A lifetime of pain, a breakdown, 2 years of psychotherapy and in the end a smile? [part 2]

So, part one was about a concise history of my crap life.

Sob, sob, wah, wah … we all have our own histories and we all have our own pain.

For a long time I wanted to live large. For a long time I ran and hid from many aspects of my life. I suppose to some degree I still do, but now I am aware of those tendencies.

So, here’s the thing – I was dealt a rough hand, and I was not endowed with the talent that I would wish for – my art – whether it be sculpture, photography, drawing, etc – is mediocre at best.

I am a nobody in a sea of people who are all trying to be somebody.

That fact should not bother me. It has for a long time. I suppose this may be a cyclical problem with my Thanatophobia.

I have learnt I do have some talents, talents that are not as valued in society – but perhaps should be, perhaps that’s just wishful thinking.

I have been blessed with a unique mind. A mind that can twist problems over and see them from different angles. A mind that can run through three or four solutions simultaneously and make connections between seemingly disparate pieces of information. I’m a “big picture ideas man”.

My other talent, is a seemingly unending ability to love people. To accept them as they are.

So be it, I shall work with these.

Anyhow, I promised you my lessons learnt, here they are – they may seem simple to some of you, but to me, they were milestones of Himalayan proportions.

  • Do not rely on others
    • I like to call this Optimistic Pessimism.
    • I want to quote the best paragraph I was ever given on this:

A problem with the nature of things is that it’s really difficult to get realistic feedback.  it helps to keep a healthy overview of “the process” — understanding that everyone is bumbling on all sides– and just go for it as best you know how, and let happen whatever happens.  You don’t have control over other people. You can’t “manage” a friendship. Because you are attracted to people with issues, many of them will break contact for completely random reasons that ultimately have nothing to do with you.  And there is nothing you can or should do about it. Except be yourself and reflectively get better at being yourself, and accepting things as only natural.

    • This is an extension of my “accept others as they are” without the “but why don’t they love me?” aspect.
    • I have not mastered this. Yet.
    • I may never do so.
    • But it will make the transitions easier. Hopefully.
  • Others are going through pain
    • It’s a basic thought that we constantly forget. I am still guilty of this too often. So while I try to live and remember this [“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” –Plato] I forget that other people can be as “screwed” as me. I just naturally assume everyone else “has it together”. They don’t.
    • See also: Do not assume malice.
    • See also: Benefit of the doubt.
    • See also: Not always out to get you.
    • See also: Don’t let it grind you down
  • Find at least one thing that makes you happy
    • If you don’t know what will make you happy, here is my guide to help you along:
      • if doing something makes you feel good about doing it, then do it.
      • if you are willing to live with the consequence of your action, then do it.
      • if doing it makes you proud to face yourself in the mirror, then do it.
      • if you are reward by the activity itself, then do it.
    • Don’t forget to use a Litmus test to ensure it’s not the wrong path:
      • If you do not feel comfortable – stop.
      • If you do not get joy out of it – stop
      • If you are hoping for others to notice – stop
      • If you are expecting a reward – stop
  • Hearts and stars are not validation.
    • They will never fill the hole that you are experiencing.
    • Nothing external ever will
    • You’ll find yourself getting a thousand hearts and wonder why you still feel empty.
    • You need to fulfil the need from yourself. – see “Find at least one thing that makes you happy”

This is what I have achieved to date.

I needed to finalise this year with an understanding of what I have achieved.

I hope that one day there is a Part 3 with a much happier and rosier me as the author.

To EVERYONE I have interacted with in 2009, be it on Twitter or Tumblr thank you. Every single person has made an impact on my getting to this stage. Some more than others. Some, I hope to call friends to the end of my time. All of which I think are amazing people in their own right – even the ones I have disagreed with.

My heart truly is thankful.

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