The following and all of the other episodes to come are snapshots of what goes on in my head, now and in the past. There are times none of this will make sense. There will be times when I might get lucky and the blog I post will be well constructed and will flow like a mountain stream to an awaiting lake below. Other times it will seem like the ramblings of a madman and you’ll ask yourself, “What the……?”
You should probably get used to the latter.
EPISODE NINETY ONE: The Devil Made Me A Hesitant Resident
I have talked about this over and over…
And I’m about that talk about it again. It plagues me.
Self-doubt is like the devil sitting there on my shoulder telling me to stop doing whatever it is I love and to give up. He is sitting there to whisper in my ear that what I’m doing and who I want to be isn’t good enough and nobody will ever, EVER think you are worth their time.
I know I’m not the only one. Maybe you don’t have a devil because you don’t believe in such things. Maybe it’s an evil you, sitting on your shoulder telling you how bad you suck. Or a gremlin. Or an evil doll. Or your father. Or your mother.
I guess ‘it‘ can be anything.
For me, it’s the old fashion devil sitting there telling me how untalented I am and I shouldn’t bother writing or dreaming of something better to do with my life. It’s a devil sitting there telling me that dreaming is a waste and I should just be content with a daily grind of routine, the routine that I hate so much.
He isn’t there all the time. He disappears. Where does he go? I’m not sure. He can be gone for days but never more than that.
I might even fool myself that he’s gone for good. If I’m writing, the words flow and it makes some sort of sense as I put it all down. I might even have somebody tell me how much they liked something I wrote and they feel the same way. I get a connection with others.
I might even look at what I was writing and feel excited to show this. It’s pretty good and I feel good about it.
Here he comes. Flames and smoke rise as he makes his entrance. He smiles at me as he puts his red hands together and pops his knuckles, ready to get down to the light work of telling me to stop fooling myself. “What you’re so excited about is complete twaddle and drivel. Delete it all and do something really useful like watch some mind-numbing TV or stare at the wall and think about how when you die, nothing will be left here to show you existed.”
He’ll whisper with a slight grin, “You don’t and won’t matter and you never…did.”
He pops up at all times of the day and the night. I’ve even been woken up by him early in the morning. I lay there, staring up at the ceiling, wondering what I’m doing with my life. I wonder if I’ll ever be more than I am. He sits there on my alarm clock (because he knows how much I hate it) and tells me to settle. He tells me my dreams are long gone and if they were going to happen, they would have happened by now. He tells me I’m too old to think that any dream of mine can come true. He tells me to just give in, give in to being a person that will go through life with his back broken, along with his will, and just deal with it.
Oh, yes. There have been moments that I have come close to doing just that, to be another one of those people who just live for the weekend and a vacation every once in a while, to feel like every day is like the assembly line I once worked, just the same thing over and over. Dreams are for kids until they meet the real world and join that same old assembly line where dreams go to die.
Wake up, go to work, come home, go to bed. The same thing the next day. Until the weekend where you might have a little light in your soul until you start to think about the job you hate so much. Then the weekend is gone and back to the same routine. You think about how your impact in life is forgettable.
But…there are times when that devil has his mouth shut. His lips get sewn together. The flames die down or go away entirely and he disappears. In his place is somebody entirely different. She might be an angel. I’ve never been sure. I just know it is a she. She brings me inspiration. She opens my eyes to see something in a different way or to see something I have never noticed before. She lets me hear words like I have never heard them before. And I see how they all relate to my life and in others.
That inspiration gets put on the page.
This ‘angel’ takes the voice of many people. Men and women. It takes the face of people close to me and people I have never met in real life. And it may be somebody that I talk to all of the time or somebody that may have said only one thing, one nice thing.
This ‘angel’ is my muse. ‘She’ is who tells me that I should keep at it, keep writing and to keep being honest about what I write. She tells me people will listen and understand.
She tells me, “You are good at what you do.”
There are times she can keep the devil at bay and makes me feel good about what I’m saying. Along with that, she tells me there is a future for me doing this if I keep putting the words down. In weak moments, I want to tell her she’s wrong (that devil creeping in, crawling up my back to get to my other ear). She tells me to calm myself and believe, no matter how hard it might be to do so sometimes.
In my heart, I want to believe her. I want to believe that one day all the late nights and long days of worry will not be for nothing. When people told me what I wrote was important and good, wasn’t just something to say, it was a complete truth. I want to believe it myself, that what I write makes sense.
And maybe, it changes somebody’s way of thinking. It might inspire them and to let them know they are not alone.
It’s a daily fight between these two, my angel muse and my self-doubt devil. Occasionally, she will whisper encouragement in one ear and he’ll yell hesitations in the other. The sweet whisper is a comfort to me but the yelling is overwhelming.
It’s hard to decide who speaks to me the clearest.
I’m trying hard every day to listen to the angel, the muse. She makes me feel better about myself. She helps me feel like I’m doing ‘right’. When I let her in, she helps me fight the devil and keeps him quiet. He’s still there, though, just clinging to my back, waiting for his chance to bring down the encouragement.
I know they both live inside of me.
I know is up to me and me alone to listen not to the self-doubt…but the self-belief.
It’s up to me…
November 24th, 2017
I’ve decided to keep a blog about how I’m dealing with depression. I’m going to consider this a form of therapy. It might not help anybody else but it might help me.