What motivates me to keep going.

treasure

A few people have asked me how I remain so motivated to stay in therapy and so determined to become whole one day, in spite of the many setbacks I’ve faced and the inevitable triggers I’ve willingly confronted. Even my therapist has said I’m one of the most motivated clients he’s come across. People wonder if I’m just a sucker for punishment and even have masochistic tendencies.  Why on earth would I want to voluntarily embrace so much psychic pain instead of opting to remain emotionally numb the way I used to be?

I think the number one motivator for me is that I’ve learned to think of the road to wellness as an adventure of the mind and soul, not unlike climbing Mount Everest or exploring the ocean depths.    The only difference is that it doesn’t involve bodily risk. Staying as emotionally dead as I used to be seems as boring as staring at a wall all day.  Now that I’ve seen a glimpse of what I can attain, I never want to go back.  Knowing what I know now about myself, remaining in that particular hell would drive me insane.  So these days, I’d rather face the unpleasant challenges and do battle with them.   None are too big for me to conquer, even though at times they can seem to be.

By nature, I’m not a huge risk taker, but I’ve always been fascinated by the workings of the human mind.  My own mind is like a labyrinth right before my eyes, but within its dark tunnels and crevices I never know when I’ll find some treasure.

Being in therapy for anyone who suffered severe trauma and abuse can be extremely triggering and at times very painful.    I’ve left some sessions and fallen into vast yawning depressions afterward, feeling lost within the emptiness that I always knew was there even before I knew what was really wrong with me.

Faith that a higher power (or God, if you prefer) will show me the way to the treasure chest I know lies deep within is a huge motivator for me, but even now, without knowing exactly where it lies, occasionally I stumble across evidence that I’m getting closer.   A diamond here, an emerald over there, a small vein of gold embedded in the unforgiving granite.   It gives me hope and motivation to keep going.    I no longer doubt that it’s there….somewhere.   All I need is to keep going.   Therapy provides me with a compass to know which direction to go and the assurance that I won’t die trying to find it.   The journey may appear dangerous at times, but I know it never really is.   Staying mindful helps me conquer any fear that I’ve gone too far or too deep.

Discovering things about yourself that you never knew can be really sobering, even upsetting, but it’s also enlightening.   Awareness and insight about your own motivations is the key to healing from anything that plagues the mind and soul.   Self discovery is always fascinating and full of the unexpected.    It may seem like hard work, and it is, but I know the reward will be worth all the pain, and there are enough pleasant surprises along the way to keep me trudging along the rugged trail.   I can do this!    You can too, if you want it badly enough.

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My next step.

next_step

I’ve always wanted to write a book.   I actually did write a novel, back in 2003, but it sucked and was rejected by several publishers.    It didn’t take me too long to give up trying to get it published.

Today that novel sits in a cardboard box in the back of a closet.  It’s been sitting in that box for 13 years, its 300+ pages becoming brittle with age and the corners of the box  it dwells in now bent and taped together.  A few years ago I pulled out the typewritten pages and re-read the novel.   I cringed with embarrassment over how bad it was.  Not just bad, but atrocious.   It was shallow, self-indulgent, had no flow; was full of cliches, stilted dialogue,  and purple prose; and populated with unlikable, annoying characters.  It will probably never see the light of day again and most certainly will never be published.  But I still can’t bring myself to toss it out with the recycling.  If nothing else, it’s a reminder that I can finish something that I started.

I’ve done a lot of writing in my life, but that one shitty novel was my only attempt to write an actual book.   Although I’ve always wanted to write a book, it just seems so daunting.  I always find excuses:  it would take too long, I don’t have time, it wouldn’t be any good, I’m not really that good a writer, no one would read it, I’m bad with opening paragraphs, I’m bad with endings, I don’t have the money, I don’t have good ideas.

But excuses are just lies you tell yourself.   None of the aforementioned items have any truth to back them up.  I have a blog and a following, these days you can self-publish an eBook on Kindle at little to no cost (a print version can always come later), and after a year and a half of blogging, my writing has vastly improved.   Some days I have so many ideas for new posts that it makes my head spin.  I spend most of my free time writing anyway, so why am I not writing a book?  I really can’t think of any good reasons not to.

