Narratives

Truth [is] what we cannot change; metaphorically, it is the ground on which we stand and the sky that stretches above us.

And yet, the totality of facts and events is unascertainable. Who says what is always tells a story, and in this story the particular facts lose their contingency and acquire some humanly comprehensible meaningSorrow, joy and bliss become bearable and meaningful for men only when they can talk about them and tell them as a story.

I tell stories about my life. So do you. Possibly, with Krishnamurti I should just forget them. Why am I happy now? Because of X. Ah. That gives me an understanding, I can file it away. I know what is going on. I can remember that happiness later: it was caused by X. And if X also caused that misery, possibly the learning was worthwhile, possibly it is time to cease pursuing X.

Decisions are emotional not rational. It is like jars filling up with cumulative water droplets, and eventually one overflows and I must do X. Then I can tell a story about it. X was obviously the only thing I could ever have done, for these reasons. The story helps me accept what I have chosen, pacifies and calms my remaining resistance.

It is an end to thinking of the matter. I have thought enough. Or it is an attempt to end thinking; unconsciously, my resentment grows.

What we cannot change- so, what ought to be is meaningless and impossible and worthless. Ought is a damaging fantasy, because though you cannot make is from ought, it can make you disbelieve or resent what is. But what is includes what might be, what is possible, all the changes I can make.

I have read Truth and Politics by Hannah Arendt, and consider her thought that feelings become bearable when part of a narrative relates only to the conscious mind, thinking in language. The feeling of terror feels overwhelming until I accept and welcome it. What is overwhelming is its demand to be recognised, not the feeling itself. It fits Now. And then, it does not fit Now, so it goes away, unless I cling on to it, perhaps by questioning it or saying I ought not to have been terrified. Or I tell stories about it.

I can gain an understanding of feelings, at the price of them always being with me. Telling stories about my past might pacify my feelings- it’s alright, my honey, love, it’s alright, my poppet- but distances me from them; and they lurk, underneath, always liable to burst out, which is the constant failure. No game is enough to control my feelings.

Trying to use words, and every attempt
Is a wholly new start, and a different kind of failure
Because one has only learnt to get the better of words
For the thing one no longer has to say, or the way in which
One is no longer disposed to say it.

And- X may happen again! I will be terrified, again!

Words are so useful. Speech impels us… to urge the mind to aftersight and foresight. I think of what might be though probably won’t, because it will never be that bad again. I imagine the fear I would feel. Then I am afraid of fear, afraid of feeling fear and being powerless.

Yet normally I am not powerless; and powerlessness has to be bearable.

olga-boznanska-self-portrait

New year’s irresolution

I have my life just about perfect, just about how I would want it. How can I make it better in 2017?

Ways which I have imagined would improve it may not. An example: yesterday I went to Mind, the mental health charity. There we were doing a positive psychology craft task, with little difficulty and maximum gentle affirmation, and one of we service users said how sad she was at the change in meaning of the word “gay”. It used to mean joyous or colourful. It has been twisted.

I am quite clear that such a remark should be challenged. It is homophobic. An exact analogy is a racist remark, like, “I hate to walk down that street. It’s as if I am in a foreign country, I’m the only white person there and they’re all speaking foreign.” I understand the distress; yet that is saying to people- you should not be here. To the gay person- You should pretend to be straight. You should act normal. You should not be you.

I deflected. “Yes,” I said. “‘Gay’ now means mediocre or third rate, which is a horrible meaning.” I am pretty sure she meant she disliked ‘gay’ meaning ‘homosexual’. And- they did not challenge her, even though I was there, obviously queer, and the manager is gay, and he was there. The third sector should promote diversity and challenge homophobia, because I should not have to pretend to be someone else so that other people can be comfortable.

Perhaps they did not want to drive away a service user. Stats means Funding, which really matters. So, either she is more important to them than I am, or they think I can cope with homophobia better than she can cope with challenge. The manager was sitting beside me and his underlings fawned on him a bit and none of them said anything. He’s Gay! What were they thinking?

What bothers me in this incident is not that the woman’s homophobia frightens or hurts me, but that

That’s not supposed to happen!

I know the rules! I know how these mental health workers are supposed to respond in these situations, and they just didn’t! Everything’s going along just fine, and then out of the blue- something unexpected happens. And therefore unwelcome.

I might say, how can I improve my life? A little more variety, more human contact, is what I am supposed to want. So says the culture; most people would agree; it makes sense to me; yet when I go somewhere which should be supportive and non-threatening, where I know what to expect, something I did not expect happens!

