Live Journalling #2

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Live Journalling #2

Often I get messages from people asking how to journal, and the easiest way to help people understand is to show them. So this week’s blog is the second instalment of live journalling. Below is today’s entry, unedited. I hope seeing it clarifies what you might focus on while journalling.

I am quite hungover. My mind is slow today. Writing is a struggle, even journalling feels like a challenge. Then there’s an associated guilt with being unable and unmotivated to work. Hangovers don’t happen as often these days. Each time I have one it reaffirms to me that I’ll eventually pack in the drinking. The pros aren’t worth the inevitable cons.

I’m tired and don’t feel like being social. I don’t feel like talking. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with this but people have expectations that you should want to talk and be social. When I feel like this I tend to spend most of my day alone. I think being awareness of this need is important. When I need to be alone, it has nothing to do with how I feel about other people. I just don’t have the energy to be around them. This is compounded by the hangover, because even if I wanted to be around people I wouldn’t be great company, nor would I produce any sort of stimulating conversation.

I’m leaving the country in less than two weeks. Before going, I have a lot to do. My schedule this year has been busier than any other time in my life. This is mostly good, but there is still stress attached to good things. I think/hope that once I move my schedule will become simpler, more straight forward. I’m looking forward to that. I’m worried daily about whether I’ll be able to keep the balance, living abroad while most of my career’s work remains in Ireland. The biggest loss will be the opportunity to speak publicly. But I think I will be more consistently content having moved away, so it seems to be worth the price of losing some aspects of my life.

Considering all that’s happened in the last few weeks, I’m actually in quite a good place mentally. I think this is because of all the work done in recent years to get to know myself. I no longer require the validation of others in the same capacity. These days, I don’t need the approval of others in order to approve myself. And so, I think this has helped me navigate trickier times. When I was younger follower counts and people’s opinion of me used to influence how I behaved or what I do. This no longer appears to be the case. Now I just do whatever I think is the right thing to do. I don’t always get it right, but trying to do the right thing feels like an honourable aspiration.

There are constant worries, things that are almost part of my operating system. The manifest as questions: Am I doing enough? Am I helping anyone? Am I good enough? It’s become clear that there’s something of a hero complex in me. I hate the word ‘complex’ because it implies that the urge is bad, or self-serving or undesired. I have an urge to try and help people – I don’t see this as a bad thing. But often I put everyone else before myself, and as a result, neglect my own wellbeing. This isn’t ideal. Add to this, that because I’m trying to help others, there’s an assumption that I’m always fine. Which isn’t true. Everything I’ve ever written here has been as much a message to myself as it has been an attempt to help others. We all need help. We all need compassion.

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