Yesterday I was on the phone at work. I was having some tics, but so far I’d been okay.
Then my jaw slammed shut with all the force it could find. I spit a piece of a molar onto my desk.
I looked at that tiny piece of my head, now a tiny paperweight, no longer part of me. I put it in the trash and answered another call.
Then I cried through my entire lunch hour. I’m always amazed at just how many tears a human being can hold, even when they’re not my size.
There was a time when this would have embarrassed me. No more. When I need to feel like a raging testosterone-beast, there are activities that I more than happy to engage in. But when I need to break down, I don’t pretend things are fine. I break down and move on.
I was not a big fan of the movie 300, but I am a huge fan of the story of the Spartans. Steven Pressfield wrote a wonderful book about the battle of Thermopylae called Gates of Fire. The Spartans are all as tough as you’d expect, but after every battle, they break down, sobbing and quivering. Not only is it not shameful, it is almost expected of them.
Despite my fondness for capes, I’m no Spartan. But I’ve been on the other side where I thought that vulnerability was weakness and that manliness meant being able to gut through anything with a smile.
What a strange idea.
Only what you allow
I refuse to be bullied or condescended to, especially by this thing living in my head. Nobody talks terms to me. Nobody controls me except me.
You’re no different, but there are voices that say otherwise.
There are voices that tell you to be less than you are. To give in. To believe that there is nothing worse than pain. To ignore your birthright to be better than you were yesterday. To believe that achievements and happiness are only for people without problems. That the courage of others is unattainable.
To believe that drawing the curtains is the answer. That you can only be a spectator. That you should sit there and collect dust. That everyone is more interesting than you are. That the sun shines only for them. That pain will get easier with practice. That coping is a noble art.
That theory is more valuable than experience. That knowing how to read is the same as reading. That cowardice has gotten a bad rap. That life should be fair. That you deserve the way you are feeling. That Rock Of Love is a great way to waste an evening.
That you are truly alone. That suffering is the same as pain. That the bend in the road can only lead to a dead end. That an entire box of donuts is the answer. That you are not worth loving. That listening to Nick Cave is going to cheer you up. (I love Nick Cave, just not when I’m depressed).
Refuse to listen
For Heaven’s sake, tell the voices to shut the hell up, get out of your own way, and make yourself happy. Unless you’re a serial killer and that’s what makes you happy. If that’s you, please stay home and watch Rock Of Love and collect dust.
If you liked this post, please Subscribe To The RSS feed.
And if you liked the post, you’ll love the newsletter.