 ♥♥♥

My life is just as I want it. I have control. A little more money would be nice. I would have the heating on more. But I am not cold, I wrap up in a sleeping bag. Pride, shame and amour propre might have a role here. I am a pig satisfied, and the alternative is not Socrates dissatisfied, but someone houseproud and concerned with appearances dissatisfied. I want to understand, and I continue using my analytical mind to consider whether homophobia should be challenged or what makes my life good.

I am houseproud only vestigially. Sometimes I act, because it seems possible I could make things better. I take pleasure, yesterday, in having bought a sink plunger and unblocked my bathroom basin, clogged with soap and used toothpaste, with it. The basin now drains quickly. It might stay clean longer after I clean it, so I may muster the motivation to clean it. I have been thinking about this for ages, resenting how it was blocked, and messing about with boiling water. Will a plunger not just shift a blockage further down the pipes, causing worse problems later?

I like analysis. I have spent a happy hour pacing the floor, agonising over all this, before starting to write. I am happy now, writing. I knew sink plungers unblock sinks, yet analysed and cogitated for weeks.

So I might say,

Taking action is the solution!

But what if something went wrong, or what I expected did not happen?

Or,

Letting go of control is the solution!

But why, if that can make me so unhappy?

 ♥♥♥

I have seen worse, in home visits, or in student flats- one had half full coffee cups, which after a week developed a mouldy scum- but those are the kind of home visits we use for stories. There were fish and chip wrappers left on the floor!

Ew!

My house is not that bad, but-

I have control! I feel some boredom and frustration, but little anger or fear. I have limited human contact, little motivation. If I tidy my house it will only get untidy again.

I am dissatisfied because I am thinking about it, and in that sense I am closer to Socrates than the pig- and Socrates had Diotima and slaves to do the housework.

Never mind how or why that homophobic incident upsets me, it does. It is an example of so much human interaction, from the rare to the quotidian, from my oral hearing before the Social Security Commissioner to those who-shall-give-way dances as we walk along the street. So- retreat! Avoid those interactions, and you avoid distress!

I will not go out because the culture tells me, or I imagine, that I ought to want to. You see! I did what I was supposed to want to do, and it was Awful! I met a homophobe! And yet, I am frustrated and bored. Something better may be possible.

Two more thoughts on pleasure and desire. I ate a plum just now. I gave it my attention, and it was beautiful; yet I do not want to be eating all the time. And, I had a vaginoplasty because it was what I wanted, more than anything else in the world. Now I regret it, thinking a penis might have its uses. Desire is not a reliable guide to satisfaction.

My life is as I have made it, and it is good, right now. It pleases me. And my mind is at work: could it please me better?

breslau-la-toilette

Cheerfulness

Be of good cheer. Let cheerfulness become a climate that surrounds you, day in, day out … a constant undercurrent. On the surface you may be doing anything, but deep down there should be a singing heart. Unless you can remain cheerful, life is bound to become heavier everyday … the only thing that can keep you flowing is cheerfulness. So don’t miss an opportunity; whenever you can, laugh, smile, dance, sing … Then a miracle happens one day: you become so full of light that you can go into darkness and the darkness disappears. You become so cheerful that you can go into sadness and the sadness starts laughing.
– Osho

On Sunday 21st I was in a state of misery and terror. I felt not grounded: not knowing anything, not able to know anything, my not knowing a threat to my well-being so that I could not care for myself. I thought, these feelings will pass, and answered myself- only because I blot them out! They are the rational response to the situation!

What brought it on? I knew my friend was just not that interested in me. We would have gone for a drink but she had no time. Then I phoned G for a chat and found they had been together. Possibly something around not-knowing:

there are these feminist arguments for or against innate differences between the sexes, and I would like to argue for differences- but feel unable. I would face too much hostility. I argued against. It seemed clear to me. Then I read evidence for- and am just confused. So much on the web is people so certain, and I can’t be. Cis people are arguing about me, and trans folk butting in face such hostility! I should ignore it, but it is on places I go. So the ungroundedness.

I was read as lower class. I was in the coffee shop, dressed for cycling, and picked up The Guardian. “Would you like this?” said a man, offering me The Express. No, I like papers with a higher reading-comprehension level. “No thanks, I’m left wing,” I said. I phoned the Samaritans, and he said “You’re clearly highly educated and intelligent” early in the call, just after

-Is there a name I can call you?
-Clare
and I felt his surprise, and conscious readjustment

Or, it’s small child again. The monster will get me. Imminent death.

