Tag guilt

3 posts

rest != laziness

Blanket Burrito Con!Sometimes I have a hard time resting.
I was never allowed to rest when I was a kid, and remember wishing I would become horribly sick just so I could rest (because if I wasn’t running a fever or vomiting, I could still totally do shit), which means that as an adult, unless I’m physically debilitated, I generally don’t really…rest.
Because rest was lazy and laziness was the epitome of evil. If I was caught taking a break or a breather outside of the 90-minute “free time” window that I had, I was assigned something to do.
I know what it feels like to be headed toward burnout, because all I can think about is “I need to stop. I need to take a break. I need to sleep for days. I need to just shut my mind off for a little while, and then I can get back to it.”
But doing that….is really hard.
If I rest for more than a day when I need to, I’m instantly plagued by just… a lot of guilt.
All of the voices from my childhood come back, thundering: You’re being lazy. You’re doing nothing. You can’t just sit around and do nothing like those lazy people. You have to work. You’re like those people who burden society. You’re not working. You’ve had your 10 minute break, now go get shit done and stop being selfish and irresponsible.
My parents spent a lot of time shitting on people they thought were lazy. Which is why they worked us like slaves while my mom sat in her chair being pregnant.
We were never allowed to rest because resting was lazy, irresponsible, and selfish, and according to mom “in the ‘real world’, you don’t get to”.
So, I worked through abscesses, I worked through periods without ibuprofen, I worked through colds and other not-flu illnesses, I worked through general soreness from being jumped on.
The two times I remember feeling cared for were when I was sick and too young to be able to do anything else. I had the chicken pox and got an oatmeal bath, and the other time, I had the flu and mom bought me a coloring book and rubbed my feet and then let me be by myself to color and sleep.

I have a really giant mental wall that creates itself when I need to take a break and rest and I’m not also violently ill.
It’s almost painful, sometimes, because I know I could relieve the guilt by quitting my mini-cation (which I called blanket burrito con this morning) and getting back to work, and doing all the things instead of forcing myself to just do nothing and try to be okay with letting my brain be quiet (and getting it to be quiet).
I can manage to not do anything during the day, but then while I’m sleeping I get stressed out – almost like I expect to be in trouble the next morning for having done nothing. I wake up exhausted and guilty (because I slept, I slept late, and I haven’t done anything, but…) because of this phantom of disapproval, this overwhelming sense of innate evil in the form of laziness, because everyone but myself deserves to be taken care of.
I know it’s bullshit.
I know, I know, I know it’s bullshit.
But it’s still hard (so I’ve been doing little things that help).
I’m gonna go back and snuggle in my blanket burrito now, maybe tomorrow I’ll have yellow or green nails.

Guilt and Art and Stuff

You know when you hate yourself and you just want to give everything up because you’re doing things different and you feel like you shouldn’t be able to? Because nothing makes you special or better than the next person who’s doing things the way everyone else does and that person is even better for it because they’re pushing through more creative blocks than you are because you actually have time? And then you feel really guilty for having that time even though it’s the one thing that you value above all else? Because you know that given enough time you can do something really neat? But you feel like you really really don’t deserve it? But you have it, so you’re not going to waste it?
Then you hate yourself because you feel like a leech, and you feel like you should require nothing, and you feel like you deserve nothing, because even though you’re working really hard on projects that do or will eventually make a lot of difference and contribute to the world in a positive way, you’re not working for a paycheck? And because you don’t have a paycheck and because you spend your time working on things you love, you feel like you don’t deserve to be able to live as fully as you want because you’re…doing it differently?
And deep down inside you KNOW it’s bullshit, because art is important and artists deserve to be able to live, fully, and spend their time making art and contributing to the world – but no one really seems into that and it’s crushing?
So then you launch a campaign that lets you get monthly donations so you CAN make art and live fully, and then you just feel crushingly guilty and undeserving and worthless and don’t even know how much you should tell people about it because you can think of so many people who are working at jobs and still creating and what makes you so special or worthy anyway? Why should people donate to your art when there’s other art?
So you just go hide under blankets for the rest of the day. You know that feeling?

Survivor's Guilt

Maybe it’s because I’m on that high from just finishing a comic after not drawing in way too long because set backs and busy-ness and certain-life-things just completely zapping any creative drive out of me, or because I’ve been rocking out to music in my headphones (which I’m sure looks entertaining), but, I’m really happy right now.
Dude, I make comics.
And I make videos about gaming.
The first of season 3 is yet to be out because reasons (not limited to, but including computer failure). I do have it planned though…And all but one piece of the puzzle has come in, so yay! Computer thing is being fixed tomorrow *crossfingers*
I had an epiphany in the shower a couple days ago…about how I don’t have to feel guilty for, I guess just the whole circumstance I am in where I am actually in a place where I can create and not have to worry about stuff. I realize I’m fucking lucky and that it’s so fucking rare for that to be a thing, and more often than not I have some weird kind of survivors guilt and feel like I should shelf it and join everyone else, you know? Because I almost feel like there’s something wrong that I have the ability to do these things and lots of people don’t.
But then I realized, that’s not actually helping anyone. It’s not helping me, if I’m sitting at home, paralyzed by guilt and anxiety because I can choose the work that I do, and I’m not desperate. It’s not helping me if I force myself to go spend my time doing something that isn’t helping me actually grow when I don’t absolutely have to.
What does help people, and what does help me, is if I actually use the crazy lucky situation I’m in and create, and keep creating, and doing those things and bringing stuff into the world that makes it better, or bringing in the stuff I want to see. I don’t know how long anything is going to last, no one does, so who am I to not make things while I can?
I don’t know if that makes sense to anyone else. I just realized…I don’t know, I shouldn’t feel guilty or like something is wrong because my life and journey looks different. I shouldn’t be paralyzed by survivor’s guilt because I can choose where to dedicate my time.
Because I really do feel bad about it a lot. Which I realize is idiotic. *shrug*
And now I’m remembering this poem, which I first discovered years ago when I watched Akeela and the Bee:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness
That most frightens us.
We ask ourselves
Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small
Does not serve the world.
There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking
So that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine,
As children do.
We were born to make manifest
The glory of God that is within us.
It’s not just in some of us;
It’s in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine,
We unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we’re liberated from our own fear,
Our presence automatically liberates others.
– “Our Deepest Fear” Marianne Williamson

And the more I’m trying to figure out who the fuck I think I am and what the hell I’m doing here and what makes me so qualified, the more apt it is, because….
If I’m quiet
and if I’m honest
and if I look deep within myself
In the corner I don’t want to admit exists
I’m terrified of my own power.
And that’s holding me back in the light of sudden…success
I’m really not that scary of a person
(you hear that psyche? I’m really nice!)
But for some reason, something dwelling in the cavern
says
who the fuck do you think you are?
and I just have to remember
who the fuck am I not to be?