A Little String & A Stuffed Donkey

Eeyore Everything sucks.
Everything sucks.

I have this voice in my head that tells me that everything is meaningless.  It tells me that I shouldn’t bother with any of it, that it’s all pointless and I should just stop riding the ride. Get of the merry-go-round. I’ve taken to calling this voice Eeyore because it never has anything positive to say. Everything is hopeless in Eeyore’s world. Everything is terrible and futile and nothing is ever worth it.

I know just how crazy it sounds to say you have a voice in your head. I know what kind of looks a statement like that can foster. I never told anyone about this voice because, for one, it doesn’t want me to talk about it, so ineffectually, I tried to ignore its existence, and two, that’s not really how I feel. I don’t think it’s all pointless. I don’t think it has any meaning either necessarily, but I think human existence does have some value. Even if that’s only enjoying sitting outside on a warm summer day and feeling the breeze between your barefoot toes.

Eeyore used to yell at me on high volume. When I stopped paying attention to it, it would only yell louder until it became a deafening roar in my head. The only time it ever stopped was when I gave in to it and really did start believing everything was hopeless. Eeyore and I would wallow in our sorrows and not get out of bed. Eeyore lives in a deep, black hole inside of me. When I succumb to Eeyore’s world, it’s like I’m in a big black field of quicksand and I have only a tiny string attached to the outside world. If I let go of that string, Eeyore and I will be gone forever. I never let go of it because I don’t want to live in Eeyore’s world. I hang onto that string because it really is a matter of life and death. It’s a stupid little voice.

Over and over, like a mantra, it would shout, “stop it, stop it, stop it.” I was never entirely sure what exactly it wanted me to stop, until one day, I realized that it wanted me to stop living. It wanted me to crawl into its bleak, dark hole with it, never to return. I froze. Naw, I said, why would it be telling me to do that? If I did that, it would cease to exist, too. It didn’t make any sense to me, so I just ignored it like usual.

For years, I didn’t hear Eeyore as a distinct voice. I thought of it only as myself. It was in my brain, so therefore, it must be my brain. Lately though, I’ve been recognizing it as a distinct thing and not who I really am, which I suppose, is good. Because if I don’t see it as me, I can just slough of its insane notions.

More than anything, I wish that voice would just go away, but it won’t.  It’s trying desperately to get my attention. It’s annoying.  The more Eeyore rails, the more difficult it is to find arguments against it. The really hard part is finding joy when it’s not summer and sunny and cooly breezy outside; when not everything is going your way.  Even if it’s fleeting and tiny, I try to find something to be happy about.  It’s something to hold onto and makes that little string a little stronger.

Recently, I’ve discovered that giving in to Eeyore is not the only way to get it to go away.  I’ve found that I can also make it go away by talking about it.  I am writing about this voice, embarrassing as it is, precisely because it doesn’t want me to. It wants to be in the shadows. It doesn’t want me to recognize it. When I do, it stares at me like a deer in headlights and flees, but it always comes back. Usually, in a different shape. It has stopped yelling at me, drowning everything out with its negativity, but it’s still there. It manifests in different ways now. It has morphed into something much more subtle.

I have a compulsive need to scribble words on paper.  For me, it’s the only thing keeping me sane at the moment. It’s the only thing that combats the voice a little bit. I say to Eeyore, “Just let me write this one more thing and then we’ll talk about how it’s all meaningless some more, OK?”  It works, which is why I am writing more. If I don’t, it creeps up again.

I brought myself out of Eeyore’s world with writing. It’s the only thing I can do. It’s the only thing that will be here when I’m gone, maybe, if I’m lucky. So, I decided to write every damn day if I can, or at least think about writing every day, because it’s the only thing that will save me. Writing is one of the few things I can do pretty well and that I don’t mind sharing with the world, so I’m going to keep doing it. And you can’t stop me and the voice can’t stop me; only I can stop myself.

There’s no need to worry. If I was going to give in to Eeyore and join it forever in its quicksand world, I would have done so long before now, but I’m still here. I’m trying to fight it. When I’m not trying anymore, that’s when you need to worry.

This blog thing was the best thing I could have done for myself and for Eeyore.  We can purge those awful thoughts. I don’t really care whether anyone reads it, although it would be nice if they did, because it is chock full of AWESOME.  So, welcome to my insanity. Read about how I have voices in my head. Read about how crazy I am. I am not afraid.

This post is part of the On Being Series.