Live Like Fuck

10/03/2011 · 132 comments

in I'm not funny here.

I started choking again two weeks ago.

It’s awful each time–feeling that lurid grip that sits high in my chest, just above where my inspiration originates. It hits very suddenly with a cyclone of self-abuse and careful evaluation of each word I’ve said, each action I’ve taken, and every single way in which I don’t think I was ever good keeping the grip tight enough to bruise.

I should have seen it coming, just as I should have seen it coming the last time it happened to me, and the time before that.

You’re not good enough.

I’ve never been good enough for my own standards. I’m the only one holding myself up to this measuring stick, and I’m the only one who beats me with it when I can’t meet it–again.

I am my own abuser now.

Just once I’d like to look at my own hands and think for one second that I am enough.

I’ll never be enough because the only way I can accept the good things that happen in my life is to accept the fact that none of them feel real. Something bright will happen, and before I can smile the choke comes back again, like an allergic reaction to good.

When is it all going to go away? How long do I have before the other shoe drops? 

I can never seem to be proud of what I’ve done. All of this is temporary, I didn’t earn it and it will never be mine.

I’m choking back anything good that could be by being penitent only to my own demons. 

If the bad doesn’t come quickly enough, I can always count on my choke to sabotage what is good. If things won’t fuck up on their own, I’ll take care of it myself. My defiance is sabotaging my happiness in a weird cycle of stupid.

And then there is a brief flash in the middle of the choke of something that I’ve done that maybe–maybe–is good enough.

And it is then I realize–this choke may never go away, because in some sick way I need it. I don’t have an abuser to return to, so I’ll do it myself. Will I ever be able to be creative without pain and abuse and hatred? Can I produce if there’s nothing awful spurring me forward?

Is my success tied to self destruction?

It can’t be.

There has to be a better way to do this. There has to be something else.

There has to be something more to work with, another handhold, another step, another link–I can’t take this.

And then, it’s gone. The grip is released. All the pressure, all the guilt and hatred and desire to do anything but fuck up–it’s all gone.

There’s no shining lights, there’s no bells or trumpets or confetti or anyone who knows what has happened because by this point, I’ve shoved them all away. There is only me–sitting alone in my car, gripping my steering wheel so tight my knuckles creak–realizing that this is a brief reprieve of victory.

And in that moment, in that release of good that was accompanied not by drugs or alcohol or cutting or the wish to leave or anything else artificial but only me, I learn what it means to live like fuck.

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Susan Crippin October 3, 2011 at 4:47 am

Wow. That was amazing to read. Thank you.

Noa October 3, 2011 at 5:20 pm

Thank you!

Non-Crisped Texan October 3, 2011 at 5:02 am

That’s when you need to giggle at the absurdity of it all and wear a spiffy t-shirt such as http://earache.com/uswebstore/images/AndHellFollowedWithThroatTS.jpg

Works for me anyway. Nobody is ever as good as they think they should be unless they have low standards.

And remember the Non-Crisped MOTTO FOR LIFE, as this is an important thing to follow:
NEVER TAKE ADVICE

It’ll get better or it won’t. I promise.

Noa October 3, 2011 at 5:20 pm

I must have that shirt. I must have it.

I appreciate you pointing the way.

Sadie Sez October 3, 2011 at 5:32 am

Ah, the choke. Mine had always been the body flush/fire of shame that led to violent weeping. Until the day I realized and BELIEVED that “measuring up” meant living according to someone else’s standards, and I don’t really like most people. Ha! Never forget your own awesomeness!
Sadie Sez recently posted..Mommyaches

Noa October 3, 2011 at 5:21 pm

I hope you never forget YOUR awesomeness, Sadie. Because you are rad as fuck.

Sadie Sez October 3, 2011 at 7:54 pm

We ALL rock, that’s why we’re here.
Sadie Sez recently posted..Mommyaches

Noa October 5, 2011 at 6:26 pm

Thank you–that was awesome of you to say.

Annie October 3, 2011 at 6:29 am

You are incredibly talented. I can’t imagine you being so hard on yourself, but then I’m not in your head. My husband once told me to ‘stop kicking my own ass’, which I thought at the time was over something specific. It wasn’t, it became obvious to me that I do it all the time over everything.

