I remain my worst critic. Although my uncle would happily give it a shot on my latest adventure I think I give myself the hardest time when things go wrong. The first inclination that I have screwed something up brings out the demons and I’m unrelenting. I’m not sure how I conquer this, yet I have developed a set pattern that does help gain perspective.
Initially I find that something has gone wrong and it’s my fault. If it’s someone else’s fault this helps immensely! But alas, it’s not always the case. Sometimes you have to take the blame. Next step is finding out root cause, working out the best path forward, or sometimes just a way path forward is enough. Once that’s established, I set to work on developing that path and set full tilt for it. Sometimes it’s not the best option, but it will usually get me the fastest results and get things moving in the right direction. Once things look like they’re on the right path, I can relax slightly. However, during that period of relations that I have completely cocked something up and final resolution where I can walk away with the new solution all developed, that’s when the demons come.
I will most certainly lose sleep over it. Voices in my head (oh the voices, sons of bitches!) will devour every thought and I will castigate myself in every way I know how, sometimes even new ways I didn’t think were entirely welcome or necessary. Sometimes I’m a little mean to myself. Compassion for others I have plenty of, compassion for myself remains sometimes elusive.
The Sun Will Rise
Often during that night or several nights of losing sleep, I will try to placate my mind by believing that things will be ok in the morning. And generally, they are. As a good friend of mine said, probably when he thought I wasn’t listening, the sun will always rise tomorrow. To paraphrase the wonderful Spike Milligan, nothing gives hope like the dawn of a new day.
The next day usually yields rationalisation and understanding that it wasn’t all that bad, that the solution will work, and that a path onwards will inevitably work, one way or another. But by god, there are times there where I wish I could control my own demons. Yet, I have found a way through, and dealing with it. Probably not in the healthiest of ways, and yet I don’t turn to drink, drugs, shouting at people, blaming anyone else but myself. The problem is how much blame I place on myself . . . at the risk of quotes running rampant, there is a lovely song called ‘wear sunscreen’. In it the narrator says “keep all your love letters, throw away your old bank statements. Remember the compliments and forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, show me how”.
Writing and writing...