So after another bruising fall from grace, I’m back in the ‘Artist’s Way’ saddle again, so please excuse that my Week Four has seemingly been about a month long!
Ironically enough, this is around about the same time I dropped out of the course last year.
‘Recovering a Sense of Integrity’ shouldn’t be a deal breaker for me. Hell, I walked out of my job, am studying yoga, and am looking for a job in charidee, so ain’t nobody braver or more authentic than me!
But when I look back, it seems that I’ve mainly spent the last eight months watching TV to block out the fear inside, so whilst Julia C seems to think that reading is the enemy here, the goggle box is definitely mine.
I recently set myself the challenge of limiting myself to two hours viewing only per day. What’s so difficult about that, you might ask? Well when you’re not working, anti social, borderline agoraphobic and trying not to spend too much money, it’s your main refuge.
If I think about it, I’m a bit like Scrat from Ice Age, clinging nervously to my little acorn nest egg, hiding in crevices, casting around anxiously for predators, when for all I know, there could be a veritable forest of oak trees out there.
But it’s not about da money. It’s about clinging to my warm, safe comfort zone, and protecting myself from risk, harm and pain.
The upside of this is that I have the luxury of only seeing and having to deal with my ‘safe’ people (the number of which are gradually diminishing), get to watch endless crap on TV, interact with ‘friends’ on Facebook, blog to my hearts content, browse the internet, quaff wine, and comfort eat to my hearts content without putting my heart, ego or soul on the line whatsoever.
The downside? I afford myself little opportunity to open my heart, let new people in, test and risk my ego, enrich my soul and embark courageously on the next chapter in my life.
So I stay stuck in my trench waiting for the bomb to drop.
But I’m trying. I’m gradually nudging away my crutches, peeling away those protective layers, recognising and weaning myself out of my self destructive, self sabotaging habits and braving the inevitable cliff jump that lies ahead.
I’m given up booze for Lent so no longer drink at home and I’ve been off Facebook for at least a fortnight.
Is this helping me progress? Yes, but sllowwwly, as I’m now slyly, surreptitiously taking refuge in blogging, faffing around on the internet and (the biggest sin of all) watching too much TV to keep me safe/stuck and stop me from having to make those all important changes.
As I type this, I’m sat in a silent sitting room, and every key tap sounds like that ‘Go Compare’ bloke tap dancing on sheet metal. I can hear my breath, the cat shifting on the duvet in his sleep and a tap dripping in the bathroom. The silence is all consuming.
I don’t like it.
For a while now, I’ve maintained that one of the main reasons I don’t like going out and doing stuff on my own is that it made me feel lonely. That has never made sense to me, but now, all of a sudden, it does.
My TV is and has been my best friend for a long, long time now. It natters away cheerily in the background, calms me, thrills me, educates me, makes me laugh and makes sure I’m good and bug-eyed tired before I go to bed. And if I’m on Facebook, I get to interact with others about what I’m watching, and it’s almost like being with them in person. Isn’t it?!
And now, in the absence of its endless, comforting white noise, the truth emerges; I don’t just feel lonely when I do stuff alone. I feel lonely all the time. The TV just shields and protects me from that fact when I stay indoors.
I didn’t want to know that.
I can hardly bear to type this down.
On Thursday night, I’m going to turn my TV off and leave it off until Easter. And whilst I can’t compare it with the suffering of a certain someone, this is going to be my very own Long Good Friday, where I get to spend a whole lot of silent, quality time with me, myself, I.
I can only hope I don’t end up shooting someone.
Finally, one of the challenges I have yet to complete from Week Four is writing my own Artists Prayer, and whilst I have toyed with some wording, in the lead up to Easter, I’m sure it will come out all by itself, as in ‘Oh God, what have I done?!’
Julia Cameron – biatch, you have a lot to answer for……