Baby steps.

Noa October 3, 2011 at 5:21 pm

Thanks, Annie! Baby steps and adult beverages.

Abby October 3, 2011 at 6:32 am

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve told myself to get out of my own damn way. I take that to mean camp out on the couch watching the game and putting “write something” on my to-do list as of late, but still…self-doubt is the biggest obstacle to creativity. Fuck it and carry on, my friend.
Abby recently posted..Don’t Sweat It

Noa October 3, 2011 at 5:22 pm

When we can all learn to live like fuck, it’s gonna be a hell of a day.

Hoody Hoo October 3, 2011 at 6:45 am

yet again, we are far too alike… and speaking as your Other Self, you know damn well we’re better than this bullshit! So, indeed — LIVE. LIKE. FUCK.
Hoody Hoo recently posted..How Many Times Do I Have to Say It?

Noa October 3, 2011 at 5:22 pm

Let’s fucking do it, MaybeMe.

Jen October 3, 2011 at 7:35 am

Oh Christ on a crouton do I ever know that feeling. A lot of it was from growing up with a sister that seemed to do everything (well, actually DID everything) right while I stumbled around in her shadow trying to be funny so I could get a little street cred. Gil played a large role as well, constantly belittling me and saying I could never go baack to school or do anything else with my life because I wasn’t smart/pretty/funny/talented enough to amount to anything. Now, whenever I succeed at something it almost seems false, like it’s only a matter of time before someone figures out I don’t know what the fuck I’m doing (even if I DO) and they yank the rug out from under me. I found this card on line and hanging it at my desk has helped quite a bit. Just kinda puts all that shit into perspective.
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-HSdmRG4wf1o/TaZOe2Ddf2I/AAAAAAAAA9E/KNG32kGs55s/s1600/Funny%2BWorkplace%2BEcard%2BWhen%2Bwork%2Bfeels%2Boverwhelming%252C%2Bremember%2Bthat%2Byou%2527re%2Bgoing%2Bto%2Bdie.jpg

Live like fuck, my sistah. You are worth it.
-Jen
Jen recently posted..An Open Letter To Our Waitress

Misty October 3, 2011 at 8:06 am

Damnit, Jen, when do I get to practice my mad nad kicking skills on that son of a bitch . . . because if ever anyone needed a good crippling crotch shot, it is that fucking ex-husband of yours. He better watch out if I ever make it to P-town.

Nobody puts baby in the corner.
Misty recently posted..Bringing it . . . again!

Jen October 3, 2011 at 8:46 am

Pfft! You’re implying that he actually HAS nads. Pack up your steel-toed boots and get in line. He’s got plenty of women who’d like to take a belt-sander to his scrotum. That being said, I love that you want to maim him for me. Thank you!!! Much love. :)
Jen recently posted..An Open Letter To Our Waitress

Paula @ thewilyweez October 3, 2011 at 11:03 am

I would also like to offer my maiming services to you free of charge.
Paula @ thewilyweez recently posted..Shit I Heard Over The Weekend: I Might Have Rabies

Jen October 3, 2011 at 1:55 pm

I LOVE YOU GUYS SO FREAKIN’ MUCH!!!!
Jen recently posted..WWJD? (Why Would Jen Date?)

Johi October 3, 2011 at 4:44 pm

Please introduce me to your ex when I am having one of my psycho-rage filled PMS moments. You can bring a camera. It will be an Internet sensation.
Johi recently posted..And then I proved to everyone that I am always accountable for my actions.

Jen October 3, 2011 at 4:54 pm

That shit’s goin’ viral, y’all!
Jen recently posted..WWJD? (Why Would Jen Date?)

Noa October 3, 2011 at 5:30 pm

@Jen: Oh Jen. I think you’ve made it incredibly clear with your comment here that your ex was a complete jackass. You’re awesome as shit, and you know it.

@Misty: Goddamn it you’re too cool to exist. I WANT TO BE YOU.

@Paula: Is that offer open to anyone, or Jen in particular?

@Johi: We can always count on you to be the camera person. Wait–that means you never take the rap for it. Brilliant, you ridiculous bitch, brilliant.

