This is a story about insight...
My own perceptions and judgement are very rarely reliable, so I depend on a handful of trusted people whose opinion I value so highly, that if two or more them are in agreement, I will substitute my own firmly held beliefs for theirs.
I can adamantly believe that a certain course of action is the correct one, and be completely unable to understand why anybody would not agree with me, but if two of my trusted inner circle disagree with me, I'll go with their better judgement.
I very often suffer wildly warped perceptions, which cause me suicidal depression and intolerable anxiety, but if two of my trusted inner circle perceive my situation differently - more positively - I will "tread water" in the hope that my own perceptions will move towards a more positive outlook.
My trusted inner circle is not some great reservoir from which to draw as much as I need whenever I need it. Generally, I seek a first preferred opinion and then a second to corroborate. The great paradox of the system is that I quickly make my own unwise decision to eject people from my trusted inner circle, leaving myself woefully short of the independent guidance I heavily rely upon.
Relatively recently, I've ejected three out of four people whose opinion I valued, who live locally. Two others who I'd previously been in regular contact with now have things happening in their personal lives, which puts them "off limits". I worry that my guardian angel's perceptions and judgements can be as warped as mine, so therefore I disregard their opinion, although I value them immensely as a friend. That leaves one person, presently, who can occasionally be relied upon to give me some precious guidance.
When I cast the net wider I have friends all around the world who I never speak to on the phone, and our periods of communication are patchy: sometimes we're in contact, but then there'll be long periods of radio silence. When these people speak up, I listen and respect their opinions, but my life becomes unmanageable: I have too many opinions to consider; too many contradictions; too many platitudes to filter out.
At the moment, a friend from Ireland has been phoning me and that's helped a lot to end one self-destructive aspect of my behaviour. The other person who springs to mind is a friend from New Zealand who's pointed out my repetitive, obsessive, cyclical pattern of behaviour, which I'd noticed myself but would easily ignore if left to my own devices.
The breakneck speed at which I travel, the immutability of my opinions - no matter how ridiculous - and my extremely poor judgement and impaired perceptions, create a toxic combination which leads to terrible decision making and regrettable actions, invariably making situations worse and damaging things beyond the point of repair.
As things stand, I hate where I live - both the place and the apartment - and I hate my job. I feel like my blog is ruined, which was just about the only thing I felt proud of and secure about. I feel like I'll never achieve financial security. I feel like I'll never have the social group and the partner I desperately need to be a secure and happy person. I feel like I'll never be happy. I feel like the stress and anxiety will be with me forever. I feel like there's no hope and that there's no point in anything: no point even trying.
I have enough insight to see that I've completely destabilised myself, by meddling with my brain chemistry and breaking up with my girlfriend. I have enough insight to see that hijacking my blog to grind my axe and expose my obsessive, unhealthy, repetitive, negative thought patterns, is something that would damage the relationship with my readers and particularly those who actively support me via social media. I have enough insight to see that becoming unwell has damaged the 'golden boy' image I had at work, which gave me a great deal of pride and security.
Despite that, the wind has gone out of my sails, and I genuinely believe everything is ruined. I don't feel like I've got the energy to fix things. I don't feel like I'm able to handle the things that will inevitably go wrong, or be disappointing. I can't see a workable solution; a way forward.
I should be putting myself out there, meeting new people, leveraging the many advantages I am lucky enough to have, but it seems almost impossible to muster the energy, enthusiasm and to get into a positive mindset.
I'm aware that this piece of writing is quite deflating; very negative. I'm aware that it's self-defeating, as it drives more people away. Who wants to read about somebody who feels so sorry for themselves, when it's pretty clear that most of their problems are of their own making? Who wants to read about somebody complaining that they're miserable, instead of doing things which would improve their life?
I'm astounded by the stark contrast between how I felt at the beginning of the month, when the weather started to improve, and now. I might have enough insight to see that it is my mood which is mainly at fault, but I still have to live with my warped perceptions and the unbearable unpleasantness of my feelings.
Are there any solutions? I think the best one is to act as normal as possible, pretend like everything's fine with my work colleagues, and don't do anything stupid... just sit it out and wait for the storm to pass.