The Arch-Reprobate

I was talking to myself in an attempt to calm myself down. I was self-soothing. I was reasoning it out. I was saying helpful and reassuring things to myself. In a word, I had gone mad. It’ll be OK, I said to myself. It’ll be fine. You’re grand – nothing to worry about at all. Nothing wrong here…


Let me give you a tip here – when you hear yourself talking to yourself like this then you know one thing for sure. You know one thing beyond any shadow of doubt – you know that you’ve gone mad. You know something else too – you know that you’re a liar…


Oh you know that alright. You know that beyond a shadow of doubt. You know that in your very bones – you’ve had a lifetime’s experience of yourself, after all. All the lies. The big ones and the small ones. All the bloody lies. Of course, after a while it all gets mixed up as to what’s a lie and what isn’t. It gets so very confusing. It gets to the point where there’s simply no untangling it any more – how could you even try? You wouldn’t know where the lies begin and the truth ends. The boundary between the two has been blurred so many times… It’s got so that you believe every little thing your mind says. Disreputable little scoundrel that it is. Incorrigible old scallywag that it is.


I was talking away to myself in an attempt to put myself at ease and get rid of all the uncomfortable little feelings that were creeping up on me. I was talking away as fast as I could – saying helpful things. Everything’ll be just fine, I told myself. You’ll see. It’ll all work out. Nothing wrong at all. Never been better. Isn’t it great. Isn’t it marvellous. I was doing CBT on myself – you’re not the worst, I said to myself. You make mistakes from time to time but that’s normal. Everybody makes mistakes – that’s how we learn. It’s OK to make mistakes. Just because you’ve made a few mistakes along the way that doesn’t mean that you’re a bad person. It doesn’t mean that you’re a worthless human being. It doesn’t mean that you’re fundamentally evil or anything like that…


That scurrilous old mind of mine was having field day. The wretched tricky old reprobate that it was. I envisaged my mind as a wizened old goblin, grown scabby from all the long years of lying. All the long centuries of lying, I should say. It’s been lying down through the ages. Lying fit to burst. Lying every minute. Terrible old scallywag that it is. Bursting itself lying all the time. That’s why it’s so repulsively scabby – because all it knows how to do is lie. Lying like there’s no tomorrow. That old goblin-mind of mine is covered in scabs – scabs on top of scabs. You wouldn’t like to see it. You wouldn’t like to see that scabrous, deceitful, reprehensible old goblin-mind of mine…


I was self-soothing again. Self-soothing for all I was worth. It’ll be Ok, I said to myself. Things aren’t so bad. Everything’ll be just fine now, you’ll see. You’ll see. You’ll see. You’re not so bad, when it comes down to it. Not so bad at all. There’s plenty worse than you. You’re not a bad guy – you’ve got plenty of friends. Lots of people like me, I lied. They don’t think I’m a bad person. Lots of people like me, I lie. I don’t even like myself. Would you expect me to? Telling myself that it will be OK. Doing CBT on myself – trying to correct all my thinking errors. Letting that wizened old goblin – the Arch Reprobate Himself – take the tiller. And all the while we’re rushing faster and faster to disaster…


Art: Great Unclean One






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