Paula @ thewilyweez October 4, 2011 at 7:23 am

The offer stands for anyone. I will accept Cheetos in lieu of a thank you note once I have maimed the person of your choosing.
Paula @ thewilyweez recently posted..Shit I Heard Over The Weekend: I Might Have Rabies

Noa October 5, 2011 at 6:27 pm

Puffed or croonchy?

Misty October 3, 2011 at 8:03 am

Once again you are in my head, lady.

I battle with that self doubt all the time and am constantly waiting for that other shoe to drop. I always feel like everything has to even out as well, so if something good happens to me, something bad will surely follow. I am my own worse enemy. I have crippling low self esteem and doubt that I am “good enough” all the damn time.

So, I feel you. How about this? We vow to both recognize that we can truly be awesome, and fuck all that other noise. Hard to do. Let’s give it a go, shall we? Because you are damn straight the bees knees lady, and I strive to be half as funny and interesting as you are on a daily basis, seemingly without effort. So just know that I am a fan and a supporter. I’ll be your air conditioned spanx, k?

Rock on with your bad self.
Misty recently posted..Bringing it . . . again!

Jen October 3, 2011 at 3:22 pm

Oh my Crap, Misty — you are MORE than good enough! You’re a lawyer, you are hi-frickin-larious, you have a pretty epic sounding hubs and you have straw-boy and watch-man salivating in your wake. they should build fucking SHRINES to you!
Jen recently posted..WWJD? (Why Would Jen Date?)

Misty October 3, 2011 at 3:44 pm

Oh shit, that just made my whole flippin day! I (heart) you, Jen. You are so good for my self esteem!
Misty recently posted..Bringing it . . . again!

Jen October 3, 2011 at 3:49 pm

Hey, it’s the least I can do when you offer to castrate my ex for me. :)
Jen recently posted..WWJD? (Why Would Jen Date?)

Misty October 3, 2011 at 3:50 pm

And they do need to get on with building that shrine already. How else are people to worship me properly?
Misty recently posted..Bringing it . . . again!

Noa October 3, 2011 at 5:31 pm

@Misty: I’ve never seen a friendship quote quite like air conditioned spanx before. And now, you’ve made my whole fucking day. Thanks, Misty.

@Jen: I’m really afraid you and Misty are going to end up on the news at some point.

Misty October 3, 2011 at 6:32 pm

You mean for some sort of humanitarian relief efforts or organizing a March for AIDS or some shit, right Noa?

Actually, I do fear for society if we ever end up in the same place together. Hear that San Diego? You’ve officially been warned.
Misty recently posted..Bringing it . . . again!

Noa October 3, 2011 at 6:36 pm

I’m so afraid.

Kelly October 3, 2011 at 8:31 am

I fight with myself so often, I’m surprised people don’t think that I’m schizophrenic. That being said, I have no sage advice to offer except that sometimes what we think is our worst makes us better. It’s like playing King of the Mountain with yourself. Even if you fall, you still won. And you take that victory and you shove it in your own face, and tell yourself that you will not be your own worst enemy.

Because you’re good enough, you’re smart enough, and gosh darn it, people like you.

Live like fuck, girl. Live. Like. Fuck.
Kelly recently posted..Get off my @#$%&* porch. Unless you have Thin Mints.

Noa October 3, 2011 at 6:35 pm

Stuart Smalley is the voice in all of us.

Leigh October 3, 2011 at 9:29 am

Oh, how I know the choke….

I love this idea of living like fuck…

and I love that I found your blog.
Leigh recently posted..let’s go… let go….

Noa October 3, 2011 at 5:32 pm

I love that you found it too. One day, maybe the choke will be gone and we’ll be living like fuck every day.

Jaclyn October 3, 2011 at 9:35 am

I think everyone has something they are holding onto that makes them a fucked up person. Some hide it better than others but I know some people who are constantly sabotaging themselves. What makes you stronger is your ability to see it, to say it out loud. You need to realize that is what sets you apart. That is what saves you. Because you can take a step back and put it into perspective and breathe. And even when it feels like you are out of control, you aren’t. Because you know where you are at and you can understand why- that it is in the past and that you can’t change it. And that it will always effect you and that sometimes you need to feel the worst parts because that’s what makes the good parts worth feeling. You realize that the emptiness is gone, the sadness. You realize that the reasons you are this way don’t really exist anymore. It doesn’t make you any less damaged, but it makes it bearable. Keep breathing, Noa. You are strong as fuck.
Jaclyn recently posted..THAT Lady…

Noa October 3, 2011 at 5:33 pm

Jaclyn, you made me cry. Knock that shit off.

