Tiredness, energy, depression, motivation

I cycle badly because I am ashamed. That is, I do not want to switch down a gear because I am ashamed of needing to; so my cadence, the number of times a minute I revolve the pedals, is too low. People with a faster cadence cycle more efficiently. I rebuke myself that it is not what I see that should decide what gear I am in, but how my leg muscles feel. Wind, but also temperature, affect me, I may be feeling tired, and I can have good days when it feels like I am flying, and less good days. I am pleased to cycle up that steep hill, and glad for the work it makes my legs do, and I might do it more easily in a lower gear. I drive myself hard, and it makes me less efficient.

I feel tired all the time. That is so common it has a doctors’ abbreviation, TATT, but also is fake-reassuring: if only I got enough sleep, I would not “feel tired”, yet somehow I always feel tired despite dozing in the afternoon. And generally if I do something in the morning, I just want to watch TV in the afternoon. Today is quite a good day, actually (strike through the words I habitually use to minimise such things): I did a post this morning, I have done a washing and a little cleaning, and am not writing again. And there are bad days when I just read on the computer in the morning, and watch TV later.

I am tired, and sometimes have energy, sometimes have none; or I am depressed, and sometimes have motivation. I need to go to buy food. Maybe later, not now. I know I need it, and have no motivation to deal with that. Or, yesterday I was in the caff with R and I realised that now I feel energised and motivated enough to go to the supermarket, but soon I will not and it will be too much effort. That’s useful. I do the minimum, usually, and I need to know when I can.

I don’t tend to bully myself with the word “lazy”. I choose “useless” or “no good”, words which do not even say how I might improve, instead. “Get on with it,” I tell myself. “Action,” said Ann, and that generally seemed to work for her, but I heard little joy in it. I like the idea of behavioural motivation, that I would praise myself for the little actual amount I had done, be happy with it, and so be motivated to more, but I have not got round to that.

Perhaps sometime I will not feel tired, or will have motivation. I hope it is a carrot rather than a stick which makes me feel that. Sticks have the opposite effect, in my experience. I wonder if a different way of conceptualising it would make me feel better. Bullying myself does not. I must no should (hang it) might “come to delight in every tiny fragment of good” or something. Or face reality – no, that’s judgmental too, that is saying I don’t, now.

I am a good person.
I do my best.
This is where I am

I am frightened

Memories and reflections

Two memories from my employment tribunal practice stand out. In one, the Respondent forged three letters which, if believed, were a defence to our claim. We sought a notice payment, and he forged the contractual statement of terms and conditions, to show the notice should be less. But the Claimant had retained her T&Cs, showing the date she started work there.

He would rather go to a hearing, spending considerably more on solicitors, than pay her her due under the law. He lied and cheated. And through her responsible action, I wrote a delicious letter to his representatives- we will settle now for payment of the claim in full, but if you go to hearing we will seek costs and press for perjury to be investigated. He paid up.

She had angina, and he had sacked her after six weeks’ sickness absence. Had he left her to cope with the changes, and learn how a GTN spray affected her, she could have gone back to work shortly after. The stress of the tribunal application stopped her recovery.

And the other: usually a defence to a claim would be accepted late, as it is in the interests of justice: the Claimant’s loss is only a few weeks’ delay, but if the defence were refused the Respondent loses their right to be heard. The motion to accept the defence late is usually a routine, with a pretty apology for lateness enough. I found the arguments why it should not be accepted late. I wiped the floor with them.

As I typed that paragraph I spoke two of the arguments I had used aloud into the empty room, with passion in my voice, controlled contempt suitable for the tribunal room. I remember them in detail. Eight years later these things still matter to me.

I am occupied, in my retreat, in my reclusive existence, with the nature of humanity. How do I see myself in my world? Those stories form a huge part of it. The wicked will fight like rats in a sack, without humanity, quarter, or thought of justice, for their own wrongful interest; but sometimes through luck and brilliance Right can win. A recent story I heard of a court action confirms that: a man resisting to the last moment, only caving when he saw the right must win.

I retreated from the monsters. I could create the brilliance and have the luck only intermittently, and the losses that I saw as My Failures, My Inadequacy, My Wrongness crushed me.

I am concerned above all with safety. There are monsters out there, which can hurt me. I sought safe spaces. Quakers seem nice enough, and I formed an ideal of what a Quaker meeting should be, a false view less and more than what it is really, of people conforming to an ideal humanity rather than being their whole humanity. Quakers were my safe space, then I found during the election campaign that Labour party members, campaigning, were good people too.

