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Life, I always felt, needed to be solved before it could be enjoyed. A never-ending series of if… then scenarios that I’d chew on until the next one popped up. Nothing got resolved; just put on the back burner. I had a ton of back burners.

My resentment level grows around people who have solved for x. They’ve got the answers and aren’t sweating it anymore. I start each day with a blank sheet of paper and a broken pencil. I’m never showing up with my homework complete. Everyone knows something I don’t. And when I do learn, I quickly forget.

Here’s the loop: the lower my self-esteem, the worse I compare myself to others, the lower my self-esteem, the worse I feel, the lower my self-esteem, the more impossible it is to catch up. My alcoholic answer to this loop was: fall out and isolate. Everyone else keep running, I’ll be under this tree by the side of the road. Oh, and go f*** yourself while you’re at it.

That’s how I came to hate myself and others.

Why must I work so hard to blend? Why does what comes naturally to others turn into a knock-down, drag-out fight when it’s my turn? The distance keeps growing, right alongside the hopelessness.

Recognize: this is all self-absorbed ego. Pride in reverse. The misunderstood genius syndrome. The longer I don’t come up with a brilliant invention, the more pathetic I must seem.

Understand: no one’s waiting on me for anything. Except to let go of everything. Then I can run too.

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