dark night of the soul

“so why do you think you let yourself be overweight and unfit for so many years?”

it was a simple question, asked without malice, only genuine interest.

I honestly didn’t know how to answer it. I was ready to point out how I justified things all these years, how my self-image wasn’t as bad as the real image, how I kidded myself I was relatively healthy. I wouldn’t be a statistic, I would be one of the lucky people who get away with a sh*tty lifestyle. scott-free.

the real truth took a while to fathom and it revealed much more

self-sabotage. sub-conscious beliefs that I somehow wasn’t going to achieve so-and-so, or couldn’t see such and such through.

the driving force of my entire f*cking adult life; safety, comfort, dullness.

with rare exception, I am not only NOT a risk-taker, but I’m also far more conventional than I dare to mention. safe. beige. one of Billy Connolly’s f*cking volvo drivers (except I can’t actually afford to buy one).

yeah, I’ve touched on some of this before, and a lot of this sh*t has been slowly bubbling up to the surface in the past 2 years, and especially in the last month or two. but tonight it hit hard. tonight I got a face full of my own sh*t. was dared to deal with it in some kind of sh*tty dark night of the soul.

it all started when the rug was pulled from under me

I had a dream. a single-minded vision, a life route map upon which I had pinned all my hopes. the Royal Navy.

I don’t think I have ever wanted anything so intensely in all my life. I don’t do regrets, I’ve learned that they aren’t worth the energy needed to sustain them. but the navy thing? That’s chronic pain. That’s been sitting inside, eating away in ways that I could never have begun to imagine.

it is, perhaps, why I shrivel away from plans and goals now. quite literally, you start forcing plans on me and I go out of my way to rebel. if I force MYSELF to plan, I find a way of not finishing it off, or leaving it vague, or just coming up with some new hip, cool bohemian reason why I don’t need plans, don’t do plans.

because the one time I pinned EVERYTHING on a plan, on a goal, on something absolute and concrete – it was pulled away from under me, cruelly and with absolutely no mercy.

my early adult life was brilliantly destructive

despite a slow start I had an absolute riot; practically dropping out, recreational drugs, alcohol, cigarettes. some great times for sure, but sh*t loads of stuff that ensured it would end in disaster. good friends lost, trust destroyed, havoc wreaked.

over the years I’ve found ways to excuse certain events, find reasons why others were to blame, why circumstances were to blame, why anything but ME was to blame.

I’ve worked for companies where there were opportunities to make serious money and f*cked it up. I got married, for various reasons it ended in divorce. but REGARDLESS of the reasons, I would have surely found a way for things to come to a crashing end anyway.

the pattern continued into my business adventures and later life

believe it or not, I’ve had a business in one shape or form for about 15 years now. I reckon my sum profits to date amount to less than $5000.

big whizz business tycoon huh?

because there’s always a problem – the money-making method is a little too “impure”, not altruistic enough, in fact the actual idea of making money is something I’ve quite literally struggled with for YEARS.

why? why do I cling on to ideals formed in the hazy, lazy days of college? why do I spent all my time agonising over ways in which I can earn a reasonable living while saving the world?

even when I managed to shift my thinking a little on this topic, I still found/find excuses. I don’t know how to do xyz, I’m not completely up to speed on how to run a business, I don’t have the right contacts. If only I knew someone who could…

it’s all sh*t.

there are countless people who form successful businesses, successful not-for-profits, successful movements based on nothing but a heart-felt desire and a dollar.

they have drive, they have focus, they have clarity. they don’t, it seems, have a load of self-sabotaging sh*t dragging them down.

so what if anything has changed?

I mentioned in today’s journal entry that today is a day for thoughts. it is largely these thoughts that have led to this blog post. now you probably don’t know this, but most of my writing is done when the mood takes me, I let the words flow, I try and break things up into logical chunks, I spell-check, and I publish.

that’s it. raw. real. maybe not as perfect as it could be, but it’s authentic.

this post is even more raw. you’ll probably find loads of typos when I’m done.

but it’s immaterial. I need to say this from the heart…

a grand idea and subsequent self-sabotagery

it has been suggested to me that my slob-to-marathon story would be a good idea for a book. I agreed. I loved especially the idea that I could put something out into the world that might entertain AND inspire people to make similar changes in their lives. show people that it IS possible.

I got excited about the idea. I realised that I’ve always wanted this. always had a love for word artistry and fancied the idea of publishing a book.

the dream started to open up in front of me – the creative author lifestyle instead of the dross of the 9-to-5 in cubicle-land (no offence work colleagues, if you read this)

writing, motivating people, somehow building on the whole thing and realising some big vision/mission stuff.

finally doing the thing that I most want to do in the world – do/be something significant and impactful to the benefit of others, for the betterment of the world and simultaneously lining my pockets creating a comfortable lifestyle.

then I started to crash.

panic set in. worry. doubt. is this stuff REALLY worthy of being turned into a book? where the hell do I start to pull the blog material together into an end-to-end book structure?

who was I kidding? pull your neck in son, your working class, you go to your job, you trade hours for insufficient money and you live from payday to payday.

you DON’T dream, you DON’T achieve, you DON’T plan

and remember – if you have a goal then it’s going to get pulled out from under you! THAT, my son, is f*cking LIFE.

this, believe it or not, is where the past 2 years and running comes in

through running, and to be honest not much else to date, I have discovered that I CAN see things through, I CAN have plans, I CAN set goals and I CAN achieve them.

it might take 6 hours and 47 minutes, it might take a little bit of swallowing of pride and accepting that walking a little bit is fine, it might take the support of others to get me through the darkest parts – but by crikey I can set out to run 42.2km and cross the finishing line!

and THAT gives me a small seed of something. a light I can shine on the darkness, the shadowy creatures lurking, ready to pounce the very moment I start sensing success.

it’s also strength – to no longer be driven by what others may think, to no longer cling to boyhood ideals or fantasies, to grab hold of life and say “f*ck you” to anything that wants to stand in the way.

I’m sorry if you come here for positive inspiration and found this – but it’s an important part of this story. perhaps the most important so far.

running is not just my new obsession, it’s my guide, my motivator and my way out of the dull and into the bright.

f*ck yeah.

image courtesy of Creative Commons License Kevin Dooley via Compfight

Leave a Reply