An Old Story


“Forget your crappy old life Nick,” the voice told me, “it wasn’t worth a damn anyway! Let it go. It was pure rubbish.” Needless to say, this didn’t go down very well with me. It was like a red rag to a bull – I wasn’t having that!” All sorts of arguments rose up in me at that point, arguments that I felt would very clearly show otherwise. So many counter-arguments came up in me that I didn’t actually manage to say anything. They all merged into one big tangled mass which stuck in my craw and choked me. All I could do was to croak feebly, completely unable to come out with a single word, never mind a coherent argument. “Forget all that crap that you’re about to say,” the voice said, “That’s all pure rubbish too, like everything else about you. Just forget about that old nonsense. Get over it.”


The voice was really giving me a hard time here, I thought resentfully. What was wrong with it? Why didn’t it give me a break? The more I dwelt on it the more indignant I felt. “Give me a break voice” I burst out “You’re wrecking my melon. Get off my case, would you…” I meant for this to come out assertively but it just sounded all whiney and pathetic.  I sounded like a total dick, even to myself. I sounded like a complete knob-end. This voice was damaging my self-esteem, I realized. A renewed wave of indignation swept over me. I felt aggrieved. “Lay off me, voice,” I growled, “You can’t say stuff like that to me…”


But the funny thing was that even as I said these words I realized that the voice was actually right. My life was pure rubbish – the voice was simply telling the truth! My life was a total load of crappy nonsense and that’s all you could really say about it. There was nothing else one could say. The voice was right to be giving me a hard time. I deserved it. I had to take it on the chin like a man and accept a bit of responsibility. No more whinging and whining. No more blaming everyone else the whole time. No more making pathetic excuses…


The voice broke into my thoughts at this point, “You’re 56 yrs of age Nick,” it said, “and you haven’t done anything with your life – you are lazy, self-indulgent and full of crap and that’s putting it politely. You’re a totally useless knob-end and what’s more, you seem perfectly content to go on being one…”


“You’re right voice,” I replied after a pause. “I can see now that I have been fighting against you all my life, trying to make out that I’m not a total knob-end when I am. I just thought you were my inner critic… My life isn’t worth a crap and I’m 56 yrs of age, as you have just said. Why didn’t I listen to you before?”  The voice didn’t answer this time but the answer was obvious, even to me. There was no need for the voice to comment.


I know this sounds like a bit of a depressing story, a bit of a downer, but I wasn’t taking it that way. This was just the kick up the pants I needed, I told myself. From now on things were going to be different…








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