I don’t often delve into the part of me that harbors my insecurities because to acknowledge having them is fucking terrifying. Being vulnerable means I have the capacity to be hurt but recently I realized that repressing them isn’t doing me any favors either.
Below is something I wrote not that long ago during a brief time of some serious self-doubt. For someone who doesn’t believe in being disingenuous to other people, I sure spent some time lying to myself. I was angry. I was angry with myself and I felt I needed to put it down into words and in the end I think it truly helped me. For the most part anyway. These feelings weren’t something that completely consumed me but it would be irresponsible of me to pretend they didn’t and don’t still exist in some capacity. I wasn’t going to publish it but I felt I couldn’t move past it without letting some of you help me leave this behind.
Around four or five years ago I had an experience that led me to one of the most creative and inspired places I’ve ever mentally been in. It was incredible and it was the happiest I’ve ever been. It lasted for several years and while I do still grasp to portions of that mindset, these moments are coming fewer and farther in between and they tend to only last for maybe a day at most. I’m not sure. I just know it isn’t long before these fleeting moments pass and I’m back to feeling stagnant and devoid of not only creativity, but the motivation to even try. I truly feel like I’ve lost myself.
I never really considered this could be the byproduct of depression but the longer it sits in me the more I think it could be playing a part. Meaning, I knew I wasn’t motivated, I just never let myself think it could be depression.
I still don’t, actually. I have no idea what it is. Maybe it’s just me.
Many who know me would never know it because I spend a lot of time pretending like there’s nothing wrong; like there isn’t this creeping darkness that lives inside me that rears its ugly head from time to time. Most of the time I can keep the bulk of it locked away and aside from the little part that seems to constantly remain, it feels like I can control it.
But that little part. That little tiny piece that I can’t seem to shake is the one that periodically grips me tight and paralyzes me. This is the piece that for over a year has made me to believe I’m not good enough, that trying is hopeless and that I’m doomed to mediocrity and a lifetime of loneliness.
That’s stupid, you say? You are absolutely right. That is stupid. I tell myself I’m stupid every day; to snap out of it, to get off the couch, to do the things I once loved. That I’m worth it. That I WANT to be creative again. I want to being designing and sketching and printing.
But how do I find that motivation when I don’t know where to find it or even where it went? It has to still be in me right? It’s just being shrouded in a sea of self-doubt. Where has my confidence gone? Will I ever see it again? Can I kill the fucking demons who are holding it hostage?
I know this is something I have to and can find within myself. But how?
I’ve reached a point where being at a standstill is easier than taking a step in any direction for fear that life could truly be worse. Right now, by not doing anything, I’m not being criticized for my work. Right now, by not putting myself out there, I’m not being rejected by someone I could love. Life is safe right now but so very unrewarding.
I want to turn to someone to tell me what to do but this isn’t something that has a concrete solution. Last time I found my inspiration and confidence in not only my creativity but in MYSELF by being around the 3 most creative and brilliant people I’ve ever met, but they live in Los Angeles and this is something I have to find within me, not cultivate from someone else. This isn’t their problem. It’s mine.
So maybe this has to be another journey I take alone.
And I did. One step at a time, in the last few weeks I’ve been slowly pulling myself out of this sort of downward spiral and taking control of my life. I’m getting back to where I want to be and I’m trying to be be mindful of knowing and understanding what I’m doing and why I’m doing it. I’m taking the time to differentiate between what truly makes me happy and what I was using as a crutch and distraction from myself. I always preach doing things to better yourself for yourself but realized I wasn’t practicing it.
I spent so much time trying to prove myself to other people that I forgot I have nothing to prove to anyone but myself.