I’m so disappointed in you. And by “you,” I mean me

Illustration in "The Mascot" newspaper, New Orleans, 1888. "A Canal Street Scene on Mardi Gras Day"."Before the day had advanced drunken masqueraders were numerous and made themselves repugnant to people who lined the banquettes to view the parade of Rex. [...] there was a degree of immodesty exhibited by nearly all the female masqueraders seen on the streets. It seemed that nearly every woman in town who has a nice shape or uniformly nice limbs was out displaying her attractive qualities, and in many cases their conduct was disgraceful. The particular case which suggested this article and the cartoon [...was] at the corner of Canal and Bourbon streets [...] the crowd of women [...] came rushing up to the above corner regardless of the pleasure or convenience of others and pushing right and left made a general disturbance. When remonstrated by the police they only became furious and elevated their voices to such a tone that they were placed under arrest. At this juncture the scene became disgusting. The women rolled around on the banquette with clothes uplifted and scratching and biting the officers. Finally the beligerant females were overpowered and waltzed to jail."So I had my yoga and depression workshop tonight. And we had to do some visualization exercises. Don’t you hate those? When you have to look deep, deep within yourself and figure out what you’re feeling, both physically and emotionally? To begin with, they’re so cheesy. And I’m such a dissociative person, I often don’t really know. So I just lie there and try to be still and think of other things, like whether or not I’ll eat that other package of sausages despite the bone I got in the last package, but they’re different brands, but they’re still sausages, et cetera, whilst lying on the floor in a yoga “ceremony.” Tonight I did know what I felt, though, and it sucked.

I think I need to back up. It was triggered by something.

We first had to write down five things we judge ourselves for. That’s easy. They flow so quickly out of me. I fuck up so much. I get in my own way. If I would just shape up and fly right, everything would go so much more smoothly in my life and the lives of those around me. Everyone else seems to get it; why don’t I? Why haven’t I grown up yet? And we were supposed to meet the judgment with compassion. And I tried so hard to just observe it and let it be, without beating the fuck out of myself. Not a bad person, I’m not a bad person.

So then, we had to go on a fucking journey inside of ourselves, ooh, how fun and deep it all is, and see what we could find, yes, let’s, and then let’s pretend it’s gold instead of a steaming turd.

See, I found that my shoulders were tight. And that I’m extremely disappointed in myself.

My areas of judgment are simple: I procrastinate, I’m lazy, I don’t live up to my potential, I don’t commit, and I don’t face my problems. I feel that I really ought to do better in all these areas. I shake my head in frustrated amazement again and again that I don’t meet my expectations.

But then after asana (that’s the physical practice of yoga) and pranayama (the breathing practice) we had to do another visualization. This time, we had to meet a good friend of ours. And we talked with her. And I realized that she doesn’t judge me, and I don’t judge her.

None of my friends are disappointed in me. They just want me to be happy and healthy. They just get scared as fuck when I’m sick. They’re just terrified when I go back to being the broken friend, the one in the hospital, the one who no one knows how to help. But they don’t feel that I should somehow pull myself up by my bootstraps and get it together. It isn’t some shortcoming of mine that I have a major illness. They just love me unconditionally.

After that, I was supposed to meet myself in my visualization. And I couldn’t. I had no idea who I was. I tried, y’all, I really did. I didn’t cop out. I just don’t know who I am inside. It’s a weird feeling. I tried to see myself at different ages, different weights, in different clothes, and I couldn’t picture me. I was a cipher in my own mind.

So I’m holding myself to some strange standard, and I don’t know what it is, and I don’t know if it’s even attainable, because I don’t know who I’m trying to hold to it. I may not be tall enough to ride this ride. I may be expecting myself to play Rachmaninoff when really I’m a painter. Or a carny. How can I be disappointed in myself when I have no self-awareness? That’s kind of insane.

I just thought I had more understanding than this. Of myself, I mean. I’ve done a lot of work. I guess there’s a lot more there. There’s a lot of meat to eat still. I don’t like the way it tastes, but there’s a lot more on my plate.

Let’s go. I’ll try and stop it with the heavy sighs and head shaking, because it’s getting me exactly nowhere.


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