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Just a view on the inner critic. Every time I read what I wrote I see a different angle. This person never even opened their eyes. Some day you can't.
The day had begun. Simple. It was early. Maybe 5am. The sun had frozen it’s rusty head in that moment just peaking over the sliver of black cloud from last night’s darkness. It was simple. Breathe. Begin. He was simple. To breathe and begin wasn’t. This endeavor would require movement and initiative. It was early. We know this. Seems simple. One arm, one leg, one eye. Move. Nope not so simple. This will be it. The moment. I will tell him again go. Go now. Simple right?
Hand on the door knob. One final look around the naked hallway. There were never any pictures up. Only the nicotine colored walls to greet our eyes each day. The orange sunlight just pronounced the discolored teeth stained shade of this hallway. Hand still on the door knob. What am I waiting for? This should be simple. Simplicity has become complicated these days. I turn the knob slowly. I hear the deadening empty thud of my emotions. He is awake. How do I tell him I can’t have him boot thundering around inside my skull anymore? He dances in my mind, he kicks the walls of my brain and he stomps his anger until the tears fall. He needs to go. Should be simple, right? Goodbye. One word in one second and it should be over. He will leave my thoughts and I’ll feel better. I’ll be able to think, to speak and to achieve without his insults, and backwards, damaging Johnny Walker wisdom.Holding my breath I complete the door knob turn and shove the door open. It’s brighter out than my yellow hallway. There are people and movement and then I hear him laughing.
He hisses “Where are you going? Nobody wants to see you. Stay here. Feed me. Tell me you need me”
I freeze. I can feel his foul breathe in my head. I look down the street. Children. They laugh. They don’t know how a parasite can become comfortable as you play its decaying host. I can’t go. He’s seething in anger.
“I said stay” he tells me. ” Why would anyone want what little you have to offer?”
I close my eyes and whisper back, “Listen to me. You….” My voice thins and trails. Not so simple. I huff up and try again looking foolish in my doorway knowing people passing can see my dull egg yolk smeared walls and know I’m not somebody any one would want.
‘Listen. You need to go. Find someone else to abuse. I don’t want you here. You hurt my thoughts you…” I trailed off again.
“Shut up!” He is angry. I cringe. Maybe today isn’t for me.
Two steps back and I’m in the shadows of my mucous shaded walls. I hang my head and remove my shoes.
I tell him quietly “You don’t matter to anyone either. You need to go. I don’t need you. I can’t have you. I can’t ask nicely anymore. Go!”
He laughed. He swore then he lit up a cigarette and sat down telling me I’m foolish and I need him. Without him I’d be lost. He was kicking the table leg he was sitting at and flicking glowing embers into the unexplored parts of my mind.
Today is the day. I need to do this. I held my head up. I breathed in and I said ” I want you out!”
My thoughts went silent. No movement. No fear. I began to worry. Did he go? Maybe it was simple. I put my shoes on and opened the door again and attempted to venture out.
A freedom was building. A hope. My inner critic had been evicted. I made him go.
I can believe again. I can be worthy. Without him… I stopped. I’d lost a friend. We spoke everyday. His words were harsh and cruel but I wasn’t alone. No. Nope. I have to do this. Do this for me. I stepped through my doorway and out into the bright day. Two steps at a time until I was running to my gate. Out and away! I looked back at my house. I’d left my door open. The hallway was shining bright. I smiled. In that house where all the doors stayed closed. The rooms where I kept the voices. Today was simple after all. I had evicted the inner critic.
I left my house door open. I heard all the other doors in my head open and everyone step out into their day without fear. Worth and Value looked great as they joined me outside yet in the hallways of my skull. Challenge and Achievement were bruised and rattled but they staggered to join us. Love and Hope were battle worn but they believed in me enough to survive. My head was quiet now and the hallways seemed inviting despite the dullness. I walked a few step and heard him.
“Oh no. Oh crap” I whimpered.
He said coldly, “Not without me. Not ever!” I was paralyzed. No. I buckled at the knees.
“No! It’s simple” . I was trying to rationalize with the irrational, “You’re gone and I can be hopeful of stability and function. To be capable and proud”. I looked at the ground. Fear was waking up. I forgot to close his kennel. Everyone in the carousel of the psychosis in my mind froze. He was back! No. Simple. He goes. We said goodbye right!
There were whispers. Were they in my head or on the street? I was aware I was being watched. Dignity. It was a small being in my head. Quiet and meek but today I needed dignity to be strong. Rise my child, rise! I fought to not burst in screams hoping Dignity would hear me. Determination suddenly arrived with Focus in a cab. They had been in prison for years. We all together screamed. “Go!”
I heard a door slam. I looked back at my house. It was dark. The windows boarded up and the grass black. Again we had hope. Again we had inner peace. Today wasn’t simple. Today was another day. Today he left. Today I smiled. Today I felt hopeful I can carry on.
Across the street a man walking a dog I couldn’t see said, “Hey. Why bother? Nobody cares.”
Today I had been hopeful.
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