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The abyss really does stare back

July 27, 2013

Today I lost another friend – the second this year – because of my negative habits. Like the first friend, this one left it until they snapped instead of telling me weeks back that my attitude is getting them down, and like the first friend, only some of what was said is true. But it is a lot harder to argue with it this time.

See, the first friend told me I was half-assing life. This was easy to disagree with because I was currently on the PTLLS (Preparation for Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector) course, and it was destroying me, it was so far above any level of stress or any workload I’ve previously encountered. Instead of approving of my aspirations to train up to teach so I can run workshops with CHAT, he called into question the future of CHAT and whether or not it was paying me NOW. Of course the answer is no, the group is still not well-established enough to be able to offer its volunteers a wage of any kind, but the volunteering has benefits of its own, improving my confidence, gaining me experience and granting me the opportunity to face fears such as talking to a room of people. It also led to a hefty discount in the PTLLS fee, as I was part of an organisation – and then CHAT paid what little I would have had to cover myself. So it’s not like I get nothing for my effort. I’m sad to not speak to that friend anymore, but I feel I was misunderstood in a big way, and not given ample opportunity to change before being cut off, so I’m not crying over that anymore.

The friend today, though… I was accused to being passive aggressive, which I wasn’t intending to be. I was trying to phrase things as delicately as I could to avoid offense or being accusatory. Ironically it was seen as both those things, and the phrasing made it seem passive aggressive. But they had a good point, and I’ve spent most of today mulling it over, looking for the positive, how to improve myself so it doesn’t happen again. I think I’ve finally understood.

I think it was Mr. Neitzche who was the bloke who warned “when fighting monsters be careful not to become one yourself. When you stare into the abyss, the abyss stares back.” Or words to that effect. I’ve never fully understood those words until the last hour or so, and I heard them years ago.

It’s mirthlessly ironic, really. Most of my negativity is a response to other people negatively. I complain endlessly lately about how negative people are and how often they complain. That’s the point, really, it’s a nasty bit of self realisation to pick up on. In the long run I’m grateful for my friends for pointing it out before they cut me off, but it doesn’t lessen the sting any.

The energy behind emotion is the deciding factor, it seems. I’ve always said it’s the difference between being ANTI-war and PRO-peace. If you’re anti-war that’s a fighting stance, and it’ll only bring more anti energy into the world, but pro peace, that’s a positive force, and that stands a chance of changing something, not just in the world but in yourself. My problem lately has been I’ve been very anti-negativity, which has only brought more negativity.

So I guess the way to remedy this is practice. As the thinger I recently saw said, “speak more of your blessings than your shortcomings.” I hope what few friends still remain will do me the favour of calling me on this stuff before it gets out of hand, though. Don’t wait weeks or months and then tell me you’ve had enough of my negativity, tell me from the start, “you’re being negative again, I don’t want any part in that.” Especially if I’m ranting about something you care about. Communication goes both ways, tell me when I’m doing something that upsets you.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be over here trying to climb out of this hole I’ve dug myself. I’ll end this on one small win: I’ve been depressed to the point of suicidal all day over this, but I haven’t bought any drink, my default response when stressed or depressed. The last couple of weeks my drinking has got out of hand, which may have contributed to how negative I’ve been, though I doubt it, but it’s something I have to work on, so it’s being worked on, and under pressure tonight. Also managed to resist binge eating, which is a plus. My only worry is that binge eating is what I took up to stop self harm, and drinking is what I did instead of binge eating, so if I’m not doing either there’s a risk I’m gonna go crazy. But we’ll deal with that when we get there, Assassins Creed 3 is almost downloaded again so my brain’s occupied for tonight.

Remind me to post stuff about pyjamas, microteaching, and why I’ve not posted anything in ages 😛

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One Comment
  1. sian permalink

    i couldnt be more proud of you x

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