But seriously–thank you so very much.

Jaclyn October 3, 2011 at 9:38 pm

If you feel yourself tearing up, just remember my last comment about blood clots and anal. Should clear that shit right up :)
Jaclyn recently posted..THAT Lady…

Noa October 5, 2011 at 6:27 pm

Wow–yeah. I won’t cry for weeks now.

Crystal @ PoM October 3, 2011 at 9:36 am

This is so familiar I feel like it was ripped from my own head. Years of abuse and a list of abusers seems to have left me without being able to survive without it. Now, when no one else will abuse me, I abuse myself mentally and emotionally. I constantly feel like everything I touch turns to shit. I’m doomed to fail anyway, so why bother? It’s a painful cycle I can’t seem to escape.
Crystal @ PoM recently posted..Channeling Mrs. Doubtfire

Noa October 3, 2011 at 5:34 pm

Once you learn your signs and triggers, you can learn to combat them. It won’t be easy, it won’t be fast, but it will be better one day.

Turd Fergussen October 3, 2011 at 10:02 am

Thank you for saying this. I feel much less alone now, much less wrecked. Much less like I am floating around in the atmosphere. xoxo

Jen October 3, 2011 at 1:58 pm

We’re all wrecked, TF. The point isn’t how to stop the boat from hitting the iceberg, the point is that we all huddle together in the lifeboats to stay warm. Fuck, that was some deep shit, yo.
Jen recently posted..WWJD? (Why Would Jen Date?)

Noa October 3, 2011 at 5:34 pm

Whoa, Jen. Whoa on the deep shit there.

Noa October 3, 2011 at 5:34 pm

You’re not alone, I promise. We’re all pretty fucked up here.

Dani October 3, 2011 at 10:40 am

My motto: What doesn’t kill you makes you funnier.

Years ago in high school, when I was a naive little valley girl, I took a psych class at the local university to get extra credit. A part of the course was on child abuse, and signs and symptoms that one needed to be aware of if a child is acting out with certain behaviors. One of the behaviors was “excessive masturbation.”
Hand to God, I had no idea what masturbation was. So I went home and looked it up in the circa 1932 dictionary that my parents had. The definition, according to Webster, was “Self abuse.”
No more, no less.

Eventually, after much embarrassment and inappropriate questions, I did find out what masturbation actually was. But now, as an adult, whenever I feel the need to self-flagellate (which I do, frequently) because I’m a) not good enough b) never have been good enough and c) never will be good enough, I hear a little voice in the back of my head saying, “Stop the masturbation! Stop the masturbation!”

Dear Noa,

No more masturbation.

Love,

Dani
Dani recently posted..Yambien and Baileys babyyyyyyyy!!!

Sars! October 3, 2011 at 12:01 pm

This is brilliant! I have a really old dictionary at home that I am now antsy to go and check. :)
Sars! recently posted..3am…

Carrie - Cannibalistic Nerd October 3, 2011 at 1:49 pm

That was awesome. And I am visualizing someone running into a movie set/wedding/church yelling “Stop the masturbation! Stop the masturbation!” And it funny.
Carrie – Cannibalistic Nerd recently posted..How to Tell a Girl You Like Her OR Leave Me Alone – You Can Decide Later!

Noa October 3, 2011 at 5:36 pm

@Dani: I couldn’t breathe for laughing at this. Thank you–that’s exactly what I needed today.

@Sars: Don’t get off about it or anything.

@Carrie: Every thought of church is now tainted with dildoes.

Sars! October 3, 2011 at 10:45 am

I feel ya sista! Okay that sounded gay. Whatever. I got the certification for the bi-polar express a couple years ago and have choked on writing the story. The anxiety is maddening. The elephant that sits on my chest is baby, but a fat bastard and he doesn’t listen. So I say fuckit! And I just go until it flows and that moment comes.

