Learning to take responsibility for my actions improved my life a hundred fold.
It’s hard to see light at the end of the tunnel when you’re going through something difficult at present. I understand that. Probably the worst advice anyone can give someone going through a bad time is to be accountable for what happened. It’s hard to see that way forward when you can be stuck in an endless mind-loop of whatever difficulty or trauma that befalls you. I know, because I have experienced it myself.
I’ll tell you a story.
As I’ve often talked about, my childhood wasn’t the greatest. It was filled with abusive men, mum giving me really good advice but not mirroring that advice with her actions, and a shed-load of bullying. Fast forward into my adulthood we have a man that went through an extremely traumatic Psychotic episode laced with copious amounts of alcohol and not the proper support network to help me through what I was experiencing. My psychosis was that I was gang raped and I felt deeply ashamed of what I went through, so much so that I fabricated the lie that the entire UK was out to kill me. All of this on top of my childhood shame, and my issues with my dad.
Most of my life it’s been a hard old slog just to keep sane. The incessant voice within telling me that I should be something more, battered down by my actual reality of what I was living; low status male working meaningless jobs that had lots of acquaintances and very few friends that stuck with him, that he felt were there for him.
Now for a long time I did succumb to the blame game. At one point in my life I was young, good looking, and headed on an upwards career path. For about six to ten months of my life I had a solid goal of where I wanted to be. In the end? I fucked it all up, yeah, I threw it in the trash much like I did with everything else in life. I had started drinking again and that’s how I ended up with psychosis. Long story short I began to blame everyone in the world for my problems bar myself.
Now you may be thinking right about now that it wasn’t my fault and I shouldn’t be blaming what was essentially royal fuckery by my parents and social circle, which I guess mostly it was. But as I said to my good friend last year when we were discussing this; at what point do I start owning this? I mean I can blame my parents all my life, and my friends for not giving way to me forever, but essentially that will get me nowhere. I realised this a few years ago right about when I was starting my new job.
A Popular YouTuber was looking for success stories from people that have been through traumatic times and came out of the other end. I sent an article into her and she didn’t like it. Mainly because real success stories don’t tell you what you want to hear, the success stories I see these days are of people being supportive and getting together to work towards a common goal; but real success stories are filled with failure and disappointment and mostly those that have achieved success understand one key thing:
I am the result of every decision I have ever made in my life
I’m not saying success is objective, though. Success could have been just getting out of bed. Now imagine the amount of times you failed at that? See.
Now bear with me before you fly off the handle in a furious rage as that YouTuber did. At some point in your life you’re going to have to own the decisions that you make, and you’ll not be able to pin them on anyone else. Well, you don’t need to own them I guess, as I say, you can blame a variety of different people for your failures in life, ie foreigners, white men, black men, women, men, rich people, poor people, whatever your brand of not taking responsibility will be, and let me not kid you here, there will be Politicians that will add merit to your blame to gain more votes. I see this happen in most western countries. But please don’t allow me to stray, the point being that I am responsible for my own failures in life and that’s how I survive.
How? Well, I blamed my dad for many years over many things, but he didn’t frog march me down to the bar and make me drink all that beer and whisky daily. My dad didn’t make me at gun point to take sick days off work either. At any point in my life I could have stood up to my bullies and the outcome would have been massively different than it was. I could have stopped drinking when I came out of hospital for the first time, no one was holding my family ransom else I get into a drunken stupor nightly and create all sorts of mischief for myself. Everyone in my social circle from good people to bad people, I could have changed the way I responded to them, but I didn’t. I had all the books and all the help I could want at my fingertips back at twenty one, people were practically throwing help at me for free back then. No-one told me not to take it.
See where I am going with this? Every bad decision in my life was down to myself. My own decision making skills. No-one else; no-one had the ability to remotely control me to do the things that I did, and say the things I said. Even dad, a man that was a manipulative son of a bitch, at no point did he ever have a remote control. I was, and still am, the master of my own destiny and no-one can take this away from me.
You’re not encouraged to take responsibility in life though. Because if you did then you would be an independent thinker, and you wouldn’t be as easily controlled as media and government would like it. You know why you’re constantly made to feel broken? Because it sells, and it sells well. Get the new iPhone because it will make you feel complete. Buy a new car and you’ll feel great again. If you ever watch every Politician ever, there’s always some crisis to be averted that will stir people up into a frenzy, and almost always always someone to blame. Never anyone standing up and saying, “Yeah, we screwed up, we need to fix this.” Unless I hear actionable solutions from a Politician then I’ll just switch off. Blame, fear and negativity sell like hotcakes. Contentedness within doesn’t, and it’s why it’s extremely hard to master in a world that tells you you’re broken and not like anyone else.
So what’s the solution? Well, all it is, is a mindset shift. I say this like it’s easy, but it’s not. Instead of blaming others for what happened to you why not look at your part in the equation; look at how your actions have affected outcomes and look to change them for the better next time. Don’t keep repeating the same shit over and over again. What if you couldn’t affect the outcome? I get that, that happens. Then score a line under it, remember it, but start looking towards the future. If you constantly look into the past then you’ll never ever be able to look into the future holds for you. Draw a line under negativity and works towards a better life for yourself. What is in the past can’t be changed. It should be there as a reminder of what we’ve experienced but that’s all. Look forward, change starts now.
Change starts within.