Tag Archives: depression

A Crisis of Confidence

Something that’s so clear to me sometimes seems like pure fantasy at other times, and I think that right now I understand. Because of that, I think it’s critical that I write this now. For me, words are so powerful, that things that I’m feeling are simply not real unless I can explain them with words.

This morning, the words are describing a concept that’s pretty much obvious to people that know me.  I’ve had a crisis of confidence for something like six years now, and it’s at the base of pretty much all my problems. Paradoxically, this crisis of confidence is the very thing that keeps me from truly believing that it’s the real “root” of my issues. The crisis is basically “protecting itself”.

I’m already beginning to lose the “edge” of feeling that was driving this, so I’m not going to be able to finish writing about it in this post. Heck, I’m probably not even going to be able to really get started. What I’ve done is added a new tag (“crisis of confidence”) that will allow me to write more later, and the tag will tie all those posts together.



The anticlimax

If you read my previous post here, you might be waiting on the “big reveal” that I strongly alluded to. I’m sorry, but I’ve decided it’s not going to happen. Drop me an email if you’re curious, and if I know you, I’ll almost certainly share what I was talking about. The info isn’t exactly a secret, anyway, and I think anybody can find it if they dig enough. However, I’ve decided that putting up multiple signs (bearing my name) pointing to it isn’t the best idea. I don’t know of any specific reasons to be worried, but there’s no need to “tempt fate” (especially given how many places I syndicate this web log). :)

At any rate, my self-confidence is now working well enough (and regularly enough) that I’m realizing more often that my choices are just that: mine. As I told a friend recently, I need to start owning my choices (instead of depending on the validation of others… though, it’s fun to see it when it happens *grin*).

My latest realization

I’ll go ahead and warn you now that there’s info that I start to reveal about myself in this post that people who have known me for years don’t know.

I just had a realization a little while ago. It’s the kind of thing that will be a big “pile of duh” for some of my friends, but I don’t think it’s odd at all that I fought sharing it publicly for so long.

First, though, I’ll share the specific thing that triggered it. Just over a month ago, I traded a few “D” messages on Twitter with a man who helps host a podcast I’ve listened to a few times. Tonight, I noticed a couple of Twitter “follow requests” from people whose names I didn’t recognize. When I dug a little bit, I figured out they they’re also involved with that podcast. The podcast (I promise I’ll identify the show before I finish this post, but I have to get there in my own way) is related to a part of my life that I haven’t been willing to speak about publicly, but that’s about to change.

I’ve written before about my tendency to “compartmentalize” my life. I think there were several people that were surprised when they met each other in the hospital after my wreck. In particular, I think it served to put a few of my coworkers in touch with some other people in my life. In the past, my job has been one of the areas I’ve kept most compartmentalized. I think the biggest reason was that my job was one of the things I was best at, and I was scared I would mess that up if I started crossing the personal and professional “streams”.

On the personal side of things, one of the things I’ve kept most compartmentalized (and I’ve done it since I was an early teenager, so on the order of 27 years) is related to my quite strong sexual desire.

One thing that I’ve never mentioned publicly before is that there’s a clause in my divorce agreement (an agreement that I voluntarily signed) that says this:

Each party to this agreement further agrees not to harass, interfere with, insult and/or create a nuisance with respect to the other party’s activities, education, occupation and/or employment.

I’ve been so scared of violating that clause that I’ve actively avoided writing things here that I’m pretty sure would have done me a lot of good (because I’ve become so used to using my web log as a place to share deep things about myself).

Tonight, I’ve decided “to hell with that”. I have no wish or intent to violate that clause, but I’ve come to the point where my self-respect has finally recovered enough for me to admit that this is a need that I can no longer do without.

Another aspect of this is that I’ve been so respectful of everyone else’s boundaries and needs, that I’ve done very little about my own. I’ve been trying so hard not to appear “creepy” to people, that I think the ironic thing is that this very desire has made me appear creepy. I think that people can sense that I feel guilty, and that I’ve been holding back things that I really needed to say. Well, no more. :) I’ve been “compartmentalizing” for so many years, that I don’t think I even realize what all the “compartments” are. So, it’s going to take me quite a while (and quite a few words) to “unpack” all this. However, I think in the end I’ll be happier and appear much less creepy.

Oh, I just realized that before I finish this post, I need to keep a promise I made earlier: The podcast is called Life on the Swingset. I’ll post more about my connection with that topic soon (it’s a very complex and not-straightforward one).

Brief moments

I’m having a moment of calm and clarity tonight, and I wanted to share it. Unlike what one of my friends seems to have believed of my previous behavior (and admired me for it), it’s not that I don’t care what others think about me. Far from it, actually. I think that some of the thoughts I’ve shared have made it pretty clear that I actually care a lot what people think about me. Times like right now, though, make it clearer to me that I’m simply very careful about who I allow close to me. With one very notable exception, my judgment on such matters is usually quite good. ;)

I’ve written about this before. I pointed to the “standard wisdom” that says that, ideally, people should look only inward for feelings of self-worth. As a matter of fact, I’d wager that’s probably the opinion of that other friend I mentioned near the beginning of the last paragraph. Especially for someone like me, though, there’s just something very lonely about that thought. I think it’s more (for me, anyway) about knowing with confidence what one’s own strengths are and using that knowledge to “filter” input from other people. It’s not a total filter. That’s important, because goodness knows I’m far from perfect, so I still have to pay attention to negative feelings from other people, especially those that I have learned to deeply trust.

That’s one of the reasons the last few years have been (and current time continues to be) so tough on me. I believe that I’m going to make it through all this, and I truly believe that I’m going to make it with fewer changes/adjustments than people seem to believe. I also truly believe that this “new person” concept that seems to be so popular to use with TBI sufferers… I won’t say it’s completely not applicable to me, but I will say that it’s not the right way for me to approach things. My pre-wreck life was much too good for me simply to throw away any attempt of trying to get back to it. Finally, I have a faith that I’m capable of getting back to at least something close. People can call it “spiritual” if they want to. This faith hasn’t come along with any of the signs that spiritual people who have experienced these kinds of things often point to. My agnostic nature won’t allow me to completely deny the involvement of some supernatural being, but I also haven’t experienced anything that points to my progress being due to anything other than the help of other people, plain determination (both mine and others’), and time.

I think that something many people were looking for was for my feelings to become so strong that I “couldn’t control” them. That entire concept of emotions being so strong that I can’t control them is something that has literally never happened to me. That’s not because of anyone else. I also believe, however, that it’s not a matter of me “holding back”. I think I simply fundamentally believe that nothing is beyond eventual explanation.