I wasn’t in the terror when I phoned. The worst had passed, and I felt tired and fragile. Seeing it like weather helps some people- don’t go out when it’s raining too hard. It isn’t always raining. I felt I would always have to battle through the rain.

I am so lonely. Contact on the net is no substitute. I want to feel useful- but then, in work I did not always either, I was following procedures rather than doing anything worthwhile. Walking in the park, I feel moments of delight in beauty- but am unsure I like the experience of the whole walk. Or, sometimes, biting into a peach-

I am aware of the mindfulness theory, that such moments are available continuously. I want them to be. Is it my judgment, accepting or resisting in the moment, rather than the thing itself?

Monet Poplars Epte in Autumn

I hate myself

Googling “I hate myself”, with quotes, produces 902,000 responses. Images are dark with text like “I lie I cut I’m a terrible person I’m lonely” and “Everyone is better prettier skinnier funnier than me”. I am unsure what to make of “I hate myself but that’s OK”.

We kill ourselves because we hate ourselves. I wonder how common it is? Trigger warning, below, for sexual violence- the actual text is minimised and there is a further warning.

I loathe the first entry on Google. Figure out what you CAN change and do it!

If you don’t like something about yourself that you can actually change, start to do that today. Maybe you don’t like your weight you can start eating properly, and getting exercise TODAY! Has he any idea how difficult people find dieting, and what comfort people get from eating? Possibly they could find better comfort in exercise, the runner’s high, but they need to know the mechanism. It is not so simple. The next suggestion, find out what friends and family value about you, is better.

How common is self-loathing? According to Psychology for Everyday Life, most of us. It tells us to challenge our Inner Critic.

Liz Jones hated herself and found herself inadequate despite being a successful writer who went to receptions at the House of Commons. “My male side has retreated, meaning people don’t respect me.” Useful information for trans women. When she had just started primary school, some older boys

trigger warning for sexual violence: highlight to reveal text

pushed her into the boy’s loos, stripped her and repeatedly kicked her.

Would that-

I feel that hating myself performs a useful function. It holds me in restraint. This could be useful for any number of people- first my parents, then bosses, anyone but me.

I felt decades ago that I was at war with myself, that I pulled in different directions.

I wonder if saying “I hate myself” is a superficial, emotional reaction for some people. You get upset, you feel you have made a mistake, you hate yourself. Then there is the deep, settled, constant loathing.

Hello.

It sits under consciousness, manifesting as anxiety and depression, sometimes surfacing as the inner critic- manifesting that control for the behoof of others-

I want to see it and recognise it.

I hate myself. I hate my reactions, my responses, my weakness, my hiding and running away, my failures.

Perhaps it comes from not being loved as a baby.

Hello, back.

Yes. It has been so difficult, terrifying, enraging. All that feeling which is so hard to admit, which is shit me.

I want to pay that respect. It has served a function. It has been so strong. All that pent up rage. I wonder if I can loosen it: talk to it, calmly and reasonably: make friends with it, because it is part of me.

Blake the mission of virgil- inferno

After the Gender clinic

This is a serious Trans post, which will give all my other fans warm fuzzies about Self-Acceptance and Personal Growth, even though the title is yet again click-bait for t-central. After counselling, I went to the Tate.

I loved Sculpture Victorious, and after eating my packed lunch in the sunshine went for a tour. The Tate is deserted for the Chelsea Flower Show, and I talk back to the guide: she asked if I was an art student, I don’t think sarcastically. We end with the base of a crucifixion:

Triptych base of a crucifixion

-You know about Francis Bacon?
-Didn’t he write “No man is an island entire unto himself”? I am on a roll today.

She gives her interpretation, then I give mine. “I want to give an LGBT interpretation.” There he was, Out when it was really dangerous, a Sodomite or Invert because “Gay” had not been coined, a “promiscuous homoSEKKKKS-ual” inspiring disgust in right-thinking people, who would fail to see his courage, and deny his humanity. These are self-portraits. They are he, they are I, blind, screaming, yet Not cowering away. They stand there and face outwards. I will not hide, or run.

Bacon said he wanted to paint mouths like Monet painted sunsets, she says, and if you look at the layering of the paint you will see he did just that. His father was an army officer, who threw him out of the house, so he went to Paris and lived with a sugar-daddy, she tells us.

