There are two halves to any brain. With my brain, one side is full of good intentions, plans, targets, goals and a sense of joy that I am alive and have achieved so much. Generally speaking this is the side of my brain that is actively in use, tackling every challenge head on, enjoying every little success no matter how small - a published letter or poem, a good day at the day job, an especially nice weekend or time with loved ones. But then there is the other side of my brain and that side is the one I try to suppress and ignore, the one that wags a calloused finger in my face sometimes and drags down my self-esteem. It tells me I am wasting my time, chasing dreams that will never come true, that I have been a failure in so many ways. It says to me - Jilly, you COULD have saved your parents' marriage when you were 12 if you had only tried harder; you COULD have been a great writer if you really wanted to but obviously you didn't really want to because man, just look at you now, all in a nasty sing-songy, playground taunty kind of voice. I hate that voice. There was a time when that voice could wipe out any of my good intentions and did so, frequently. But I always managed to bounce back and shut it back into its dark cave and leave it there. Actually, that voice has been pretty silent for the last couple of years at least. But it woke up from its hibernation on Thursday last week and I just cannot shut it up right now and that is bothering me. Not so much the fact it is there. More the fact I can't shut it up. I have always managed before. Why can't I now?
I have been trying since Thursday to pinpoint exactly what started it off. I am no closer to finding that elusive answer. I have not argued with my Steve who is as sweet and loving and giving as ever. I have not dropped a shilling and found a farthing. I have not rowed with anyone. I got a brilliant review at the Day Job, my children, grandchildren and siblings all love me unconditionally. The Young Writers are about to start again, I have published quite a few bits in the past year, I have got back the rights to Yucketypoo, The Book is at the Publisher, I have written SO MUCH poetry lately so why this sense of impending doom? Why do I feel so down when I am clearly on the up?
I don't know. I really don't.
All I know is that I need to snap out of it because it is a huge famished dark monster feeding on all my doubts, my misgivings, my sense of worth and I can't let it win, I really can't. I think there is only one things for it. I will have to read Og Mandino's The Choice again. And fight to beat this beast. I will soon have it scuttling back to its cave. I have to start right now ...