“Midway upon the journey of our life
I found myself within a dark forest
For the straightforward path had been lost.”
-Dante Aleghieri, The Divine Comedy, Inferno
My attempt to find an easy way out of my inner struggle has led me to the lion, the wolf, and the leopard. There apparently is no easy way up the mountain, I must go down a cave in order to come out on top. Meaning, I gotta deal with my shit rather than shoving it in a box.
Entering my metaphorical cave was not unlike Dante’s limbo. My therapist and I have begun the exploration of what, why, and how we can tackle my issues. Answering questions such as my age, occupation, medication, and other one-word answers are of no issue, but how do I explain the rest? I have, clearly unsuccessfully, filed my feelings and hurtful memories away in what I can only compare to Pandora’s Box. The stupid Box was opened anyway, and we all know what happened when it did… mayhem. I’m not much for dealing with hurt feelings or upsetting memories, it’s hard enough dealing with myself day to day. I am incredibly judgemental of myself. I’m harsh to the point of exhaustion; this only drives my anxiety and perpetual, insatiable need to be perfect. Perfect equates to happiness. Let’s take a moment and break down it down mathematically (yes, this is math, it’s called logic. I took it in college thinking it’d be easier than the other math classes, big fat NO):
Happiness can only be achieved through perfection. Premise I (claimed evidence)
Self-judgment and anxiety lead to perfection. Premise II
Therefore, it must be that self-judgment and anxiety are needed in order to achieve happiness. Conclusion (what is claimed to follow from the evidence)
Oh, the look on my professor’s face would not be a happy one. This is completely flawed!! I know this! I know this and I can’t seem to get a hold of it. The reality I know is skewed, however, I haven’t been able to shake it. I look in the mirror and I don’t know who I am. I squint I look at three different types of mirrors in the morning while getting dressed (not joking, this is also accompanied by daily weigh-ins). I can’t relate to pictures. I feel as though if I am not learning something, or studying I am just getting further and further away from achieving my goal. It’s a race I keep getting passed on. I know I’m good enough, I know this because I don’t give the time of day to those whom I don’t think are up to my level. Yet… I don’t think I’m good enough; in my world of standards, I’m not good enough and therefore, not good enough for anyone either. It’s a clusterfuck.
I felt like I was all over the place. How do you start addressing your issues to your therapist without sounding incoherent?
I just passed through limbo. We have met the generalized problems: Anxiety, Depression, Lack of Confidence (that fucker fucks it up in every scenario for me) and now I have to deal with all the “little things” I have stuffed in Pandora’s box. Dante was ecstatic to be in Limbo, he met some of his heroes. I, on the other hand, met my problems… and to be honest, I left some out.
My Virgil better be as good as Dante’s. Virgil carried Dante when they were chased by demons…I’m just saying.