Epiphanies

Trade your heroes for ghosts

sp

I didn’t really have any heroes growing up as a kid. Fictional or otherwise.

Even as a small child the concept seemed silly to me. What was a hero? what criteria needed to be met in order to become one? Does a hero have to be a real person? It confused me.

It wasn’t until I was much older that I started recognising certain people as personal ‘heroes’, although I still hate the term – ‘hero’ for some reason just reminds me of cereal (no idea why) and those little chocolates.

Heroes are good because they give you something to aspire to, even if you know you cannot possibly equal them in measure, you can at least try to follow their words and actions so you can emulate them in an effort to become a better person. I completely skipped the whole ‘better person’ part and started to use my heroes as a way of exerting my own false sense of superiority:

“Oh you mean you’ve never heard of Famous Person’s treatise on Derp? You really should look it up!”

whilst inside in my head I would be chastising them for being so stupid:

“Hah, only a moron doesn’t know of the existence of that. Idiot. SMUG MODE ACTIVATE”

I used the knowledge I acquired from my heroes to reinforce my view that I was smarter than everyone else and that in a dispute I was always right. I used my heroes for villainous purposes, now it feels like all I have are ghosts of those heroes. I butchered them and twisted their virtuous natures into my own mangled psyche and used their wisdom against other people to convince myself I was superior.

I’m going to stop doing that now.

I realise a lot more about human nature than I did a year ago, hell even six months ago. I keep having mini epiphanies that I am certain are course correcting me onto a path of mental well-being and compassion towards others, the problem however is following through on these epiphanies. For better or worse I am still plagued by the Procrastination Monster and I wish I could have an epiphany about that but it’s not happened yet.

It’s very, VERY difficult to describe procrastination when you are a depressed person versus regular old “Oh I’m such a procrastinator LOL I’ll do it this afternoon” type people. It is not the same beast. You are held prisoner by your own mind as it successfully convinces you that inaction is the safest course to take, as it cannot possibly result in more heartache. Now I KNOW that this is stupid. I know that getting up and about and doing things, taking initiative at work, and generally learning new things makes me feel good. I know this to be true and yet I continue to do it. Why? Because, that’s why. I have no better explanation than that. It’s an entirely fucked up situation to be in and I am yet to find a solution.

I want this to stop, but it seems it’s another aspect of my mental state that I’m just gonna have to wait on to catch up. I feel like I’m getting better in some ways and worse in others. I want to break out of this mental prison with the force of a hurricane, not bit by bit in incremental steps that could take years to fully come to fruition. I’d rather have a walk on part in the war, than a lead role in a cage.

f.

p.s I realise there are too many Pink Floyd references in this post but:

sloth

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Wisdom GET!

WISDOM

This actually made me stop and go “Wooooooah” because I’ve never looked at it from this perspective before.That happens with more frequency these days, sometimes that’s a good thing sometimes that’s a bad thing.

Today it was a good thing I’d like to tell you about.

Ok so in a nutshell here’s one of my myriad of problems: I compare myself to everyone else and come to the conclusion that everyone (literally everyone I pass or interact with on a day to day basis) is doing better than me and that I am hopelessly lost in this world of confusion and despair. It propagates my apathy because I convince myself that I’ll never get any better, at anything, and will sink into mediocrity and nobody will come to my funeral and blah blah blah.

Right well, on reddit today in a random thread someone else expressed this sentiment albeit in a more diluted and less nihilistic way. The question of the thread was thus:

“What do you know to be unequivocally true and yet you still refuse to accept it?”

A simple question, fairly easy to answer. The answer I saw was something along the lines of:

“That no one cares about what I do as much as I do. I stress so much about how people view me and it I really shouldn’t.”

Now that’s me, although I heap on layers of self loathing and misery on top of that basic notion. However the response to that sentiment completely threw me off guard and somewhere inside the quagmire of my mind a shiny penny dropped into some magic hole that has left a lasting impression on me (I hope). This was the response to that worry:

“The problem is that you are comparing your behind the scenes footage to everyone else’s highlight reel.”

And BOOM! epiphany! I actually cracked a smile at this ridiculously simple and obvious observation. Every time I see someone do something that I think I can never do, every time I see someone succeed at something no matter how trivial, every time I feel bad about myself because the person I’m viewing is clearly above me, I am only getting a slight glimpse into one person’s life. I’m seeing one event that for all I know could be the only decent thing to happen to that person in months. I’m comparing my entire existence with just one of their transient moments in time. This has taken root in my mind and *I hope* it’s something I can use in the future when those familiar feelings start to run through my mind.

Thanks random reddit user. You have given me a useful tool to try and combat these irrational and damaging thoughts I have on a daily basis. I just hope I can make effective use of this tool.

f.