Sunday, June 14, 2015

What's so scary about that?

There's a wonderful webcomic based on the protagonist's extremely non-literal search for pieces of his own mind. It's called "Alpha-Flag". One of the more interesting details is that the protagonist's "missing pieces" are all given names based on the phonetic alphabet; his lost self-confidence, his only companion, is called "Charlie".

There is at least one short story that may or may not have anything to do with the main narrative, whose title inspired this post:
Frankly, I've lived so much of my life alone and forgotten, or at least ignored, so the prospect of dying under those conditions doesn't bother me all that much. Have I gotten to this place because I'm so afraid of emotionally investing in other people? Or because I don't know how to find those in whom I can emotionally invest and who will do so to the same degree to me that I do to them?
It's probably got something to do with my poor track-record of self-acceptance. One of my previous therapists gave me a handout, some photocopied pages from a book called "The Principle of Self-Acceptance". In it, the author proposes that true self-acceptance is the absolute foundation for self-esteem and, ultimately, all healthy psychological states. It is defined as "my refusal to be in an adversarial relationship with myself".
I didn't read the handout when my therapist gave it to me, and I probably would have forgotten it if it hadn't somehow drifted to the top of the pile of clutter in my room.
"I cannot be truly for myself, cannot build self-esteem, if I cannot accept myself."
That's the last sentence in the handout. The rest of the handout talks about the need to accept all my thoughts, feelings, desires, actions and dreams as an expression of who and what I am at the time that these things took place.
Which would be fine, except that so many of all these things are simply not acceptABLE. I don't want to accept that I thought about killing myself or someone else. I don't want to accept that I feel like a waste of a life. I don't want to accept that I desire to make the pain stop by either running away from the rest of humanity and (briefly) living alone in the middle of the nearest uninhabitable wasteland. I don't want to accept that my actions form an almost schitzophrenic split between self-preservation and self-destruction. I don't want to accept that my dreams of financial security and emotional fulfillment are beyond my reach.
I judge myself unworthy of continued existence, yet I cannot match the courage of my convictions with actions OR rejection of this self-destructive pattern to make something better of myself.
I am too damaged to be anything more but I am not damaged enough that killing myself quickly is a viable option. So I kill myself slowly, through neglect; I will never make enough money to afford health care, and the mental health care system will not accept me until I am truly destitute... by which time I hope to be sufficiently ill that medical science cannot save me.

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