You are amazingly funny and an inspiration. Knowing that you struggle too, actually makes me feel like I can improve myself and one day have hope of becoming a funny bitch. I try to never send people to a post I wrote about things, but it was very recent… read it if you like. a moment – http://yougotsars.com/?p=210
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Noa October 3, 2011 at 5:37 pm

Oh Sars, we’re all pretty fucked up here. Sometimes, fucked up is what connects you, but funny will keep it all together.

Paula @ thewilyweez October 3, 2011 at 11:15 am

I think almost everyone has weeks or even months when they feel similar to this, so please know you are not alone even though it can start to feel like you are when trapped in your head with those thoughts. Times like those are when I bust out the music and practice my badass interpretive dance skills in front of a mirror…it helps make the crazy go away.
Paula @ thewilyweez recently posted..Shit I Heard Over The Weekend: I Might Have Rabies

Jen October 3, 2011 at 3:23 pm

I find googling pictures of hot Canadian guys eases the psyche exponentially. But of course we all remember what happened during my last interpretive “Moves Like Jagger” moment. :)
Jen recently posted..WWJD? (Why Would Jen Date?)

Noa October 3, 2011 at 5:38 pm

Hold on just a second, I’m about to blow some serious cash on iTunes.

Jaime October 3, 2011 at 11:25 am

thanks for being real….. I recently posted something similar where I admit things that I usually hide away deep inside the recesses of my brain.
it’s good to hear about others feelings like this …. makes me feel more normal… more human.. or maybe we’re all just fucked up… either way.. thanks.
Jaime recently posted..for the love of a different view… my passion

Noa October 3, 2011 at 5:38 pm

You’re normal. We’re all fucked up in some way or another. It’s not easy to throw this shit out on the internet and hope no one makes fun of you–but we’re never alone in this.

Dianne October 3, 2011 at 11:33 am

Hey. Go easy on yourself.

Noa October 3, 2011 at 5:39 pm

I’ll try.

Mamy October 3, 2011 at 12:09 pm

I think it’s human nature to not think we are good enough or pretty enough or funny enough…I could go on and on. I watch my 3 year old and she has no concept yet nor any inclination that she is anything but perfect. I hate to think that someday she will feel that she is not good enough so I am doing everything in my power to let her know every day how awesome she really is!

You, Noa, enrich all of your followers lives by your posts. I’ve had horrible, stress-filled shit days where I’ve read your blog and laughed myself silly, tears streaming down my face and the day somehow turns around. You will always be “good enough”. Just keep telling yourself that!
Mamy recently posted..Ramblings on Harry Potter and Alan Rickman.

Noa October 3, 2011 at 5:40 pm

I hope your daughter grows up to be as rad as you are. Also–thank you so very much.

bschooled October 3, 2011 at 12:30 pm

Holy shit. You just expressed in one short post what I can’t express in fifty pages of single spaced type.

It’s fucked up, isn’t it? Sometimes I feel so sorry for myself. Not in the “Oh, woah is me” sense, but rather in the sense that my body got stuck with a mind that doesn’t believe that anything it does is good enough.

You are one courageous and hilarious bitch.
bschooled recently posted..Hooked On A Feeling

Dani October 3, 2011 at 12:34 pm

That’s what I want on my headstone: “Here lies one courageous and hilarious bitch.” Fabulous. I love that real hard.
Dani recently posted..The Legend of Danook of the North

Noa October 3, 2011 at 5:41 pm

Damn–you claimed it first.

Noa October 3, 2011 at 5:40 pm

Bea, if one day I could learn to be as funny as you are, I’m convinced it would break this cycle. Don’t forget how awesome you are, okay?

Audra October 6, 2011 at 12:13 pm

@bschooled I was gonna leave a reply on this thread, but you said it perfectly. This is what I wanted to say, Noa. What she said.

Noa October 8, 2011 at 1:35 pm

Thanks, Audra!

bschooled October 3, 2011 at 12:31 pm

Oh, and did I mention fucking talented?

Noa October 3, 2011 at 5:41 pm

Shut it, Bea. I’d give anything to be as funny as you are.