She sends us off to see more Bacon. I am not sure this was the one she had in mind:

Bacon Triptych August 1972

25 years later, these may also be self-portraits. To me, they are all in the moment of orgasm. Pools of ejaculate cover the floor! Again, he says, I AM HERE but in a more joyous manner, though still with something which a day ago I would have seen as twisted monstrousness. No longer.

She had said that in 1947 people hated the triptych, and I understand. Looking at a work of art or reading a novel I like to sympathise with the subject. Knowing that it will be impossible for normal people to sympathise, he flings this ugliness in their faces. I Love him, and I love these creatures.

Arted-out, I walk to the Tube. I told Serra that I want to fear less, but no: I want to fear more! I want to rejoice, exult, luxuriate in my fear, let it effervesce in me, for it is my vulnerable Power. Part of this is because of Mrs Mounter, whom the guide showed us. I see in her fear and confusion, yet she looks out at us or the artist, resigned. There is self-respect and even authority there.

On the train I chat to Izzie, who is 25 and teaches PE at a fee-paying school. She tells me how facilities in state schools are really poor, and how her class sizes are 15 tops. She has had a job interview which lasted from 9-5 the previous day. She got fed up telling different people the same things, but is not fatigued because she resides in the pupils’ living quarters, so is always on duty. Her best sport is netball, her worst tennis. She is not bad at Badminton, because like netball it requires a loose wrist.

At the bus stop four women and I pet a pretty, friendly staffordshire bull terrier cross, and chat to her owner. So much connection!

At the Gender clinic

To Charing Cross Hospital, to see my psychotherapist. Serra is a psychologist, who starts by taking a history: how do I feel? How have I felt?

Right now, wonderful. I met Ian on the train, and he told me a lovely story about increasing confidence in his daughter, who is 22. He is married to a Quaker, meditates with her, and proposed that we meditate together. With my eyes closed I was aware of the young grandmother’s banter with the toddler, and my passing thoughts, so varied, so unimportant. The train was over half full, and I asked someone to move to a vacant seat so we could sit together: I would not have had the courage to do that, at one time, but the man moved readily. I asked Ian what his mantra was, but he could not tell me, as that is part of the Rules and Ritual which give it meaning. He got it from the London School of Meditation, who will give him a new one when it wears out. As we walked through St Pancras, its bricks appeared brighter.

The waiting room contrasts with Serra’s. The whining air conditioning irritates. I eye up the bonny young trans men. The receptionists are disdainful: after, one asks me to wait for an appointment letter for next time, but finishes other work before printing it for me. I think of that Trans Privilege conversation: a week ago I saw it from H’s point of view, and now do not. I am twenty minutes early, and she is ten minutes late starting.

Serra is about forty. Her left eyelid droops: her right eye is on me all the time, but when her left eye looks up at me it has all the force of sudden eye-contact. She is friendly in a brisk, professional way. At the gender clinic, I can say “I have come to terms with autogynephilia. I don’t believe it, but I don’t need it to be untrue,” and “I have come to terms with how feminine I am, and how femme-phobic I have been,” and have that just accepted. She agrees with me about my trans privilege conversation that this is not privilege, and notes (with approval?) my comment “I did not see her and she did not see me”. I tell her of my Blessing. This will continue. She clarifies- I am unsure of the distinction between “will” and “shall”, but I am predicting, not stating a grim intention to cling on.

My main problem is that I am work-shy, or phobic. I had a series of difficult experiences (I said that to other-H, and she said “Doesn’t everyone?” I wanted more sympathy)

-Do I have to give the details?
-Tell me how you felt.
-I have to give the details. So I do. I felt angry, frustrated, out of control, frightened. Her face shows sympathy, twisting in pain at one point. This is a contrast to psychotherapy in 1998, when I found it difficult to recognise feelings and the man refused to treat further, saying the risk to my defences was too great. And I can be confrontational.

Do I want to come again? Yes. Eventually, I am tearful, but not too much. She asks me to set goals, which is a lot easier than last time:

  • To be less frightened
  • To support myself
  • To make a contribution

We will set more goals, she says.

I go to the Tate.

Acceptance XLVI

I cannot accept the world unless I accept myself.

Having retreated from the world, little affects me. That was why I did it. I was befuddled and frustrated by work, so I gave up. Liz volunteers in a place with paid workers. She hears them complain about changes to their working patterns, and wishes they could just accept those changes. They might even embrace and enjoy those particular changes as Liz would- they involve working with children.

