I don’t believe in Hell because the Devil is not capable of any torment greater than what I can unleash upon myself.
Lately, it’s been very hard for me to stay focused and positive.This has been a truly rough semester for me and November was especially brutal. Myo’s passing aside, I also dealt with moving and dealing with a rental company that makes the term slum lord seem fanciful. They have been nothing but a stupid, unnecessary drain on my already depleted reserves of willpower, fortitude, and tolerance.
Financially, as I like to say, I’m so poor that I can’t even pay attention.
I’m not going to even touch on school because the idea makes me whimper.
Right now, I feel like I am not a good student, friend, father, and employee. Fyshmom would tell me that these are value judgements. As she would put it, I have a rather creative jackal living in my head, just as smart as I am, and willing to pounce upon any thought that I have in my head. She’s right. It is my nemesis. We all have that negative voice in our head. Some of us are good at shutting it up or poking it with nasty sharp things. Others, such as me, willingly wear a saddle for it and let it ride me like Hell around the brainsphere. No matter how ludicrous or contrived the thought is, if it undervalues me, my feelings, and my self-worth, I allow myself to be its bitch.
Take Fyshmom and Buddhadad, for instance. Buddhadad is probably the most laidback, Zen, unflappable person I know. It takes quite a lot to piss him off and, according to Fyshmom, the only one capable of doing that is her. He’s been a pretty strong means of support for me and has helped me in more ways that I could ever repay him. The same goes for Fyshmom. He has helped me move, picked up a tab or two, and even let me live in his basement for a few months. Fyshmom, also, has helped me more than I can ever repay. I can’t repay them, I can only help others when the opportunities and capabilities allow.
However, with my weapons-grade self-criticism skills working full-time, I see myself as a drain upon them. I’m a misery guts, a psychic vampire syphoning willpower and friendship and tolerance and all other positives that they represent to me. My head has me convinced that Buddhadad’s laidback and stoic nature is resigned, waning tolerance with me. It also tells me that Fyshmom dreads that in any moment she’ll receive another text of whining, misery, poor me, me me. The jackal has me thoroughly convinced that the day is soon coming when Buddhadad and Fyshmom say in exasperation, “For fuck sake, will you just leave us alone?!”
It’s not in their nature to do that, obviously, and I’m sure that they’d find my thinking that vaguely insulting (ah! another judgement!). They are generous and I know that I am far too often a partaker of their friendship. In truth, I have no one else that I feel as close to as them. That’s why I turn to them so often. That’s why I am so scared that doing that will make them run screaming in the other direction.
Another good example is Myo. When we started dating, it was before her cancer came back with friends and relations. At the time, we thought we’d be good for each other. I could help her heal and she could help me heal. Unfortunately, bad timing occurred and she broke off the relationship. In hindsight, I was more needy than she could tolerate, what with chemo and all of that fun stuff, y’know, and I was causing her stress. That’s not a judgement; I asked her if I caused her stress and she sadly nodded her head. After the break, contact between us was minimal as I felt she probably deserved space. The jackal took that small piece of meat, that I’d caused her stress, and ran with it. So much so that, as we all gathered Saturday to celebrate Myo’s life, I had convinced myself that I neither deserved nor should have expected to be there. I felt that her parents resented me, that her friends didn’t want me around. It was, I had convinced myself, what I deserved for being an unworthy and needful thing.
I’m fucked in the head and I know it. It is far easier to believe every negative thought, no matter how far fetched and made up, than it is to believe that people value and acknowledge me. It’s depressing to host such thoughts or feelings.
You’d think thoughts of physical self-harm or suicide would be pretty strong in me. Luckily, they are not. Recently, I read an article on Twitter or Tumblr or some such website. It was a query that someone had sent to an author asking why that person shouldn’t commit suicide. I can’t find the article itself but the advice was pretty much spot on to what I’ve known for awhile: If there’s one inkling of doubt, don’t do it. If there is a nugget, no matter how small it is, hold on to that. For me, it is two things. First, my daughters. I know what death by my own hands would mean to the girls and I cannot bear that suffering for them. Secondly, Doctor Who. I know it seems silly and all of that but the program gives me so much joy.
My jackal whispers, “But your daughters and Doctor Who will go on whether you die naturally or by taking yourself out. What’s the difference?” This is very true. I fully anticipate that my daughters will go on after I die and I expect Doctor Who won’t notice that I’m no longer watching/listening/reading/experiencing. But I’ll be damned if I’m the one who makes me leave the party early.
But I need work. And help. Fyshmom (bless her) has been profuse in her advice to put a reign on the nonsense that I tell myself. I have to do the work and training, yet it’s so daunting and hellish. I know that I have to do it but the jackal is as smart as I am.
When it comes down to it, I cannot let the bastard win.