I am safe, day to day, retreated to my living room, but not month to month. All I have to do today is buy food, and if I do not I can do it tomorrow. And I am not providing for myself, so I am not safe. My income could be stopped any day now. And I find the safe spaces I sought are more complex than I knew, inhabited not by people following rules I thought I understood but human beings behaving in complex human ways.

I cannot predict what is going on. I can only see it. Or not see it, blinded by my understanding of what should happen.

So I look back on my experiences, and my perceptions, and try to force them into another framework of understanding. I face repeated set-backs. It could be recovering from my childhood, if I cease to see set-backs as I saw them then, as proof of my worthlessness, as the failure which kills me. The monster will get me and I shall die. Instead, I might see what I have lost, if I have lost anything. I have to see what is rather than react to what I imagine out of my complex internal illusions.

I have lost nothing. I have time, and my human gifts. Try again, fail again, fail better is the fashionable Beckett quote, now Keep calm and carry on, parodied from the beginning, is forgotten. Once more into the Breach! I am terrified, because it was so ghastly. I am depressed, which for me means seeing what I clearly must do, and having no motivation for it. Come on! I admonish myself. Action! Get on with it! I am crushed by my experiences. That was a source of judgment for me, proof of my worthlessness, though I assert- it really does not matter whether I underwent experiences which the most courageous, gifted and resilient person would find unbearable, or experiences a worthless, useless weakling should find unexceptionable- I am crushed by them. Can I create a new world?

I put the bin out this morning. It is sunny, and sunlight glistened through a long string of raindrops on the washing line. There is so much beauty outside my living room!

Conspiracy theories

Diana Windsor was not assassinated. She would not have died had she been wearing a seatbelt. She might not have died had the chauffeur not been drunk. An assassin might have mingled with the Paparazzi following her, whom the chauffeur had goaded, but the French investigation concluded they were not near her vehicle at the time of the crash. Her heart was displaced to the right during the crash, which tore her pulmonary vein.

A facebook friend shared a conspiracy theory about this yesterday, that an MI5 “hitman” had confessed to the assassination. It is two months old, debunked the day after- Snopes points out the image of the “hitman” is an Australian with a different name. The Daily Star, not the most reliable newspaper but not one to entirely make a story up, saw fit to refute it. And yet a site trawling for clicks from repeating others’ stories as their own repeated it, and my friend shared it. No stake through the heart will kill such rubbish. The original source shared a similar story about a CIA operative confessing to blowing up Building 7, which collapsed because of a fire.

I expressed contempt first, then debated the matter- why the story was clearly false, why this mattered- and ended up in exchanges of abuse.
-You’re rude.
-You’re stupid.
Sometimes this is fun, but it does little good.

My friend said assassination was a matter of opinion, and possible.

Why should this matter to me, or indeed to anyone? The world is filled with conspiracy theories. The most pernicious group lie, climate change denial, need not be a true conspiracy, or a plot, only various people with an interest in others believing a lie telling that lie, and paying others to tell it. They nod and wink at each other, and produce articles and reports, but don’t particularly plan. An amoral expert can get money by showing willing to tell the lie. Lots of people believe stuff that is not true. It takes away energy from dealing with real problems, and may enervate people from seeing the things they can change, or reduce their trust in common action through government, which they imagine is corrupt.

I got angry, and wasted a lot of time on back-and-forth. But then, I have a lot of time.

I am depressed, and want to give you an idea of my thought processes. Why would I be angry? Because it is Wrong to share lies like that? Well, no, there is too much wrong in the world to get angry about. So it must be some flaw in me. I am a controlling person, who seeks illusory safety in an illusion of control and gets angry when people near me don’t play by my script. I find other people being independent of my fantasies extremely threatening, and this arises from being completely powerless and under threat as a small child.

Or, I need to understand myself and my world so try to fit this into one clear story of myself. But that thought is not clearly right, in fact could be completely adrift from The Truth. I speculate like this because I Respect the Truth (good) or scrabble around for illusory safety (bad). Or, a moment of irritation at something stupid led me to comment “FFS” and it all went downhill from there.

I cannot know myself, and so will never be safe! I am drowning in illusion!

I am depressed, more than usual. Often, depressed, I have thought I was being rational, seeing clearly, and thought of a post on how controlling I am. Well, I am: I stay indoors, because I can be just about in control here. I don’t know how useful my speculations are- normally more useful than now, I hope-

but I know this spell of depression will end.

