I have done the dance with the self-destructive thoughts this week.
The first time I felt it those first “not good enough” feelings was the last place I thought I would feel them.
It happened when I went into a local second hand bookstore this week. I had arrived about 10 minutes early for a work thingo. I could go in to the work place and make small talk, but I’m not great at that and it doesn’t come easily. Instead, give me the good stuff – the deep stuff – the juice of life stuff. Anyway, with a secondhand bookstore right in front of where I had parked, why not use those extra minutes to immerse myself in some books while I waited to go play lawyer.
I walked on in, expecting to feel a beautiful warm word hug from all those books. Most of which had been held many many times already.
I came across a book almost immediately that I loved. It was really old and was based on some letters from the matriarch in an old sheep farming family to the new help on their way to Australia, to prepare them. I regret that I didn’t buy it on the spot, it might have sorted this whole thing by cutting it off at the pass.
As I wandered, I found myself touching the books, running my hands over their spines as I looked (yes that’s a lot of germs. hush now.) through the titles before me.
I even began to imagine what it might be like to have my name on a book one day. That maybe I would have some words worthy of putting together in a book sometime.
As I stood in that beautiful book store, imagining what it might be like to have my name printed on the outside of words crafted together by me, suddenly the landscape around me changed.
It was just like that moment at the park. You’ll know it. That one when you are settled on the ground, ready for a gorgeous bit of time in the sun, and suddenly the stunning and serene green grass morphs before your very eyes into the ever moving multi directional highway of all highways to the closest green ants’ nest.
And just like that, my wonder and amazement and love for all of these books, changed into a nightmarish view of all the words pondered and posed and sweated out into each of every one of these books.
Suddenly, they were everywhere. All around me. Almost suffocating me.
Stacks, piles and pillars of books.
My mind told me what had to be the truth. “Surely, every decent thought that has ever existed, has already been committed to writing“.
Instantly, I knew that every word I wrote was ridiculous. And unnecessary.
As my day progressed, I decided that it was time to write about “surrender, not defeat”. That I was accepting the inevitable. My blog is stupid. The ideas I write about are useless. That I offer no help to anyone anyway, and so it was time to shut down my blog.
I was sure of it.
Fortunately, I reached out to a friend (as I had the sense that there was a bit of nonsense going on) and said that I might need some headspace help. She reminded me to drink lots of water, to let the thoughts pass, and that she would boot them out if I needed the next morning.
And then I remembered.
“I should shut down my blog” is part of a pattern. It’s not an everyday thing. But there have been a few times, when my inner me is in pain, and wants to turn on me and hurt me back. And so it goes directly to where it hurts. To my place that connects me to myself, that allows me to lose myself for a while. To my writing.
I wonder if this special self destructive dance move is just me? Or perhaps does it happen to you to?
Do you have something that you love, that helps you keep the wobbles of life at least to a manageable level? Music? Knitting? Painting? Boxing? Yoga? Crossfit? Cupcake decorating?
And then, when the wobbles hit, does your mind tell you that you are rubbish at it anyway, and you should stop it.
Anyway. I drank my water. I waited. I asked my mind to stop.
And here I am.
Back again. Using the words as I usually do. To work through my stuff. To tell an honest story of life.
Maybe it will help someone else. Maybe it will just give you all a laugh, because, yes I am that weirdo.
I hope that next time I hear my mind begin the words “your blog is stupid. Just shut it down. No one wants to read that rubbish“, that I can know it for the move it is. A silly self destructive move that begins when I have stretched my comfort zone that little bit further than it has gone so far.
Instead I hope that I can stare down those words, probably with a tear stained face, and say “I will write anyway”.
I will myself to a keyboard, and begin the dance.
My dance, with my words, that always lead me home.
And if I can’t begin with words, I will begin with something else. Something just as sweet to my heart.