Andi October 3, 2011 at 1:00 pm

What I have come to realize is this: your brain will try to kill you. The brain is very logical, and when you are feeling pain then your brain keeps revisiting the site to see if it’s gone yet. Ever had a toothache and kept prodding that tooth? Yep. So when you get stuck on the hamster wheel of self-loathing, the brain goes over it and over it, “Is it gone yet? Is it gone yet?” Problem is, that constant prodding deepens the rut you’re stuck in. Sometimes the conscious choice to go fill the brain with something else — like a White Russian and a Tarantino movie — is the only thing that will derail it. Every now and again, it miraculously derails itself and you’re left baffled as to why you felt so bad for so long.

You are amazing, brilliant, and hysterically funny. Self-doubt is bound to crop up in a society that needs to keep us unhappy so we will continue to buy things. Keep reminding yourself that the choking feeling is temporary and there are myriad ways to make it disappear — including, if necessary, doctors and drugs.

We’d all miss you if you weren’t here.
Andi recently posted..Sci Fi Sunday

Misty October 3, 2011 at 1:32 pm

Yeah, that’s actually what I meant to say, so . . . um, what she said. ^^^

:)

Noa October 3, 2011 at 5:43 pm

Most touching TWSS joke of all time.

Jen October 3, 2011 at 3:26 pm

John Milton said: The mind in its own place and in itself can make a hell of heaven, and a heaven of hell”. Basically, we overthink things so much that eventually all of our shit winds up bass-ackwards. Hah! And my parents didn’t think I’d ever use my Liberal Arts degree. SUCK IT, Mom and Dad!
Jen recently posted..WWJD? (Why Would Jen Date?)

Noa October 3, 2011 at 5:43 pm

You give me hope that my degree isn’t total bullshit.

Noa October 3, 2011 at 5:42 pm

Andi, thank you so much. You, also, made me cry, which is awesome and also freaky all in one. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate that.

Mrs. B. October 3, 2011 at 1:51 pm

Why is it us bitches who seem to the rest of the world like we’re made of recycled brass balls are some of the most self-doubting bunch of delicate flowers in the bouquet? We’ve all got our demons. As someone who’s probably got bellybutton lint older than most of you, take it from Auntie B that freedom comes when you truly don’t give a good goddamn what other people think of you.

There are waaaaaaayyyyyyy too many people who seem to not have any mirrors in their houses, who never take a moment to reflect that they aren’t the epitome of human achievement, who don’t and never will make one fucking difference in the big scheme of things, and who resent the hell out of anyone who seems to be having a good time and enjoying life, and these people will judge you and you will always, ALWAYS, come up short with them. It is absolutely meaningless. In fact, by their very inability to be even remotely supportive or kind, they have proven themselves unworthy of your concern. Fuck ‘em in the ear.

I hope you can come to appreciate yourself more and find joy in whatever makes you happy. Try and connect with people who treat you with respect. Most of all, know that you are bright, intelligent, talented, ballsy (and I don’t know you well enough to list your other qualities, but you have them). Your successes are your successes because you earned them. Own it and be proud of yourself.
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Noa October 3, 2011 at 5:44 pm

When I wrote this post, it was all I could do to press publish on this one. I knew this would be the one that I was judged on, where someone said, “grow the fuck up, you pussy.” Comments like this make me realize that it’s okay to be a little fucked up.

wagthedad October 3, 2011 at 2:00 pm

I’ve spend most of my adult life preparing myself for some kind of tragedy. You call it choking, I call it anxiety, tension, whatever. Something good happens and I’m waiting for the axe to fall and show me why exactly I cannot enjoy what had just happened because life is too fucked up for that, people die or go away, and you’re left sitting alone on the curb drinking a beer and watching the people go by and hating every minute of it.

Which is totally fucked up. Because then when actual tragedy happens, like once every ten years, I feel all fine with myself. All that preparation has finally paid off.

But living your life in preparation of a tragedy is not a way to live. It’s a way to exist for awhile, and then when no tragedy happens, to look back on all the life you’ve missed waiting for everything to go south.