This will end.

Knowing that is an improvement.

Looking to the future

Why think about the past? It won’t change. Think about the future! Memories of the past are only of use to help predict the future. In the New York Times, psychologists advance the theory of “Prospective psychology”- the brain is focussed on predicting the future, and thinks about it three times more than the past. Memory is a tool for predicting: three different parts of the brain recall, when, where and what happened, and are rewritten- even altered- each time you remember them. A memory might be made happier if you have more trust in the future, or harsher otherwise. It is amended to make it more relevant to now.

They describe a problem- should you accept an invitation from a colleague? You could think it through methodically, but instead you intuitively empathise with him and your future self if you accept or reject it, and decide quickly. This is fast and slow thinking.

They say depression does not come from past trauma and present stress, but from skewed visions of what lies ahead. You overestimate risk, predict failure and rejection, and fail to imagine positive outcomes. “Depressed people”- I- withdraw socially and become paralyzed by exaggerated self-doubt. It is always eerie to read about yourself.

We consider the information which will be useful to us. Animals were more interested in unfamiliar experiences than familiar ones, because they want to understand future options and possibilities. Considering the future is the brain’s “default” mode, and in breaks in current tasks, we shift to working on that. We will all die, but few spend time thinking about that because we can’t do anything about it.

I learned very young that I am worthless, and that all my instincts are wrong. I then had years of ghastly experiences at work, where I was under threat I could not combat, and in fights I could not win. I was bullied, made to doubt myself even more, and then trashed, repeatedly.

So what I have been doing here is a patient re-evaluation of myself. I am a good person. I like myself. I mean well. My desires are good, and their fulfilment worthwhile. My desires and characteristics are not what I have been taught they ought to be. I am loveable. This patient reimagining- This, not That, will make me happy, This is who I am, This is how people see me- is necessary as a foundation for going out into the World, imagining a worthwhile goal and a route to its achievement, and taking that route. And my fast thinking often leads to wrong, over-pessimistic conclusions, because it is based on false understandings- they hate and despise me therefore I had better not go there.

Unfortunately bad experiences in the present reinforce my pessimism. Getting kicked out of Wellingborough Quaker meeting makes me think everyone hates me and I will never work out how to be winsome. And the news is dreadful: the Tories are likely to win the next election, and continue attacking out-groups- immigrants, benefit claimants, queers may be next- as a way of consolidating their power. They are enthusiastically working to damage the economy and the 99% with Brexit and job prospects get poorer.

The future has never seemed real to me. If I can survive the next couple of months, I am happy as I can be. “Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?” has always been meaningless. I remember looking at a welfare rights worker, older than me, with the council, and thinking, it will be like now, but slightly worse. I can accept intellectually that a pension is a good thing to have, say, or imagine myself as an old person- seeing them walking unsteadily, seeming so weak, creeps me out- but it does not seem real to me. I don’t know how this is for others. For me it is all about surviving now.

And still, there are possibilities, and trust and respect for myself might help me see them.

New York Times, We aren’t built to live in the moment.

Positive Psychology has three central concerns: positive emotions, positive individual traits, and positive institutions. Understanding positive emotions entails the study of contentment with the past, happiness in the present, and hope for the future. Understanding positive individual traits consists of the study of the strengths and virtues, such as the capacity for love and work, courage, compassion, resilience, creativity, curiosity, integrity, self-knowledge, moderation, self-control, and wisdom.

National Pantsuit Day

These women are angry.

There are stories of buying cars. A woman tells that she went with her husband to the car showroom. The salesman asked her husband how he could help.

-My wife is here to buy a car.
-How nice. (To the husband) What kind of car is she looking for?

-Nothing here, it seems, she said, and walked out.

Not just cars, but sledgehammers- “What size is he looking for?” the assistant asks the lone woman; drills- “Is it a gift?” “No, it’s for me”; and jack posts to raise up floor joists, to work in the crawl space: her husband told the clerk, “Hey, ask her. It’s her project, I have no idea.”

There are stories of pantsuits. (Trouser suits, in case you didn’t know.) A woman’s boss asked her to wear skirts to work. She said her trousers are more expensive, more fashionable and more professional than the skirts in the office.

There are stories of sexual harassment. In some cases, the man could have ruined the woman’s career, like the judge who wrote a scathing, clearly personal opinion about a prosecutor in a legal proceeding, which might have led her to appear before the bar council, because she had resisted his advances. She had sat beside him on a plane for five hours, while he insisted on talking, and repeatedly asked her out.

