I don’t think anyone gets through life without stumbling over and being really grumpy for a bit. Seemingly, the happier I get, the more intensely grumpy I get in return. Bit like hot summer, cool winter.
Recently I’ve been in a world of self-loathing and general sorry-for-myself feelings. Again. It’s a bit like Wormtongue in Lord of the Rings. It gets in there at first and doesn’t make too much of a nuisance of itself. Give it three months though, and it’s a full fledged demon beast, controlling your thoughts, actions, running your country, selling you out to the enemy and all sorts. Real suddenly you notice and you go “Where the HELL did that come from?!”
It takes a long time to get to the bit where you notice though. You believe everything Wormtongue says, that’s how clever he is. He gets your insecurities and he works on them, gradually abusing you more and more and more to the point where every minute is misery because you hate yourself for all the reasons he’s given you and you hate yourself because you hate yourself.
I don’t know where it comes from, all the ideas and the criticisim and the abuse I give myself without realising. It’s like there are two me’s up there in my brain – one knows that Faeriedaughter is awesome, was born awesome and will always be lovable, no more or less than any other inherently lovable person, and she’s talented and smart and fun. This one is Smart Faeriedaughter. The other one is horrible – lets stick with the Grima Wormtongue metaphor. It tells me I am useless, talentless, hopeless, that all my dreams are stupid and unattainable as I am not smart/talented enough to pull them off, that I suck because I don’t make enough effort/am lazy/am afraid/am shy/procrasinate/am too young/am not good enough, and there is nothing I can do about that as I will never change. Grima gets in there and gets louder and more controlling and I get more insecure and nervous and sad and grumpy. The half of me that knows grima is a bunch of crap gets drowned by Grima’s clever mutterings. Perhaps this is what people mean when they go on about the Shadow Self.
Usually it gets to a point, a really horrid point, and then I whirl around and say “What the hell am I listening to this for?! If you, Grima, were a real person, I would have told you to fuck off ages ago. So why the hell do I put up with you in my brain?”
If someone came up to me and told me I was a really talentless dancer/artist, I’d be all Hells no. If someone came up to me and told me I look like a teenager (not being at the age yet where that can be seen as a compliment), I would go I know (feels insecure) but just think of what a hot mama I will be when I get older. You’ll wish you had this young ass. If someone came up to me and told me, god look at you, you are so pathetic, I would go What!? Fuck off. If someone came up to me and told me, no you can’t do that, even if I wasn’t brave enough to tell them to their face (Grima is really persuasive) I’d be all I’ll show you, I will kick your ass so bad you won’t have one any more.
So what’s getting me out of this low?
Read a book full of mermaid meditations and stories and stuff over the weekend. (I have never been able to get enough mermaid – when I was a kid, I was obsessed with The Little Mermaid disney film, and I’ve been drawing mermaids and ocean goddesses and faeries been obsessed with the above and rivers and lakes and seas for ages) Ok, so mermaids in the stories tend to get completely screwed over by the dudes. Lets face it, in all stories us women get screwed over by the dudes, in the past it was to make them look good and us look bad, and now because women as a rule tend to not believe men are good/want some suffering in their romance stories. But, essentially, mermaids represent to raw ballsy feminine that doesn’t recognise anyone elses control over her life and completely holds their own power. They are completely 100% loving, if they want to be, and completely furious and deadly if they need to be. They are sexy and innocent and vulnerable and overpowering all at once. And most importantly, they do not give a crap and they will not let anyone else dictate the way they live their lives. Also, they live in the sea and usually on land as well, which is super-cool.
So I have been thinking, what would a mermaid do? Would a mermaid listen to the voices in her head? Only if they were telling her how awesome she was. Would a mermaid let a crappy job dictate her non-working hours, be afraid to follow the career she wanted, to love whomever she wanted as much as she pleases, or put anyone else’s opinion of her above her own? Nope. She is in complete control, not necessarily of what happens around her, but of how she chooses to react to stuff and how she chooses to think about stuff.
Think mermaid, get control, be happy. Seriously. This is how I am pulling myself out of depression.