I was doing the thing that I do when I want to feel better, when I want to feel a bit more OK about myself. I’m not trying to say that it makes me feel amazingly good or anything like that. It’s nothing dramatic. I don’t even know I’m doing it, to be honest. It’s kind of like a habitual thing, a form of unconscious self-reassurance I guess you could say.
So I’m doing the thing, doing the thing, doing the thing, as usual, but the next thing is that I notice that I’m feeling very flat, very hollow in myself. I’m painfully aware that there’s absolutely no reassurance to be had in it. I’m doing the thing alright but nothing’s happening. It’s worse than that actually. It’s not just that ‘nothing’s happening’ – nothing’s happening when I want very much for there to be something happening! And it’s not just that I want for something to happen – I expect it. I totally expect it. Because I’m so used to it happening I’m expecting it to happen without even realizing that I am. So when it doesn’t happen… Well, I can tell you that doesn’t feel good. It doesn’t feel good at all. Where do you think that leaves me? When I’m doing the thing, doing the thing, doing the thing, and nothing’s happening? That’s a rhetorical question of course. There’s no prizes for answering it correctly. You know where it leaves me – it leaves me in the shit…
When doing the thing stops working for me then this drops me right in the shit, right in a whole ocean of shit, and that’s when I discover that I can’t swim! Good discovery, huh? I keep on doing the thing, of course. I keep on doing the thing because it’s all I know how to do. What else am I going to do? I’m a bit of a one-trick pony that way, I guess you could say. I know how to do the thing and that’s about it. Kind of putting all your eggs in the one basket type of thing. The basket which doesn’t have any bottom in it! So there I am – doing the thing, doing the thing, doing the thing, not quite getting what is happening. But doing the thing anyway. Like a pure mad bastard. Like a total fool who has had the rug pulled from under him big time. Anyone looking at me would be wondering what in God’s name I’m playing at. Just what the hell I think I’m doing. I know how stupid I must look. To say that it’s ‘undignified’ is the world’s greatest understatement!
The thing is though, how do think it feels for me? Before all of this happened I didn’t even know I was doing the thing. I only realized that I was doing the thing when it stopped working for me. So then what this means is that I have two problems to contend with. One is that I’m doing the thing, doing the thing, doing the thing, like some kind of a mad bastard, making a holy show of myself, and the other is that I now feel so very bad in myself. I feel bad in a way that I can’t even explain to you. I didn’t even know that kind of bad existed. I feel all kind of empty and hollow, like the slightest thing could snuff me out completely. Precarious isn’t the word for it. And the whole time I’m looking at everyone else and I’m wondering how it still seems to work so well for them. I feel myself eaten up with a particularly poisonous strain of envy in relation to everyone else in the world. How come it works perfectly well for everyone apart from me? How are those smug bastards still managing to get away with it?