Some mornings – like this morning – I wake up feeling totally useless and pointless. What have I contributed to the sum of human happiness in the world? What have I contributed to the happiness of me? How do even justify my existence?
There is nothing that anyone can say to me that will get this feeling off of my soul. There is no self-talk or inspirational book I can read that will make it better.
There is nothing that I can eat, drink, smoke or inject that will make it go away. Although some of those will remove the pain for a moment, they won’t change the feeling. And when they wear off, the feeling of uselessness will be a whole lot worse.
On days like these I have a number of options of what to do.
I can decide that there is no point, and stay in bed all morning, then get up and mope and feel miserable. I can write a few e-mails telling anyone that will listen – and even those who don’t want to – how miserable I am. I can look for validation in others telling me that I am worthwhile – but reject that validation when it comes, because I know, deep inside that I’m worthless – if they really knew me they’d agree that I was worthless too.
But whilst my body might not be moving much, my mind would be working overtime, going over and over all the mistakes I’d ever made, and how nothing would ever get any better.
At the end of the day I’d go back to bed totally exhausted, wake sometime early the next morning, and repeat the cycle.
Or, I can choose to do something different.
What I choose to do today is “Act as if”. I can feel self-respect if I do things that respect myself. I can feel self-worth if I do worthwhile things. There is an old saying that I can’t think my way out of negative actions, but I can act my way out of negative thinking.
So today I got up, showered, shaved and dressed. I put out some food and water for the wild birds that I love to see in my garden. I put a load of laundry on, washed the dishes and made fresh coffee. And I came to my computer to write.
Has anything changed? Not in what people call the real world, no. But in the world I live in – the world as experienced inside my head – there is a chink of light.
Maybe I’m not useless, if I can do all that when I don’t feel like doing anything. Maybe the point is just to live life on life’s terms, one day at a time. Maybe I’m not worthless, just for today.