Thanks for this post, Noa. Are you working your way into becoming a leader of the people or something? This is really going to speak to a lot of people.
wagthedad recently posted..Sexual Advice For Straight Men Rule #3

Noa October 3, 2011 at 5:46 pm

I hope it speaks to someone who is in my shoes 5 years ago, because I really could have used this then.

You nailed it, Wag, that’s exactly how I live right now, and it sucks.

Carrie - Cannibalistic Nerd October 3, 2011 at 2:06 pm

I’m trying to live like “fuck it.” Which I think is the same thing.

When I read posts like yours, and comments to them – it makes me feel like a part of a big People Who Are Too Hard On Themselves community. And when I see the kinds of people who are like that, I feel like I’m in good company, as sucky as it can be.

So boo to the choke, but yay for the honesty and pep talks.
Carrie – Cannibalistic Nerd recently posted..How to Tell a Girl You Like Her OR Leave Me Alone – You Can Decide Later!

Noa October 3, 2011 at 5:47 pm

WE’RE ALL RAD AND FUCKED AND IT’S COOL.

Glad you’re here.

Alana October 3, 2011 at 2:08 pm

I have been reading a book lately that has changed my life. It is titled “Self-Esteem,” but I cannot remember the authors’ names. I have also started wearing a rubberband on my wrist and popping myself every time my internal critic starts to attack. It is a slow process, but I feel myself healing a little more each day.

I can relate so very well to your post. I flinch at the smallest positive turn of events. Surely life is just setting me up for a bigger fall. My subconscious can’t believe that good things can happen to “someone like me.” Old habits…

Big hugs!!! We recognize what is happening…that’s one step in the right direction!

Alana
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Noa October 3, 2011 at 5:48 pm

I’m almost horrified to see how many people can directly relate to what I write. It makes me want to buy a round of shots for every person in the US. Thank you for sharing–one day, we’ll be less fucked.

Elly Lou October 3, 2011 at 2:24 pm

Oh butterhead. I wish you could see how magic you are.

Besides, if we all thought we were right and good and magnificent all the time, there wouldn’t be any democrats. *shudder*
Elly Lou recently posted..Dubstep Kicks

Noa October 3, 2011 at 5:49 pm

I love that you called me butterhead. Because I wonder if you want to do me when you say that.

Susan, Super Earthling October 3, 2011 at 2:25 pm

I come from an extremely dysfunctional family. None of us ever felt good enough. In fact, my younger sister committed suicide because she didn’t feel good enough.

Years later, the pain of losing her still hasn’t diminished for me or the others she left behind. She had so very much to offer the world, though she couldn’t see it herself. How terribly sad and tragic that she felt the need to stop existing because she didn’t feel she measured up to her expectations or the expectations of others.

Noa, your worth, value, validation, your reason for existing, has nothing whatsoever to do with what you’ve accomplished or haven’t accomplished, or what you will or won’t achieve in the future. It has everything to do with you just being you and accepting and embracing the person you are, including all your talents, skills, faults and shortcomings. You are unique, Noa. One of a kind. There is no one else like you on this planet and there never will be. And so it is for all of us. We are good enough simply because we are here, because we live. You have nothing to prove to yourself or anyone else.

You are more than good enough…whether you’re funnier than anyone else’s grandma or not. :)
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Misty October 3, 2011 at 3:18 pm

This was very moving, and I am so sorry to hear about your sister. Thank you for sharing that and for your words of encouragement. You have suffered through a terrible experience and I salute your strength and wisdom gained from that tragedy. Bravo to you.
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Noa October 3, 2011 at 5:50 pm

We salute you, Susan.

Noa October 3, 2011 at 5:50 pm

Susan–thank you so much for sharing your story, because that can’t be easy to speak about, but it certainly is powerful. Many years ago I considered suicide, and then some good enough things happened to make me realize that living is not for naught. I’m glad to know there are others who struggle, too. Thank you so much.

Johi October 3, 2011 at 4:47 pm

I am without a doubt my own biggest roadblock. I know this, yet I don’t change it.

You are amazing; full of intelligence, humor, wit, and wisdom. Keep working it out lady. You are inspiring all of us. Be proud of yourself. I’m proud to “know” you.
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Noa October 3, 2011 at 5:52 pm

I’m always mystified when people say, “get out of your own way, Noa,” as though it were as easy as saying, “Oh, cool, I’ll move around and everything will be awesome.” We’ll figure out a way, someday.

