I’m in a slump. Somewhere inside, I’d like to get things done, and make progress on goals, but outside I’m coated with a general malaise. It’s part depression, part pandemic, and part disruptions in my medication. Basically, I’m all fucked up. I don’t know what to do about it.
Normally when I get stuck, I switch gears and work on something else. Except right now, every gear is stuck. Almost nothing seems appealing, and when something does, my own negative self talk starts trying to convince me that I suck and it’s not worth pursuing.
You know, this is the shit people don’t talk about when they talk about goal setting and hard work. All the positivity gurus give you the shiny side, and then gloss over the details of the shitty parts. They’ll say “it’ll be hard,” but then don’t get into how sometimes you want to give up and crawl in a hole and die. How sometimes it feels like you fall short of everything you want to be. When I struggle like this, I wonder how I even have the gall to think I can be more than I am.
I feel like a fool when I start to believe I could be an author, or even worse, a speaker. I feel like a fossil when I think about my tattoo career and I watch the younger generation blowing past me. I feel like an idiot when I actually think I could build a business in vintage resale, when I can’t even organize any aspect of my life. I feel like a failure when I can’t move ahead.
I wholeheartedly believe in the power of mindset and goal setting. When you align yourself properly and utilize the tools at your disposal, you can achieve almost anything. The problem is, my alignment is off, and it takes a lot of energy to keep the wheel steady. I get tired.
Not enough time is spent addressing what to do when you can’t move forward. They say “just start.” All those gurus want to preach about how to forge ahead, but very little time taking about overcoming the immediate obstacles that stop so many of us from actually implementing strategies and techniques for progress. Fuck, I don’t even know if I know how to address this shit, and I struggle with it constantly.
That’s why I start to think who the fuck am I to write a book or take up speaking? How the hell am I supposed to teach people how to improve their lives when I get completely mired in indecisive misery? Then I realize it may not matter anyway, because I don’t take the steps to do what it takes. I get caught in my bullshit before I can even get a chance.
And so it goes with everything I do. An idea, a burst of creative energy, and the steady wind down to confusion and lackadaisical thumb twirling. What I wouldn’t give to have the focus other people do. To have the combination of determination and that laser like focus that builds monsters. Instead I’m stuck with the fluctuating moods and rapidly flashing thought process of bipolar 2 and ADHD. I swear, I have no clue how people become successful while managing these disorders.
My wife says there’s people who look up to me like I’m productive and successful, but I feel like an asshole just typing those words. I think it’s supposed to give me some kind of perspective, so I can see that there’s a sort of ladder of admiration. People look up to me the way I look up to other people, who look up to others. Most of the time it just makes me ask myself a lot of questions. Imposter syndrome is a real thing, and I basically exist in that space.
So what do I do? How do I move past this and back into a place of productivity and progress? This has happened to me a thousand times, and I never have the answer. It will just happen at some point, and I’ll be back on track in some form. I say “some form” because I never know if I’m going to pick up where I left off, or have some new revamped version of whatever shiny bauble had my attention before the downturn.
Whatever form it takes, I never actually give up. I want to, and I get close, but I don’t. Fuck, I want to. But I don’t think I could live with myself if I quit. And while I have to learn to accept that I’ll never be the greatest anything, I can still be good, and mean something to someone. My life story may not be an Oscar winner, but maybe it could be a cult classic.
I’ll take time to lick my wounds when I feel beat down. Once I cathartically write and draw and paint my way to a place I feel comfortable in, I’ll pick everything back up and keep pushing. Failure happens, but quitting isn’t an option.
1 thought on “How do we overcome obstacles?”
I’m super new on following your blog. First time I ever followed any blog. It started with a google search on the best cover up tattoo artist near Me. Your well represented in that search. Which is saying something in my opinion. But I know i feel after achieving my goals overtime it gets stale, or it’s not enough anymore. I started my search looking to cover up tattoos that weren’t thought out, done well and do not represent who I am now. After checking out the size, depth and dark work you covered for others, I thought to myself, he could be the guy. After I stumbled across your posts. I turned to my wife, and said this is the fucking guy that’s gonna cover my work! . It was like i was supposed to find you. ( I don’t even really believe in shit like that) but I’m opening up to any possibilities in my own journey. Anxiety, depression, bi-polar, ptsd, substance abuse to name some of my diagnosis. It’s easy for someone to say put the past behind you. When it’s not their fucking past! I’ve managed to make a break through recently, and still got my own work to put in. I’ve been in bad ways thousands of times. Honestly if it wasn’t for my 2 sons and the need to see them be better then me. I’d have removed myself from the constant torture of Mental illness. The ultimate permanent solution to a temporary problem! Funny how my issues feel anything but Temporary though. I can’t tell anyone how to get better. Although I give way better advice then I practice. No clue why, With Different situations and no one man the same, I relate to the majority of what I’ve read here so far. Mental Illness , government , etc. for me at the moment I have some clarity. But have a lot of questions. It’s hard to look in the mirror at 40yo and not remember if you were ever truly happy or who you were as a person, who you are presently or who/what you want to be. One thing I’m positive of is. I refuse to be complacent! I wish you well and lots of luck. You’ve done amazing things and I doubt the tanks empty. I know for me it’s not. Although finding the spark is a tricky bitch. Lastly if you run into issues medication related in the near future. I may be able to provide immediate temporary help with your Effexor. No cost, no barter, no catch Bro. Just HMU. Keep spreading the word on these important issues. Sadly they are to “Fact” to make it into the mainstream media. Thanks for doing your part. I’ll be looking to contact you separate from here in hopes of collaborating on some art. Take care!
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