So I know what my next step must be.   I  haven’t yet decided whether I’ll do a compilation of my best or most popular posts, or write something from scratch.   I have a feeling I’ll go with the latter, but might incorporate a few of my blog posts into it.   I haven’t decided what my book will be about yet either, even though I do know it will be connected to this blog’s content in some way.

One thing that’s stopped me before is the thought of having to write hundreds of pages of prose.  But with an eBook or even if I self-publish a print version (which I think costs money but I’m not sure), I don’t have to write something that long.  I’ve read or reviewed a few books that were self published by bloggers, and few exceed 100 pages.

Another thing that makes writing a book seem like a chore is the lack of immediacy.   When you write a blog post, you get instant feedback.  Likes, comments, and views start coming almost from the minute you hit Publish.   You can monitor your stats after a very short time.   With writing a book, no one sees it until it’s published, and that could take a long time.   I’m not a patient person, and I hate having to wait for feedback.  But that doesn’t seem like a valid reason not to write one.

So all I have to do is make the choice to sit down and instead of opening up WordPress to write a new blog post, open up Kindle instead and write the first paragraph of my book.  I never thought I’d start a blog either, and one day I just decided to do it.   I think that’s how writing a book is going to work too.

When I do start to write, I will probably not be able to write new blog posts as often and might even have to take a break from it to concentrate on the book, but I’ll let everyone know when that happens.

P.O’d.

pissed_off

I guess I’m feeling like a victim today.  Both this and my last post are all about me wallowing in self-pity.   Eh, I’ll get over it but I need to vent.   This will be short though.

After that out of the blue attack on my character on another blog a few days ago, I told myself I wouldn’t let it get me down.  I told myself I’ve grown a lot and have a lot more courage than I did a year ago, the last time this happened.   I told myself that as a blogger, I need to grow some balls and accept the fact that I will have haters.

I lied I guess, because for the past couple of days, I just haven’t felt like posting, at least not anything too personal.    My loss of motivation has everything to do with this vicious and unwarranted attack on me.  I set my other blog (Down the Rabbit Hole, which is more personal in nature than this one and was the source of the post that was used against me) to private and will probably keep it that way for awhile; I have no idea for how long.   Because it’s so personal I don’t have the courage yet to make it public again right away.

This pisses me off–a lot.  How dare this hypocritical person take away the one thing that keeps me going?  How dare this horrible individual make me set my writings to private and make me feel the toxic shame all over again? And anyway, shame for WHAT?  For writing a post that made me seem TOO VULNERABLE?  Why should that be shameful?  It isn’t, of course, but my programming tells me it is, and I got triggered.

I know it’s my own choice to inhibit myself and set blogs to private, and really, this narcissistic person can’t do much other than continue to post negative stuff about me on their blog.   If I don’t look, I won’t be hurt or angered–and I haven’t looked.   A year ago, I would have *had* to look, so one way I’ve changed is I’m able to resist the temptation to see what the haters are saying.  I never used to be able to do that.

I know this will be the topic in therapy the next time I go.  I still let narcs get to me way too much.   I still have such a long way to go.

The picture of the wolf head at the beginning of this post, I find inexplicably hilarious.   Laughter is always great medicine!   Thank God for my sense of humor.

The first sign of spring.

proud

It’s just like old times! I just counted, and this weekend I made 10 new posts (11 if I count this one), most of them original content. I don’t think I’ve written that much in a few months. It seems like my inspiration’s back, at least for now. Maybe I’m just feeling better because in 2 days the days will start getting longer as they march toward Spring, and with that, an end to this year’s bout of Seasonal Affective Disorder. As far as I’m concerned, the first day of winter is like the first sign of spring.

I may or may not continue in this vein, but I’m not going to worry about it. I just feel great about how busy I was blogging this weekend. I actually found time to read and comment on other blogs too, something I’m really not very good about keeping up with.