Damage is such a strange thing to think about when it comes to yourself. On some level, for it to be staying with you you have to be holding onto it. I often find that the way I think about myself is not the way that others feel about me.
Some of these learned behaviours that you make a part of your routine are pitched to you in terms that make them seem constructive and useful, when they are often the opposite of that. Be self-deprecating and humble, can, after a while, become – never share any of your achievements with anyone, and never be vocally proud of anything you do. Pride becomes conflated with having a big head and being egotistical, and something celebratory is turned into something negative.
You like writing so you do it a lot – someone else finds it really hard to produce that much and you make them feel bad so they hammer you hard until you think it is a bad thing, and then you police yourself and you don’t produce so much. Not producing so much makes you feel bad, because you have all these things you want to communicate, and then the stuff you start to communicate gets tainted by this – people like it less; you see this and you shrink further.
You spend a lot of time looking at all the negative things that are out there, and you start to believe that all the things that are out there are negative, and at some point you tire of this and you don’t want to look anymore.
All the negativity adds to the shrinking level of production and eventually you don’t even want to talk about what you might be able to produce because the whole thing summons up a black cloud.
Damage is a tricky thing to dispose of. A metaphorical bomb detonated in my life – several I suppose, and I keep thinking I have disposed of the parts of them, but they keep surprising me. It is kind of like you get rid of the original bomb detonation but then you look at a picture of the bomb detonation and it becomes its own problem, and you kind of forget that the picture isn’t the bomb, and then after a while it doesn’t matter whether you are talking about the bomb or the picture of the bomb. And then even the conversations that you have had about the bomb become a problem. Then the word bomb becomes a problem and you are finished – you aren’t going anywhere, and you are totally locked into a perpetual reliving of that explosion. It’s limbo. It’s hell. It doesn’t matter which.