There are work discrimination stories- getting lower paid jobs than male graduates with poorer degrees, asked “Can you type?” and being given admin tasks, being called by the husband’s name- “Mrs John Doe”!-  why should a woman change her name?

One woman has been working with a therapist for two years to recognise and allow her anger. She saw a Trump sign in her street, and felt extreme rage towards it, like her anger in her marriage. Trump is the archetypal narcissistic abusive male, but she says your anger may be inspired by others. Women here are supportive: one quotes “Now is your time to lean”, to turn to those who love you and will support you. “You deserve to be loved and respected.” It’s good to recognise and express that anger: men’s anger is allowed to transform, but women’s anger is repressed, one says. It turns inward and becomes depression, and women can struggle with anger and depression for years. (As do I.) Anger at Trump helped one to connect to her anger at her husband, who quoted St Paul to demand her obedience. Recognising the necessity of repression frees her from self-judgment.

Trump, despicable himself, is a symbol for women of their outrage at male abusers. This is the obverse of voting for the qualified, committed, principled woman likely to become president. One says this abominable man could bring women together to express our anger at how we have been treated all our lives.

Pantsuit Day is 8 November. I hope it will be pantsuit day on 9th November too, and thereafter.

Anger and depression I know well, and would like to get beyond them. In the fifth circle of Dante’s Inferno, At the surface of the foul Stygian marsh, Dorothy L. Sayers writes, “the active hatreds rend and snarl at one another; at the bottom, the sullen hatreds lie gurgling, unable even to express themselves for the rage that chokes them.”

Right now I am choked like that.

It is not a good way to be.

Feeling good

It was definitely my right of way on the roundabout. That car should have given way to me. It was approaching quickly, but it would slow down- however perhaps the driver did not see me at first, and I looked to my left seeing it bearing down on me. Had he not slowed down, he might have clipped my back wheel- as it was I escaped unscathed. I considered sharing my feelings with the pedestrian just beyond the roundabout- relief, anger, fear, bewilderment- but he did not look the empathetic type, so I did not.

Then I got home, glistening all over with sweat in the heat, and felt Wonderful. It could have been the weather, exercise, narrow escape from injury or anticipating lunch with Liz.

I have been feeling down. It could be the bitterness and falsehood of the Referendum campaign- neither leave nor remain feel like powerful choices. I was thinking of my job interview on Thursday:

-Do you want the job?
-No, you B*****ds, f*** you, give it to someone else, see if I care

-caring too much-

when I switched on my phone, and picked up the voicemail message from yesterday. The interview panel wanted to know where I was. I had checked how to get to Birmingham this morning, looked at Helen’s email to find where it was. I looked at the email again: it clearly says the interview is Tuesday (yesterday) not Thursday. I don’t know how I made that mistake. I feel utterly miserable. I am in a dreadful situation and cannot trust myself with the simplest thing to improve it. I cried.

I call the Samaritans. “I wanted someone to talk to.” “We’re not a chat-line,” Eve said. And I feel anger and resentment and I say something sarky,

and amazingly I feel energised, really good. Wow. What is that? Anger at you energises me- “Correlation is not causation, as they say”. I don’t know that it is that which causes it-

She would not say that. She has not heard it before. Well, some say post hoc ergo propter hoc. It should really be post hoc non ergo propter hoc.

What is causing this buzzing on the landline? To me it sounds loud, she hardly hears it. The landline has been buzzing for weeks. It could be the adsl filter, I unplug the modem-

and the buzzing continues. And I feel dreadful again. I cannot even deal with this!

The heart of my depression is lack of motivation. I cannot improve my situation: anything I attempt I will just do badly and fail. Not judging myself so harshly might do some good; so might behavioural activation. I have cleaned off some of the ingrained grime from my bathroom floor, which I have not properly cleaned for years. And I scrub at the wee black spots on the linoleum, and think, It is an improvement. Value all the improvement. It does not need to be perfect. And I do a bit, then stop, then go back to it. I have swept the hallway too.

