Back when I was in high school, I really did not think very highly of myself. My parents, God bless them, were of the pull yourself up by your bootstraps era. The trouble was, it did not work. It still doesn’t. With nowhere to turn on the outside, I turned inward and hid. My entire time in high school I had one girlfriend, God bless her. She was wonderful. She was dealing with a sad morose person who was totally clueless. She did make me happy and that was a huge blessing.
I had a couple of really nasty things happen to me when I was a kid but when I told an adult, they chose not to believe me. It never occurred to me, of course, that they were equally as shocked and did not know how to react, so I just got mad. A lot of good that did me! Living with a nasty past and being angry on top of it was such a good idea.
I sadly bumped through adulthood about as clueless on what to do with myself as anyone I have ever known. I was really good at being lonely, depressed, and someone who was pretty much a pain in the ass to be around.
Then one day someone clued me in on how to live with myself. It started off by him telling me to stop feeling sorry with myself, get off the pity pot, and live! I have come to find out there is a lot of that going around. Feeling sorry for yourself that is. Shortly after that I figured out that the universe was not out to get me, actually it does not know I even exist. The Red Sox did not lose because of me. It was not raining to make me feel badly. Not winning something is not a conspiracy to get me, it is just how things turned out at that moment.
Next thing I tackled was depression. Why was it happening so much? Turns out the reason was fairly simple. It was not anything organic, well, for the most part anyway. It was mostly a matter of my thought process. First I stopped believing the universe was out to get me. Then I figured out that where ever I was that was no fun, that was ugly, that was in any way undesirable, I just needed to tell myself that I was the one who had gotten myself there, and I had to be the one to get myself out of there. I could get help of course. But I had to make a determination that I had to do the moving, no one was going to do that for me, nor should I want them to. That gave me several new directions to go in and almost like magic, life became brighter and more fun.
Then it was time to tackle loneliness. I could not be alone and not feel lonely. It was my belief that since we are social being by nature it was a must for us to always be with someone. That meant being by myself was an unnatural state of being so loneliness was to be expected. What a bunch of crap! Also at that time I had this thing about taking Fridays off and heading to the beach. I have always loved the beach and the warm feeling of the sun and sand. I knew I would be alone so I decided to read a book while I was there. That was the first time. I really enjoyed that first day on the beach, did not feel in the least bit lonely. I did not recognize that fact immediately but as the summer wore on it became obvious, even to me, that I could entertain myself sufficiently to ward off all feelings of loneliness. It did not show me how much I really enjoyed reading, which was quite the revelation all by itself, but it did show me that if I used my mind a little bit, I could easily entertain myself during those times I was alone.
The last thing I had to do was dealing with my past. I had any number of things I had done that were less than honorable, and according to some, down right horrible. The fix was a multi-step process but actually quite simple. First I had to admit to myself that what I had done was wrong. I did that. Then I had to figure out why I had done any one of those things. That was a little more difficult but it was suggested to me I use “the seven deadly sins” as the basis for such an examination. I hated that suggestion because it was based on someone’s religion. But then it came to me, shortcomings! What character flaws had aided and abetted me in my mistakes. That turned out to be pretty easy. Once identified I had only to figure out how to change myself so they were no longer affecting my actions. And finally, I had to go back to anyone who my misdeeds had victimized and apologize. Those things done, the weight that was lifted was incredible.
My life is really good these days. It is far from perfect but it is so much better than it used to be. I have some of the most amazing friends anyone could ever want. I am seldom lonely and usually feel like I have more things to do in my life than I have years left in it. That is exciting! I know that every day is going to be a good one. How? I woke up, that’s how. It is that simple. Consider the alternate and you know waking up is fabulous!