Over the course of the last 5 months, and having released 33 episodes of this show prior to this one, I’ve received a lot of feedback. Overwhelmingly positive feedback. Things like “I love your insight” or “you’ve really inspired me” or even the occasional “why can’t my husband be more like you?”
I don’t know that all of the praise has been well-deserved though.
The truth is that, despite all of my efforts to be transparent with you, I’ve failed. It’s not that I’ve been intentionally hiding anything. I share what’s on my mind. Much of the time, I’m an introspective, philosophical thinker. Much of the time, I’m a romantic. Much of the time, I’m a really decent person. The problem is that some of the time, I’m not very nice.
There are parts of me that I don’t like very much. In fact I try to put as much distance between who I see to be the “real” me, and the other mes.
Those who know me well are acquainted with “The Sadness.” I don’t deal well with being sad, so I’ve learned to describe my feeling blue as though it were an entity rather than a state of mind. I don’t know if it’s healthy to relate to my feelings as though they were companions but it seems to work, so I’ll stick with my system.
What not many people are aware of is another entity with whom I’m well-acquainted. I refer to it as “The Darkness.” I try not to associate with The Darkness in any meaningful way because I don’t like it, and I’m a little afraid of what might happen if it overshadows “real” me. Sometimes, though, I can’t resist.
There are times when I not only embrace The Darkness but I become The Darkness.
During these times, I get cranky. I get hyper-critical of those around me. I hurl thinly-veiled insults. I’m extra negative. I consistently point out the down side of things people are excited about. In short, I’m a real jerk. Sometimes I’m motivated toward words, thoughts, and actions that are just plain terrible. Worst of all, I’m completely unapologetic when I become The Darkness.
So what do I do about it? The answer to this question may actually surprise some of you. I savour the experience.
My relationship with The Darkness is a complicated one. It’s like having a “friend” that I don’t call unless I need something, but feel compelled to spend time with (once in a while at least) just to stay on good terms. I wouldn’t sever the relationship, even if I could because I never know when a situation will arise when soft, fluffy, insightful me will need to be put aside in favour of something stronger, more fierce.
Today I’m feeling stressed and overwhelmed. Life is uncertain right now for most of us. Right now, both The Sadness and The Darkness are blissfully absent. Right now, “real” me is the only one in the room.
Are there sides of you that you try to hide? Send me an email, I’d love to hear about them.