There’s a famous quote I say to myself a lot: “He who makes a beast of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man.” There. Got it?
I guess in simple terms this is a mantra for myself to explain how I react in any given situation and is the blueprint for my default setting. I explained this to my Psychologist but she disagreed. Her take was that I wasn’t a ‘beast’. Hooray for cheerleading, eh. There’s nothing she won’t try and dig me out of if she thinks it’ll help me. But the exchange [Break – Phonecall, just now while typing. It was my old, soon to be returned to work after having a baby, Clinical Psychologist. Was great to hear her voice. She’s having me back on her caseload] did get me to thinking about the effects of my behaviour on others.
Here’s a post I read the other day – https://slaygirlsociety.com/2017/02/14/i-asked-my-boyfriend-what-he-thinks-of-my-mental-illness-for-valentines-day/ I thought it was brave to ask your loved one to pick at the scab over the biggest wound you have.
Unbelievably I do have a girlfriend, but I can’t bring myself to ask her to explain to me how my appalling behaviour affects her. It’s unfair for starters because I hide most of it – the cutting and punching, etc – but I guess I just don’t want to know what someone I love really thinks about me. The truth often hurts, in my experience.
I don’t know where I’m going with this now. The phonecall threw me. If there’s anything to learn reading this it’s that you should never be afraid to put your trust in someone you feel worthy enough to hold. Life, and love, are as simple as that. Ha! Talk about dishing out advice I can’t even follow myself. The fucking, skin-splitting horror of revealing the true me is just too awful to contemplate. Focus on the good, Ben. That’s the key here. Ignore the shitstorm underneath, if you can keep it hidden this far then the signs are good that trend will continue. Hopefully forever.
No, that’s unfair. Bring it back on theme for the love of god…. I am not all the terrible things that creep around corners in my brain when I’m looking the other way. There is good in all of this, along with the bad, and there is hope it can permanently change. After all, that’s why I’m in therapy. In Chicago a hundred years ago they reversed the flow of an entire river. No-one cares now where it used to go.
The quote at the top is a reflection of who I am in my ill state but it’s not a pervasive story of my entire life right now. Sure, I feel the pain of being alive a lot, but I’m also loving and caring and take real joy in being with the person I love; the dichotomy of life, and I didn’t even need Valentines day to prompt me to say it. That, like so much I have done, was yesterday.