For years, I’ve been on a quest to grow. Or so I thought. I’ve gone through hundreds of self-help books, so much so that I feel queasy just thinking about them now.There’s hardly any theory in psychology or philosophy related to the self that I haven’t heard of. I can safely say that I’m an expert. But I don’t think that knowledge went to my heart. Let me explain.
When I decided to deal with my depression, I was 17. I had tried to ignore it for over two years by then and I realized it wasn’t going anywhere. So slowly but surely, I tried different methods and tips to ‘fix’ myself, to no avail. That I was a hardened perfectionist only made things worse. I was constantly harassing myself into figuring things out. What was I missing? Why was I so daft that I couldn’t ‘get’ it? What was I missing that everyone around me seemed to understand? Needless to say that I felt extremely ashamed and angry with myself.
Earlier this week, I found myself in similar territory; I was exasperated and pissed with myself. Why couldn’t I be mindful? Why couldn’t I embody what I’d read in the latest book? Heck, I was even scolding myself for scolding myself! The thoughts seemed familiar, and sure enough, I retraced it to the beginning of my quest. It dawned on me that this was just another ploy to avoid myself. I was essentially looking for an elixir to make me ‘perfect’, to restore me to normalcy. I was avoiding living in me. I feared being intimate with my soul.
I felt it like a blow to my solar plexus. I’ve been running, all these years, only to come back to the start. It was a mixture of devastation,disappointment,rage,sadness, and hopelessness. I busted myself and for that I was mad. I felt safe as long as I had that distant aim in mind; soon I’ll be fine, after I read this book, after I lose 5 kg, after I meet prince charming.It kept my eyes away from the now and that was all that mattered. I
felt, I feel like I’m inherently broken. I feel that whatever improvement I achieve is a scam, soon to be exposed. I fear writing in the capacity I’m capable of because I’m afraid I’ll leave evidence of my falseness in my wake. I’m like a cocoon; I don’t want to become a butterfly. I don’t want to fly. I’m afraid my wings will be scrutinized and I’d be abandoned on the cold, hard ground with nothing to wrap myself with.