A life worth living, pt. 4

I was at a group for addiction and PTSD recovery this week. We had to come up with a word. We started with lemon, and said it aloud enough times until it was just sounds. Then we were supposed to choose a judgmental word and do the same. Consequently, I found myself repeating the phrase “Loser,” over and over again. It then became, in our minds, “I am a ___” In my case, loser. We were supposed to overcome it, or see that it was just a word. I guess it’s stuck with me though.

That was the first word I thought of. It was immediate. “I am a loser.”

Evidence: I am in mental health recovery. I am in substance abuse recovery. I wear sweatpants a lot (Caveat: my boyfriend says they are stylish sweatpants). I’ve gained weight. I was a stoner. I have no money or income. I find cooking meals, doing the dishes and going to the grocery store to be daunting tasks.

I have put a lot of pressure on myself to accomplish external things. I haven’t been successful in any conventional sense as an adult. The closest I came was when I was working at the library in Syracuse, as well as working on CNY for Solidarity. I am also proud that I self-published four books. The first three especially were accomplishments. I got some recognition for my writing, in the past. And I travelled many places to give readings.

But lately, I feel… like a loser. More than ever. I want to challenge this, rather than dwell in it. Often, I find writing in the third person and past tense helps. Watch this.

That was the first word he thought of. It was immediate. “I am a loser. “

Evidence: He was in mental health and substance abuse recovery. He wore sweatpants a lot (Caveat: his boyfriend said they were stylish sweatpants). He’d gained weight. He had no money or income. He found cooking meals, doing the dishes, and going to the grocery store to be daunting tasks.

He had never been successful as an adult, in any traditional sense. He was a writer, and had some success and acknowledgement for the books he’s self-published: mostly fictionalized accounts of his own life…

OK it’s getting too meta 😊

Really though, I almost am finding this guy charming, and I feel for him. I guess in that sense, writing fiction is more therapeutic than memoir. If fiction is third person and past tense, conventionally. I need to keep this in mind. Who knows, maybe that will be the answer to my next novel.