Prelude to Pride

I’m having trouble writing lately. It’s an act requires a pretty hefty dose of ego, to think that your thoughts might be worth writing down and sharing. My confidence in that area has been pretty shaky lately. My confidence in general is pretty shaky by nature.

It’s almost time for Pride-with-a-capital-P, the local Gay Pride events. They’re already pretty fraught for a recovering alcoholic: floats sponsored by Budweiser, people drinking everywhere, at least half of the pre- and post-parade events taking place in bars. It feels weird, to try and celebrate your life while surrounded by so much temptation for self-destruction.

To be honest, I have a hard time working up a sense of queer pride within myself because pride – any kind of pride – is a bit of an alien concept. That’s not just with respect to queer issues. I’ve met a lot of people – people with mental disorders and/or addictions – who are proud of themselves for the things they’ve survived. I admire the sentiment; I agree they should be proud of themselves. I just don’t know how to create that feeling for myself.

There’s so much “wrong” with me, if I listen to the voices in my head. I’m defective as a woman because I’m genderqueer. I’m defective as a person because I have a personality disorder – I mean, it’s right there in the diagnosis. I’m just plain defective because I’m an addict who has lapsed in the past. It feels like no matter how much counseling I do, no matter how much queer-positive and mental-health-empowering literature I read, I just can’t dislodge these voices.

I can’t seem to be proud of what I’ve survived because so much of it is internal. My outer world hasn’t been so bad, comparatively. If my brain worked right, my life would probably be pretty easy. And that makes it really, really difficult not to blame myself for everything. I can’t seem to take pride in overcoming obstacles that feel entirely self-created.

I know I need to find a new counselor. I’ve been putting it off, mostly for anxiety-related reasons. The more I dwell on this topic, the more I know I just can’t untangle these issues alone.



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