A change to my experience of WordPress angered and frightened me. Does that seem an extreme reaction? Well, I feel my anger was proportionate, of short duration. I started fearful thought of how it could presage further, even worse changes, and then started thinking of how I could cope with those changes.

As I felt my anger and fear, in the moment after the first stimulus of them, I judged myself. Anger and fear is a totally disproportionate reaction, I told myself sternly. (No wonder you can’t go out sometimes.) Whereas I can cope with changes to routine, if I gently explain them to myself. Part of my (over) reaction is bad experiences of change in the past.

First, I must accept my own reaction. It too will pass.

 ♥♥♥

My childhood way of Acceptance gets in the way. It was to suppress anger and fear and Get On With It. Mother Unhappy! Danger! Work out what she wants immediately and do it. However I felt about that in the moment would get in the way, then. My anger and fear made her unhappy and stopped me thinking through the right response. So I feared my anger and fear, which made my experience of them more painful.

In childhood that did the job. Now I have suppressed feeling too long and cannot suppress any more; and my feelings are a useful tool for perception. I know the current state is not eternal: these feelings and state of unknowing will pass. (I just have to realise that, in the moment.)

Chronic stress happens when stressors come along too quickly to deal with one before feeling the next. That was my experience most of the time I was working.

I feel there is a lesson here, and I want to be able to articulate it. Part of it is in my first sentence. If I accept how I react emotionally and trust the process, remembering such lessons as “This too shall pass”, I will be happier and better able to deal with the stressor.

Evelyn de Morgan, Cassandra

Affirmation IV

I am as I am because I am traumatised.

I could trot out my stories again, to try to persuade you- that is, persuade myself- that it really was that bad, that anyone in these circumstances would be this hurt. But that does not matter. If any person of more than minimal resilience could bear my burdens, hardly noticing them, they have still overwhelmed me. However strong I was, I have been overwhelmed.

Now, having self-respect for the first time, I no longer deny my trauma. “Get up, get up, Get On With It!” cried the inner critic, and I reply that I would if I could. I had a lovely time this morning: I cycled in the sunshine to Swanston for tea with Richard, who complained that the OED has accepted the “wrong” use of the word “refute” to mean “deny”. I can cope with complex human interaction.

These stories: serious threat of loss of funding and job; bullying and failure; failure; failure and loss of funding and job; failure. Ah, that’s interesting. Thinking of this post, I was planning to talk about various unpleasantnesses, but I am quite happy in certain social situations and even with Quakers. However I am quite literally work-shy, though that term is a pejorative, rarely or never thought to be a mental condition. The thought of going into an office, paid or voluntary, or starting the kind of project I used to undertake puts me into avoidance behaviour. I called this post “Affirmation” and thought of writing about how I was going to self-care by seeking out social situations. This realisation changes things.

I am Abigail.
I have been badly hurt.
I will care for,
nurture
and value myself
as best I see how.
 ♥♥♥

And then, something wonderful, and passing strange.

I am- upset. Sad, and likely to weep, without knowing why. And-

part of me-

asks, What is it? Something existential about my whole life, or some small matter just today?

That- part- is not unsympathetic, but still misses the mark. It is like a man seeing his wife crying, and asking “What’s wrong?” However kindly meant, his intention to find the cause of the problem and fix it is not right, in the moment.

I think of Robert Holden’s mirror exercise. “I am willing to make today the best/happiest day of my life.” Perhaps “let be” might be better than “make”. I want to let go of judgment as to what “best” might look like. What

part of me-

is doing the making?
In the shower, again. I permit the feeling of upsetness. Then,

Another part of me!
A wonderful part of me!
Beauty and Delight

in the upsetness
starts saying

I

I

I- I- I- I- I- 

I- AM! I- AM!

feeling the upsetness
permitting the upsetness

I am!

I- beauty and delight- repeat

I am

feeling the upsetness, then joy, and finally singing it, to a simple I , , , V , , , IV , , , V , , , … chord progression, bass line and descant, dancing to it….

I Am
is the only affirmation I need

Boldini, profile of a young woman

Fear and courage

Why should going to the supermarket need courage?

I am in my best ever state of self-acceptance; femininity is OK. I am still entrapped by fear of the world and despair. Leaving my front door can take courage.

Well, what could go wrong?

Something completely dreadful, inexplicable, incomprehensible, could strike out of the blue, and I would die. At least I would be humiliated and crushed beyond repair.