And now I have phoned BT about the landline. There is a fault on the line, and they will deal with it. How last century, to have a BT landline! Well, I find it useful, for some things-

Signac, 1890

Joy and pain

Joy and pain are constant intertwined…

I phoned up the Samaritans, and said I am depressed. “People say that’s not important, but it is important, it matters very much indeed” prosed the woman. We’ve got a right one ere, I thought. I told her I had been playing Beethoven. The Adagio from the sonata op.2 no.3 is gorgeous, like a Bach prelude filtered through a nightmare, or LSD. Played professionally, it sings in perfect darkness while the tension tightens from unbearable to excruciating.

Beethoven! she said. Oh, how lovely! That’ll make you feel better! Oh, he was wonderful! So much lovely music! How wonderful that you can play the piano and make yourself feel happier!

I agreed Beethoven was one of the great human beings. I told her she sounded a lovely person, and it had cheered me up to speak to her, and wonder whether she would be told to shut up, listen, and not tell people what to think.

I did not meet Richard this morning as he called to cancel as he is depressed. I am, too. It is sunny. I must go for a walk in the sunshine. That will make me feel better.

D stood at AM on Sunday to share his cunning plan, twice. The question was whether the Cornwall interest in decriminalisation of drug possession is a religiously based concern, and if so whether BYM or our AM should do anything about it. Instead, people want to discuss drugs policy. D had his brilliant idea from the University chaplaincy: with a small child who is upset he would lead it away and interest it in some other pastime, and similarly with addicts we should produce something to engage their interest. Alright as far as it goes, which is not far.

I felt depressed, and it seemed to me that my resistance made it worse. I am ashamed of it. I am wrong. I must end it. Instead, I thought, go with it. It just is. My thoughts of what I ought to do to make it better miss the mark: instead, what do I want to do? I wait for inspiration to rise from unconsciousness.

I kneel in my ritual space, and weep. I have not been silent there for months. Then I consulted again, and decided to play the piano. I want to analyse this, to come to an understanding and explain it to a Samaritan, but find she wants to do the talking, and I am clear enough anyway. Acceptance is the key.  It is nearly midday. I decided to shower. Then, though it is a little early, I decide to have lunch.

What I want to do then is that job application. The closing date is tomorrow. It is strange. I want to do it. If I told myself I should do it, it would feel quite different. I have the energy I need to do the thing I decide to do, if only I decide unconsciously rather than by ratiocination. I complete it, then I lose it.

I had saved the attachments to a zip file, and so when I save the completed form it goes in a temp file. It appears to have disappeared: I look through lists of files, I search for it, I check recent open files- nothing. Miserable, cursing and weeping I google for ways to find it and start writing it again, not as well.

I found it, eventually, after trying various things. And now, I feel good. I want to understand. I can’t understand. Anything. At all. Yet it’s OK, just for now.

Bosch, Ecce Homo

The perfect me

How are you?
Ah. You’re nearly crying. This is a big thing for you. Actually, this is a big thing.
What are your options? What do you want?

I had thought of cycling into Swanston to the fruit stall and the cycle shop. The weather forecast was sunny in the morning, cloudy with a chance of rain in the afternoon. This bike was considerably harder to pedal than the other, it took 20% longer to get back from K on Friday. Then I checked the tyre pressure, it is below ten psi.

It is nice to cycle in the sunshine. I like that fruit stall. Pump the tyres up. Would it be easier with road tyres? Get a foot pump?

Late waking up, hard getting myself going. Breakfast then deal with it? What about TV with breakfast? I watch Person of Interest ep. 4.11, a guilty pleasure. The UK is a year behind its broadcast. This starts poorly- the guns fire, the mooks fall- but ends up thought-provoking and moving. Especially the kiss. So now it’s 10.30. What now?

The options are, pump up the tyres, go to the cycle shop and investigate options- road tyres, slime, harder tyres- I have discussed this and thought about it in greater detail than I wish to explain to you-
go for a walk in the sunshine
stay sitting here, with more quality trash TV- Gotham: Wrath of the Villains. I have all those subtitled dramas and BBC4 Art documentaries recorded, I will get round to them later.

I have never met the other me, but had an inkling of her before. She does the right thing, all the time, and likes it. She was there when winning tribunals I thought We are unworthy servants, we have only done our duty and losing I was miserable and angry with myself. I did not realise it, but it was she to whom I compared myself. Be perfect, as your Heavenly Father is perfect.

And now, I have all the time in the world. Always more time, as when I was only procrastinating. I could be her, producing the perfect ET1, questionnaire or submission,

Fuck! Middle aged barrister, the difference in fire-power was so extreme the tribunal was standing up for me a bit, he growled a bit then showed his claws… God, that was a humiliating day, one more

except I never could be, having written it it would be crap.

