I get excited about the smallest bit of progress but then remember how much I'm ignored as an author.
I'm really ignored.
Very little media. A couple shares. 15 Twitter followers. 85 Facebook likes.
It's okay to say to yourself, "Why would anyone keep going? It doesn't seem to be working."
My family has said that.
My old friends have said that.
I've said that.
I've seen it painted across people's faces for years.
This path is very complex.
But I love it.
I really, really love it.
I associate creative output with love. There's nothing that can be done.
Do you have anything you love that much?
Of course you do. Everyone does. They just don't go for it.
I was just rebellious, courageous, foolish, and naive enough to interact with the feeling that tugged at my heart. The more I gave it attention the more it showed me what to do.
There I'd be—out in the unknown waters when a stepping stone would appear. So I'd jump on it. Then continue. Then another one would appear. And so on. Sometimes the steps were lonely and awkward but I kept taking them because I trusted the relationship.
It was love. A deep connection. Trust beyond human belief.
It got hard. Really hard. Scary hard. Dry-heaving hard. Crying a-lot-hard. Credit-card-debt-out-of-control hard. Having-a-nickname for-your-therapist hard.
The pain gave me no choice but to climb the mountain of inner change that stared me in the face.
So I did. And it was, well...
The inner pained traveled to the deepest parts of my psychology and drilled away the beliefs and emotions that no longer served me. Buried memories of hurtful events surged to my conscious mind like lava from a volcano. Crusty, hidden emotions that held together incorrect points-of-view of who I was crumbled away like buildings in an earthquake.
I curled on my bed, put my knees to my chest, and exhaled pain from my quivering mouth as my pillow dampened...countless times.
I filled pages of my notebook and took them to my bi-weekly therapy sessions. I sat in the waiting room and felt my insecurities beg for their lives in the form of aching emotional pain. With each step down that hallway a tornado of "Let's not do this" and "What will happen if we keep going?" brewed wildly in my stomach like it was being stirred by the most extreme versions of who I was. My therapist opened the door and two chairs in a bare room sat before me like they were ground zero for psychological remodeling.
I kneaded each emotional wound with no mercy.
And then, I got it out. All of it. Psychological abuse. Sex abuse. Being a douche bag. Having a weird form of OCD as a kid that caused me to pray randomly. Verbal abuse. The phase where I was a bully.
Every last demon came out.
How I was an abusive prick to my high school girlfriend. How I was celibate through a large part of my 20s. How I was called an "unwanted bastard" by my dad.
Everything about my life that was holding me down came out.
How my father told me that the penciled-in numbers on the calendar were a countdown to my 18th birthday—a date that meant he'd no longer be financially responsible for me.
Some of the demons came out gracefully. Others raked their dirty claws across my emotions as they kicked and screamed. Sometimes I'd wake up one demon only to learn that he was connected to a chain of other demons. I carefully uncoiled them from parts of my mind like a a sleeping snake that would attack anything in its sight if it came to life.
Some demons even blended in with my personality—so much that I believed I needed them to survive. A sense of loss flooded me as I removed them.
Sometimes the removal of a big demon would eradicate 20 little ones. Sometimes the eviction of a bunch of little ones would chase away a big one without much effort.
I found them all. Under events. Behind arguments. Inside the people I brought into my life.
I even spotted the little demons that I kept in place to avoid seeing a bigger one.
Some really knew how to hide.
I searched until I couldn't find any more.
And then, I felt clear and clumsy—foreign to these fresh, new thoughts.
Session after session, I wobbled out of the room and touched the walls to ground myself.
Endorphins flooded my body and mind with each release.
My knotted insecurities untied, allowing a new highway of energy to flow to different parts of my mind.
The glue holding my old behavior in place melted away.
The rock of my old life lifted and bugs scattered. Green grass grew where it used to be yellow.
I became the person I really am, without any conditioned beliefs holding me down.
So thank you for ignoring me. It brought this artistry out of me.
You may not support me any more than you did.
But that's okay.
Because I got more of this in me.
Best believe that.