Paradigm of Self-Combustion

Good morning Blog,

This dawn-less hour I am awake, beginning my day still turning over the events of the previous evening (and days prior). I think I am beyond the point of further discussion in any direct way, as there is no possible discussion to be had. I tried to leave that door open, but it was kicked shut for good.

This all got me thinking about my own destructive states, where my irreconcilable symptoms pervaded and saturated my actions to an alarming degree. I have been very combustible in years past, and I still can be if properly soaked in fuel. The paradigm of the flaming man was not that appealing, or truly representative of the whole person I am. Though, it really does take actual trench-digging labor to become introspective enough to recognize that. A lot of what helped me see what my uncontrolled illness was doing was to look no further than the scorched and incinerated crater all around me, where my friends, partners and family once stood. The fractured rubble and dust is the visible, tangible result of the damage not taking care of myself can cause.

Hence, this Blog! It was conceived as a venting waste site and a bully-pulpit for a time (conditional maturity), but has also been the documentation of a long, slow journey of self-realization and growth. Going back years, the road I walked and the steps I took towards improvement and stability are unarguably, factually, right over there in the sidebar for anyone to see. If not for this place, I would not have been able to correct the negative paradigm I had assigned to myself through unattended action. I continue to feel a sense of inner-death over the things I have done to those I professed to love. I was abusive in my depression, selfish, craven, coercive, damaging and flawed. There is no denying that my broken neurochemistry was not assisting my conscious mind in making great decisions (see suicide attempt).

I think that life is totally, locally experiential. We all interpret things differently, even from moment to moment. As our perceptions and conditions change, so to can the context of memories and trauma from the past. I have participated in this sort of exercise, especially when freshly damaged from a breakup, yelling from the stage of the Blog theater into an unhappy crowd. My perceptions were impossibly biased, rooted in denial, and staunchly defending a favorable interpretation for the sake of self-defense while acutely vulnerable.

Looking back at the hurt I caused brings up all sorts of instances and material for interpretation, as is my process. I don’t let the past lie still if there is still something there. I haven’t affixed myself to an interpretation of things that best protects my security, but rather, deals with the real events and effects I have had on others with the hope of progressing beyond it. How can I ever hope to learn from hurt, sadness and regret if I do not face those thoughts, welcome them, and accept responsibility? In the end, the paradigm of self-combustion fails when one stops lighting themselves on fire.

Carrying around the petroleum-soaked tinder of anger, hatred and resentment was the first casualty of change. These negative emotions, when harbored, cause consistent and unrelenting duress. Their validity never having been in question, the choice is to keep marching them forward as new steps are taken into the future. Logically, I introspectively assessed that I don’t have the energy to spare on such an laborious activity, fruitless as it is. The energy I spent holding on to the negative emotions I had directed at others could easily be reassigned to some other function that would be far more likely to achieve a benefit of some form. This is a conscious decision; a judgement of effectiveness and survival made internally. I am simply less likely to be consistently stable if I have an offsetting weight on me at all times that I choose not to leave on the side of the road.

The real trauma of those terrible events is a constant reminder of the validity of those moments, and should always be there in my mind somewhere. I view the memories  and emotions tied to that trauma can be constructive and negative at the same time. I began to treat moments where trauma is triggered as opportunities to understand my negative responses, practice my anxiety relief techniques, and spend some time focusing on how that surge of emotions still guides (or doesn’t) my actions. There is no denying trauma is a source of consistent pain, but also, that pain is asking a question of the self.

I, personally, explore my trauma not only to comprehend the different emotional states of my life, but also to lessen the anguish of that trauma by not approaching it with reluctance/fear, but with curiosity. Ultimately, trauma is reinforced by the emotional reaction to it, and negative will compound indefinitely until the pattern is too well-ingrained to consider changing. Trauma can be dangerous if indulged, but if observed and understood, can bring stability, resolve and strength. I do go back to some of the moments of trauma in my past, recalling specific moments where I was in a desperate, dangerous states. Yes, it is painful to remember, but also, a sign of real fortitude and endurance that I can look at it at all without recoiling in horror.

I am quite familiar with the paradigm I reference, because I have been that person. I was that person not too long ago. However, I chose not to continue to remain that person and have evolved from that regrettable state into something far more sustainable. Isn’t that ultimately the goal we mentally ill have in common; to have a chance at a fulfilling life? I think it can easily said that no one particularly enjoys suffering, and neither do I. I didn’t paint a new fuzzafied reality for myself (turns out, complex thinkers don’t find delusions satisfying), I walked into the future with all my burned up ashes of truth and regret held in my arms for all to see. I have the dignity of knowing I hid nothing from you Blogosphere, and told you the truth of my story, as best I could comprehend it at the time, with each chronologically incremental post. One soggy revelation at a time, I built up my confidence into someone who’s actions speak volumes to his moral intent. This is the progression, or some facsimile of that, that I hope to not only highlight with this post, but encourage in those who are currently self-combusting (metaphorically speaking) to pursue.

Consistency of action builds a motivation which will fuel additional steps towards hope, and with the intent of establishing the currency of worth: pride.

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