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Doing it to myself

I guess that’s what most things come down to. I do it to myself.

I write and delete, write and delete … block up completely as soon as I think of other people reading my [insert derogatory term of choice here] output.

I think therefore I stop.

I have a new job. Hoorah! It is fun and an adventure, it is in the best place I could think of being … and … then … I start thinking. It’s the same as any other job because people are the same all over. Just because they are more like me than anywhere else there are still the same elements. I’m the same. Loyal too quick, want to do well, want to be worth something, want to feel like I’m worth paying …

My condition is back (never went away really, I’d just reduced activity to the level where I thought I was coping with it). I wanted to hide it, I wanted to be accepted. I wanted so hard to just be good at something. I tried not to be me but three months in and I’m too tired to smile and I’m trapped in my head and I know I’m just making it worse.

Do you remember how you tell if you’ve got ‘flu or a cold? I heard it was that with a cold you could bend down and get that £5 on the floor. If you had ‘flu, however, you would just leave it. The new job is a contract and I get paid when I go in. To my mind I’ve left quite a lot of money on the floor and, frankly, I just don’t have the energy to do anything about it. Well, other than beat myself up over it.

Amazing. No matter how tired I get there is always enough energy left for my own scorn. A constant well of derision, a babbling brook of self loathing. You could hide the Loch Ness monster in the depths of my self loathing. All the therapy. All the talking … and then the brain fog hits and I forget the words that are clever and are my job and once I’ve fallen through the planks in the rickety pier of my self esteem there is only the deep and the cold. Always waiting.

I have tried the pep talks to myself. Even with my basic interest in maths I know how useful a job can be, and this one would be very handy to stay at. Allowing for putting money aside for holidays, a new boiler, the over-the-top and completely unnecessary side-by-side black fridge freezer (to match other appliances in same range) etc etc this is half my mortgage paid off in 4 years.

Money is no motivator.

My sister in law asked me how I thought it was going and the words came out before I knew they were there. Comparing 4 months in the house, barely speaking, barely seeing people to 3 months of interaction, laughs and ‘being worthwhile’ I found I preferred it just being me and the cat most of the time. The cat might not pay me, but equally I don’t have to cope with public transport (let’s just not go there) or the bone deep pain as I walk or the random phone calls that this job entails, or …

… or the fact that I am with people and I like them and I don’t want to let them down, or be weak, or be flaky. Some of them seem to like me. Maybe it would be easier if they didn’t.

The more people I know the more people there are to let down. I do it to myself.

UoM old

Alan Turing Building, University of Manchester

Maybe I should try to hold on to the idea of what there is outside the windowless room in which I sit. Outside is the University. Outside there are things other than me.

I can go and look at the Shabtis in the museum. Maybe to remind myself that I don’t have to be one, maybe to show myself there is dignity in accepting I am one. Maybe one day I’ll stop doing it to myself.

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