Clearly, I am back in very small child territory. The monster will get me. I am doing my thing, and suddenly THE ANGRY MOTHER appears, and the bottom falls out of my world. I can only approach safety by only doing exactly what she wants, and I cannot always work out what that is. Better to do nothing than cause (for I am responsible) her anger. So I did. My life was constrained by her complete control.

Anything I want to do is equally dangerous.

Oh Wow. That is completely mindblowing. Here am I writing and I wish I could convey to you how I feel. It means that

if I can go to the supermarket,
then I can do Anything!

Or, to put it another way, the false barrier in my own head is the same for whatever action I might want to perform. If I can distinguish it from rational considerations and predictions of what might happen which I can produce as a rational adult, then I can gently pacify that hurting child.

It seems to be affected by my confidence level. When I lack confidence, perhaps because something bad has happened, I start to feel the monster will get me- perhaps because it feels like it has already. This may be what others call “overwhelm”. Or my procrastination may be exacerbated, because nothing can ever please the Monster. Whatever.

 The monster won't get me. 
There is no monster.

I have been doing some mirror exercises by Robert Holden. The world is your mirror- as you see yourself in the mirror, so you see the world seeing you. We see things not as they are but as we are. The first exercise is to declare to myself in the mirror, “I love you”. Yes. That is a lovely experience. I don’t have any of the self-judgments which others experience, about which Holden warns.

(I will change that. Avoiding putting the preposition at the end of the sentence feels clumsy and wrong. Which Holden warns about. Language is a living thing, and rules change, and I take refuge in this analysis

I’m back. The second exercise is to look in the mirror and say “Life loves you [or, ‘me’]”. Life, Existence, Being, God, whatever, but he says “Life”. Well, I am loveable- and when I say it I feel confused. Not uncomfortable, exactly. I think OK,,, yeah,,,

God loving me could be just me and God in our bubble. Life loving me is the beneficence of the World.

He says, “see if you can find the place where you can accept that life is not criticising or judging you, but is absolutely on your side.” If it is too much, say “Today, I am willing to let life love me”.

Perhaps my confusion is that I do not know what that love might mean. He says it is not about changing the World, but about noticing how the World is.

“Complete the sentence, ‘one way life is loving me today is…’.”

Basic trust is the realisation that you do not have to do life all by yourself. Support is everywhere.

David, 'Madame Récamier'I look in the mirror and say “Life loves me”, and am overcome by anger and misery. Well, it has a fracking awesome way of showing it. All this pain and loneliness! And if it is merely a matter of my “letting the Love in”-

how on Earth am I supposed to do that?

Courage

I am a woman of courage, and I did something courageous today. But first I want to say where I am.

I have lived my life trapped beneath self-contempt so deep that until I was 33 I loathed and denied who I am: I pretended to myself I was something else so hard that I believed it. And I still have contempt for myself, though it lessens.

And in my years as a recluse I have moved from despising my femininity, to celebrating it. What keeps me here is my fear of the world, and my despair. So it would behove me to deal with those, as well as recognising and celebrating my achievement in accepting my own femininity.

I have always felt

that each success was only to be expected
so nothing to be proud of
but each failure was a
DISASTER
again proving beyond doubt my worthlessness.

Not particularly healthy.

One of the gifts of the Hoffman Process was to see how much we follow patterns ingrained in our parents, unfree whether we copy them or rebel. During that week I identified one of my patterns and called it “Shit-hoovering”- collecting stories about how threatening the World is, in order to justify fleeing it. Hoffman says that once one sees the pattern, one is freed and at choice whether to follow it or do something else. Um.

How great my fear is!

So, what was the courageous act? I cycled down to the shop in Marsby for groceries, a two mile round trip.

I was even frightened of that. The inner critic pipes up with the “even”, so I reject it. I was frightened of it. I did not want to go. I did not want to leave my house. I did not want to speak to anyone. So in the shower at 3pm I bigged it up.

Because I fear it, 
This is something 
COURAGEOUS.
It is worthwhile, because it is caring for myself. 
I have denied my courage for too long.
I will celebrate my courage.

Indeed I thought of boasting of it here.

A woman stopped by the kerb to let me pass before she crossed the road, and as I passed her started to sing “I believe I can fly.” The song circled in my mind as I cycled on.

I will celebrate every single ACHIEVEMENT.
I am where I am. 
Monet, Camille