Monday, June 11, 2007

The Bully Within: Letting Go

You know that feeling you get when something or someone you really can't stand all of a sudden isn't there? Kind of a light-headedness mingled with a great contentment? Hopefully, you know what I mean, because it's such a terrific sort of feeling I think everyone should have it.

So what's missing? Well, do you want the long answer or the short answer? Because the long answer is: me; even better, the short answer is: I.

As recently as a couple of weeks ago, I was the most boring drip in the world. Being forced to spend all my time with myself was making me goofy. It got so bad I even... It's kind of weird to admit it, but I kind of... Hated myself.

I know, I know... You're thinking: "What a weirdo! Who hates themselves?" I agree with you. Totally gone, right?

Recently, I've decided to celebrate my faults, rather than continuing to punish myself for them. Now you're thinking "What possible faults could this mensch have? He's da bomb!" Thanks. That's sweet.

But no, seriously... I think it's time to come to terms with it.

For one thing, I'm kind of a jerk, and you know, I gotta say I'm okay with that. I'm not going to jump out of the way of a speeding SUV only to send the yuppie motherfucker flowers. I'm gonna tell him to put down the latte and BlackBerry and drive, only maybe not in such nice words, or possibly with utterly un-cryptic hand signals.

I'm also kinda shallow, which was part of my problem in the first place. I was trying not to be, and it turned me into a boring drip. Rest assured, my eating disorder is back in charge of all the holes in my face and I should be back to normal size and temperament before you can spell diverticulitis. And just in time for Pride Day too. Whatever shall I do?

Somewhere along the way I had come to loathe myself. I certainly don't remember loathing myself when I was a little kid, so it probably came about through human interaction. No, in fact, there's no probably about it. Other people made me hate myself. What's worse is: I let them.

Normally, when someone whose opinion I don't respect says something I disagree with ("Maude sucks", maybe, or "I miss Alberta") I can secretly - or not so secretly - laugh at this schmuck for the ludicrosity of his judgement. Yet when the same no-neck mouth-breather says some stupid thing about me, somehow I believe it.

I suppose I could wonder why that is, or I could forget I ever did it and never do it again. Whatever shall I do?
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Y | O | Y said...

Since I don't really know you it's hard to comment...but I don't want to ignore this post either. What worked for me was years spent with a great (gay male) therapist. It was a lot of very hard work but in the end I can say it was all worth it.

michael sean morris said...

It's amazing the power of mind over matter. The idea that I and I alone could stop something that I had started is revolutionary.

In my zeal to understand all viewpoints, I've managed to absorb alot of negative information about myself, based on little more than snap judgements by strangers. I've given those flawed opinions the same weight as what I know about myself, and what I hear from people whose opinions actually matter to me. Negative input is a kind of feedback, but if it's got no basis in fact it should be discarded.

Trying not to be neurotic about my appearance is what's been twisting my guts in knots, while trying not to be shallow meant denying a basic tenet of mine, namely that I am by and large a product of visual stimuli.

Therapy is good, but has no endpoint. The same goes for medication. The real secret is that there are many different paths to happiness, but that they are all that: paths. No one of them is going to work for everyone.

Happiness isn't a destination, it's a path through your life. Sometimes it's like a superhighway and sometimes it's a rutted track in the wilderness.

Seumas Gagne said...

Not to be contrary, but my own therapy in college did have an endpoint, actually. My therapist told me to stop coming; that I had what I needed.