Saturday - Entry 1:
It is time I admit that I am less than thrilled with how my life has turned out. Yes, being divorced isn't a party. Being a single dad is hard. Being in debt is stressful. Wah wah wah. Who in my situation doesn't find it difficult? Mostly I'm just unhappy with what I've accomplished.
I have big plans…
but small successes.
Truthfully, I shouldn't expect to accomplish much when I'm struggling with a recent bout of Depression, two ticking episodes this week, and a virus, but…
I expect myself to succeed anyway.
After all, many people with worse problems accomplish so much more.
Don't jump to conclusions, though. This entry isn't about feeling sorry for myself, nor am I asking for cheers and accolades in the comments. I'm simply frustrated with myself. I could list for you ALL the accomplishments I have had recently and still feel like I come up short. This is a self-esteem problem, not an ADHD, Depression, chronic tic disorder problem.
And maybe, this is a problem about voice. Who am I and what sets me apart?
Voice is the writer's term to describe the unique personality or style of a book—the voice of the author you hear in your head as you read. It's the quality that differentiates one book from the others. When I am down for the count and cannot do what I want to do, I worry about things like this.
Curiously, I am not without some confidence. It, like my attention span, is inconsistent. Earlier today I stated on Twitter that I was Mormon, had personally experienced religious persecution, and still couldn't relate to the rage that would cause some Muslims to kill in the name of their prophet as we've seen this past week around the world. Somebody then suggested I was a fundamentalist who was mentally ill, you know, because I'm Mormon, and shared with me a link to a dissertation on how all religious people were insane. This Twitter follower actually thought the link would help me not be Mormon.
I had no problem reading the dissertation and taking it apart. Or sharing its logical fallacies with the original tweeter. I wasn't angry, or threatened, or miffed in any way. They meant well; I simply disagreed with them. I was even a bit cheeky. But if I fail to live up to my own standards? Then I rage against the failure in my heart, rip my self-esteem down from its pedestal, and burn it in tatters beneath my feet.
Is this my voice? The self-loathing man who fails? No, but I am frustrated. A year after the divorce and I am still financially struggling to find my way. I really can't blame the divorce for that anymore, but I am resistant to blaming my disabilities instead. I expect myself to overcome them, if not with humor then with lots and lots of attitude. I just came across a guy who gets paid to teach people how to be professional bloggers, he writes books, and he flies around the country as a paid speaker. His name is Chris Brogan. I've known about him for years, but didn't know he suffered from clinical depression. Just like me. It hasn't impeded him comparatively. What's my problem?
And that's when I realize this is probably just the Depression talking. I accomplish nothing by berating myself. I know this lesson. If I want to speak with a unique voice, I cannot cripple myself with self-loathing. And so I shake it off. There is more to me than failure, and I know this very well. Why join the ranks of those who judge and condemn me? Why agree with those who dismiss me? Why not hone my voice instead and…
Sing loud to the world
And so I will.
Maybe one day along this journey I will discover who I am and find somebody to share my life with. Maybe I'll succeed at making a living with my voice. Maybe, just maybe, I'll end up thrilled with how my life turned out. Wouldn't that be something?