautiful. So resilient. I know you can’t see it yet, but you’re on the journey of settling -into who you are with your history making you strong, capable, wise. This journey isn’t breaking you, it’s building you. Someday you’ll see if the structure wasn’t reinforced with rebar the weight of the gold finish would weigh it down.
    So much love your way. You are amazing.


  3. February is an asshole and we are lucky to have made it to the other side. Thank you for sharing a bit of yours, it made mine feel easier.



Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s