The above quote from Macbeth – when Lady M is berating her husband for being a wuss – has got nothing to do with today’s post really. It was just the only thing I could think of with the word “kindness” in it. I’ve got plenty of “the milk of human kindness” in me when it comes to others (especially for the dispossessed, and for animals) but I don’t seem to know how to be kind to myself.
Now that I’m in my early thirties, I do now at least know that I can be very hard on myself but, this is something that I only “know” intellectually. When I’m in the middle of berating myself, I’m not capable of recognizing what I’m doing, and stopping myself.
There is nothing that I don’t criticize myself for – my inability to go to bed at a regular hour; my inability to get up at 6:00 a.m. every day to go running; my inability to walk my dogs as much as I should; my inability to become a freelance writer; my inability to play piano for at least 30 minutes every day, and write songs; my inability to do sit-ups every day; my inability to eat as much fruit as I should; my inability. My inability. My inability. My inability. I could go on and on. There is no end to it, and all the criticisms running round my head 24/7.
I know that the negative voice in my head shuts down any possible hope I could ever have of being happy and successful. But I don’t know how to stop it. I tell myself that if only I could stick to a routine, and organize my life better, I would have time for all the things I want to do. But I get myself so tied up in knots trying to create a schedule for myself that I don’t know where to start. I now don’t have any schedule at all, and I get this huge knot in my stomach whenever I think about doing chores or errands, because even the idea of it is too much for me. The anxiety overwhelms me, so instead of doing something, I just sit at home, wasting hours looking up pointless shit on the internet, as that seems to the only thing that calms me down.
I can’t go out and have fun because, when I do, all I can think about is what needs to be done.
I need to chill the fuck out…but how?! Oh, I know, I know – “positive self-talk” blah blah blah. Well, of course it would help to say nice things to myself and to stop comparing myself to other people, but this all seems like “too little, too late”. My perfectionism has had the last thirty-three years to build itself into a gigantic monolith, and “positive self-talk” would be like taking a toothpick to chip away at Mount Everest.
What I want more than anything is for somebody to come into my life and tell me what to do. I work well with structure imposed from outside. I know that’s terribly passive and pathetic really, but that’s what I would love. Sometimes I think that having a life-sentence in prison wouldn’t be half-bad. No longer any need to worry about bills, relationships or meals, and there would presumably be plenty time for reading and writing because they don’t stop you from doing that in the clink, do they?!
I don’t see how being locked up physically would be any worse than what I have now because I’m not free. I feel like I’m trapped in my own head, and I don’t know how to get out. I also wonder if there’s something wrong with me. God damn, I want some kind of mental health diagnosis because then I’d feel like it’s not entirely my fault that I feel this way, and maybe somebody would be able to help me, and give me some meds. But there’s no magic pill. At the end of the day, I have to do all the work myself, and I just don’t know how.