I could be like her, now, the perfect me, doing the obvious thing to sort my transportation problems, or just walking, which should be pleasanter and is clearly better for me than slumping before the telly.

Or I could blog about it

She, being weightless, skims over the surface
I wade through mud, resenting it
At least I now have sympathy for myself, no longer screaming GET UP GET ON WITH IT

Bronzino, Palazzo Vecchio

At bay

Stuff. You know.

Stag at bay, James Ford

Don’t worry about a problem, worry at it, said Ian Fleming. Three varied issues today get me worried. I am blogging, so I don’t know yet if I will tell you what any of them are. One I can’t do anything about yet, but may sort to my satisfaction eventually. One I could at least check with a phone call or email. One I should probably start phoning about.

Or I could phone a friend and talk it through or express my feelings. Or meditate, where I find that I find my feelings. Instead I am in my avoidance behaviour. I am not quite worrying about because I block out. I don’t phone H as I usually do each evening.

I am the rabbit in the headlights, terrified into stillness. Outside me, stuff goes on. I will not deal with it this way, and it just gets bigger as I put it off. Avoidance behaviour includes obsessive checking of blog stats: I have eight posts and pages each with over a thousand views, nine more with over five hundred, fifty two with over one hundred, which posts and pages are approaching these landmarks? Though when I write my blog it is more like the spiritual practice of journalling.

Stuff. You know. I withdraw. I worry about it not at it. I worry more and more, do the avoidance behaviour, and beat myself up a bit- when the going gets tough, the tough get going, I rebuke myself sternly. Does this analysis do any good?

I have just found an email I might use, and stored it in a more accessible place. Doing something towards one of these matters. One step at a time.

This illustrates my most common internal battle of the last two years. One part, seeming rational, worries about what to do, works out things to do, nags me to do them. Other bit checks the statistics on a particular post, again, or sits numb.

The rabbit in the headlights is what you do when you are damaged. Well, I am damaged.

Oh! It feels like chewing over an old thing, not getting further. The nag and the sulk. No, I don’t want to face my problems. No, I don’t want to go out or call people, or even go to bed where I will lie awake worrying. I want a distraction, which is the root of most addictive behaviour.

Are You in the Driving Seat of Your Life? That’s a good metaphor. “I feel like I’m locked in the boot” was a cartoon response. That’s “trunk” for my American readers. “Depression, anxiety and panic attacks are not a sign of weakness. They are signs of having tried to remain strong for so long,” said a meme a man I might contact about one of these matters shared.

No, I did not tell you, did I.

rabbit

Seeing

Delving, down, down...

Stalactites - Treak Cliff Cavern

Down through the inverts and the perverts, the outsiders and the disgusting folk. Down through loathing and condemnation and mockery and derision and disgust. Down through my own disgust and desperation, to appear normal and to blend in. DOWN through pitiful attempts at collaboration- “I may be weird, but I am not as weird as that lot”- and justification- “It’s a medical condition!” Down, until at last we reach the Secondary Transsexual, a fruitful object for examination.

There is a certain tinge of self-pity, resentment and bitterness here, but bear with me.

 ♥♥♥

No, on second thoughts, don’t. I started this intending to go on in the same vein, about how even some queers called me queer (in a bad way), radfem lesbians who say I am a man, etc, etc, an oppressor and beneficiary of male privilege-

Oops. Er, Wait. This really is depressive thinking. It is so easy to get into it. It feels so rational and calm to write about all the difficulties, the-

Spotting it is a good thing. I want to replace it.

 ♥♥♥

It is a practice, then. Sit down, work it out, decide on it, accept it, think it. Even feel it, eventually, so that this gets easier.

I experience far more acceptance than rejection.
The rejection does not harm me except insofar as it is my own.
I have a right to my harmless proclivities.
Self-acceptance increases self-perception.
Generally, acceptance increases perception.

And- it is difficult. It is not something I can decide to do and just think I do. It is a habit I need to get into.

 ♥♥♥

O God, I do not want to be this feminine, I really don’t, it feels like life would be so much easier if I were otherwise, and I wonder if it is personality disorder rather than innate, if I may escape it in some way- and I might be better rolling with it than resisting it. Cliché feminine, feminine in a bad way, so unfitting to my body and my ageing face- and if I sometimes glimpse beauty in it I see always this terrible weakness- how can I look after myself, when I am so alone?

Rhinocéros grotte Chauvet