Mental health roadie – how I fucked up the fix

I’m still broken. A little. I need to be rewired. Just a tad. I’ve been working on it for a few years and I feel like finally I’m making progress, doing a few things right. This feeling of minor achievement is relatively new. After years on this gravelly path, I look back and think for sure I was doing it wrong for a while. What was so wrong? Taking everyone with me.

When I began this mind-fixing journey, options opened up. Ways of thinking, and doing, and being… all started to emerge. It kinda felt like getting another chance at being a kid. Throw life into reverse and take a different path: new dawn, new day, whole new me. And I thought it was only fair to blog about it. (I’m talking like 2009. I hope my recent blogs aren’t as annoying.) In one way, blogging was fine. After all, it’s kinda like a diary. But who was I writing to? Me? Not really. If it was for my eyes only it would be all fuck fuck fuck shit fuckity tit-wank. No, I wanted people to read it. And more than that, I thought by fixing myself I was helping to fix the world. Nope.

I made a big mistake. I assumed that everyone had the time, attention, and inclination to read me. My didactic little fables. Shudder. May I now present to you, the ways in which I fucked up the fix.

I wasn’t qualified – not in the slightest

Let’s say I’m studying to be a doctor. Cracking open a few medical books sure as shit doesn’t make me a GP. So there’s me, on a journey of self-analysis, reading a ton of Buddhist books. Okay, fine. But what on Earth gave me the idea that I was qualified to stand atop the mountain and spread my half-digested gospel? That’s crazy shit right there. Whether an author’s work is a spiritual guide or practical self-help, I only know them from whatever qualifications they tell me they have. I don’t actually know them. I’ve never had dinner with Author X… I imagine choking on my soup as he leans in and whispers “Check out the titties on that dollybird.” I’ve never seen Author X hurl a laptop at his assistant when the Wi-Fi cuts out. Hell, for all I know, Author X votes Tory. Why am I so keen to share Author X’s words of wisdom? To make me look qualified, that’s why. Shudder.

In my opinion – in my limited experience – it seems to me the people who are truly qualified at this self-help stuff are the people who’ve suffered, lived through it, and come out the other side better. Veterans. They’re the people you need to get to know. And it takes time to get to know someone, to trust they’re the real deal. So there was me shouting from the mountains, as if the rest of world should know and trust me. I was only just beginning to take some medicine, and there’s me prescribing it for everyone else.

I was trying to fix me AND everyone else

This shoulda been a no-brainer. I was reading about how the world could just be a better place if everyone was more mindful, yadda yadda yadda. Great. And I was a newbie trying to get everyone else on board. It was like buying my first hammer, and trying to patch every roof on the street while leaving mine leaky… while fuckin hating my leaky roof. Madness.

Blogging my journey was NOT exorcising my demons

Everyone says ‘Your demons’ but they should be saying ‘All that shit about yourself that embarrasses the crap out of you.’ When I was on that public journey, regurgitating stereotypical self-helpery and spirituality, I was writing like copy from a catalogue. No one speaks it. It’s no one’s native tongue. Literary brown paint. A lot of the stuff I found in print was vague and general, and wasn’t written for me – it was published to sell. And there I was recycling the already-mangled, drafting a voice like Mr Niceguy. Fuck that.

I’m arguably a half-decent person, but I’m not “nice”. Double-fuck that. So while I was trying to fix myself, AND the rest of the world, completely unqualified, I was also trying to write in a style that couldn’t possibly offend anyone. In other words, I wasn’t being myself. (The real me has a habit of offending people, or at least getting them to think I’m a fuckwit. Whatever.) How can you fix yourself if you can’t even reveal yourself – your demons – all that shit about yourself you think should be hidden? Triple-fuck that. Sorry for this, but here’s some unsolicited advice: Rock out with your cock out.

So what am I doing right?

I dunno. I’m still a bit fucked up. If anyone’s looking to me for answers, they’re nuts. I got nuthin but a catalogue of mistakes. I think the biggest was assuming the rest of the world was as messed up as I was/am. Maybe the world is messed up, but chances are it isn’t messed up in the same way I’m messed up. Whatever medicine I take isn’t necessarily the cure for the rest of the world.

My thing is my thing. I think… I hope… admitting that my thing is unique, is the right thing to do.

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5 Comments

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  1. “All that shit about yourself that embarrasses the crap out of you.’ – I know it well. In fact I’ve been called out on my own blogging – that it’s whiny and self indulgent, that everyone has problems. It makes me cringe. My face goes red with embarrassment and shame. I just wanted to try and process my experiences, prevent myself from making the same mistakes. But I’m fucked up. Well and truly fucked. And I hate that I’ve come across as needy and desparate. It’s been a massive learning curve. I’m trying to accept I’m not everyone’s cup of tea – I don’t need to be liked by everyone – even though I want to be! I’m beginning to have the courage to say, you don’t like it? Then don’t fucking read it. You don’t like me? Then fuck off and be with those you do like. I’m fucked up but I’m my fuck up.

  2. Leif, I love you for what you are writing. I so hear myself speaking/thinking/feeling. thank you so much for sharing your thoughts! Worth to re-read. We are all the same. All different. And all worth to be loved, whether we are right or wrong …

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