My mind was in turmoil.
I knew that I needed to quit my job but I didn’t have the strength to do it. My mind raced back to my childhood and I was seated on my bike. My father had taken my stabilisers off and although I knew I could ride freely, I was scared out of my wits. In the end he gave me a little push, while running by the side of me, and everything was so much easier. Here I was some twenty-odd years later, waiting for someone to push me and to be there for me should I wobble.
In times such as these you look to a few select number of people to help you out. They are invariably your closest friends or family and you expect them to be there for you, because you feel like it is their duty…after all you would do the same for them -wouldn’t you? But I am here to warn you that you might not get the support you need. In fact instead of getting the push you wanted, you get a right hook in the solar plexus leaving you gasping for breath.
I was at a very low ebb when I received a phone call from one of my best friends. I was performing poorly at work because I was placing so much effort into poker and writing. I knew I couldn’t continue in this vain, and needed to quit, but I didn’t feel like I had any support. I remember my friend asking me if I still had that stupid idea in my head. The stupid idea that he was referring to was the idea to quit my job and pursue a job that I would enjoy. The more my friend spoke about how stupid my idea was, the more I started to believe that he was right. I started to move away from the precipice from whence I once stood, and my dream seemed more distant than ever. Then he said something to me that I will always remember. It wasn’t just the depth of hurt that the words provided, but it was because they came from HIS mouth.
The stuff that you write is not that good anyway
I was so upset I put the phone down immediately and later that evening cried openly in front of my family. After a good sob I went through a period of reflection. I had known this friend all of my life and I knew he had a good heart. I realised that he was deploying scaremongering tactics to prevent me from making a decision he did not believe was the correct one. During my periods of reflection I asked myself if I have ever behaved in the same way. As I searched my memory banks I realised that I had taken on the role of scaremonger many times before, and still do from time to time.
When you are ready to make a monumental life change, people around you will become just as scared as you. Some of them will be scared because your decisions directly affect their wellbeing – such as a wife or child – and others will be scared because they love you and worry about you. Once you realise this you can prepare yourself for it. I now know that my friend was trying to be helpful when he hurt me, and had I been prepared for that I would not have been as hurt. I hope by reading this you can prepare yourself better than I did.
Do you use scaremongering tactics yourself? What results do you get?
When I cry I have either watched a very moving piece of television, read a moving book or have had my emotions squeezed into a food mixer and whizzed and whizzed. I remember that I was so angry with my friend when this happened that I couldn’t speak to him for a few months afterwards. I even considered never speaking to him again.
I was lucky that I had the ability to reflect and understand why he did what he did; otherwise I would have lost a dear friend whom I love very much. When dealing with the subject of negativity this seemed such an obvious topic for me to write about.