Heather Heartless October 3, 2011 at 7:15 pm

And here I was thinkingthat I was the only one that could probably succeed… if only I could stop being such a bitch to myself.

I have an abuser. I have a person that will consistently, without fail, tell me that everything I post is “not my best work”. And I’m all like, I’ve read your shit. My shit’s WAAAAY better than your shit. True story. Your shit’s just jealous of my shit. Ain’t no stank on me. And I’m all like, WOO HOO! I’m awesome.

And then…

No you’re not. To know how many posts and pages and chapters have been deleted or have never came to fruition because I just can’t get over the fact that not everything that comes from me is utter fucking genius. Something that’s helped a lot, and confuses the fuck out of me… The things that I consider “not my best work” are the things that everyone else finds fucking hilarious. And then I realize that my best shit, the shit that still makes me crack up no matter how many times I read it, and I wrote the shit, gets more of a “meh” from people.

Fickle bitches. All of you.

Funny people are sad people. We’re funny, Noa. All of us. Funny fucking bitches. The bitches that are the saddest are the ones that can do nothing better than thumb their noses at the fruits of our labor. Don’t they realize how fucking hard and PAINFUL it is to be funny? That inner voice? She’s their leader bitch. I’d kill her so hard she died to death if I could. And then I’d kill yours. Maybe we could have a cage fight between them, except that the winner gets attacked my a chainsaw wielding polar beast. Yes, beast. Not bear.

I think it’s kind of healthy that you’ve managed to keep your inner voice bitch on the inside and not let it completely rule your life, like Ms. Not Your Best Work.

I completely lost my fucking trend. That train has left the reservation and mixed its metaphors.

All of that? That just says that you’re not alone. That we’ve got you and you’ve got this. That I’m going to stand up and cheer the loudest when you finally kick that whore right in the mouth and she can only taunt you through her wired jaws and when you succeed at all of this beautiful nonsense.

Fucking. A. Doggie.
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Heather Heartless October 3, 2011 at 8:32 pm

By the way, every time I have extra money I start to wonder which of my teeth is going to be broken or what’s going to fall off of my car…. or what I’ll have to take the cat to the vet for this time… or or…

I also actively fear having a block of awesome songs on the radio now. Why? I had the BEST string of music EVER pumping through my speakers on the way through Nashville when someone called and told me my cousin had died. It’s like, oookay… is good music a bad omen? Or was God just buttering me up with Aretha Franklin? The world may never know.

I’m pretty sure someone could walk up and offer me all of my dreams and I’d find some way to fuck it up or worry that every member of my family would die simultaneously. I’m good with shit going bad. I can handle the bad shit. I just don’t like when good shit lulls you into a false sense of complacency and then rips of its mask and says “Oh, yeah. I’m really just bad shit in disguise.” Way to piss in my fucking cheerios, Bad Shit.
Heather Heartless recently posted..I Can’t Feel My Face

Dani October 4, 2011 at 1:31 pm

I got my first “Not your best work” comment a week or so ago… i wasn’t sure what to do with it. So I said, “Well, I guess we all have off days…” and she said, “That’s a good thing, though… it’ll help you strive to do better!” And I’m all, “Yeah… or fucking slit my wrists…”
I mean, really… that’s a pep talk? “You suck… try harder!”

GAH!
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Heather Heartless October 4, 2011 at 8:13 pm

I’d trade my NYBW for yours, but honestly, you’d probably throat punch mine inside of five minutes.

SOMETIMES it’s good to have people say things like that. It’s usually only helpful when those people can offer some kind of constructive criticism, or are better at what you do than you are. Most of the time those people aren’t in the position to judge… and they usually never have anything helpful to say.

As much as I, and all people that express themselves in public, would LOVE to be on my fucking A game at all times, it’s just not going to happen. I try really hard to filter out the absolute crap that can sometimes spew forth and I think that we all do a good job at that.

So, yes, Dani… those “pep” talks are not all that peppy. Let’s go smack some bitches with their “pep” and then go drink later… or before… maybe before, during, and after. That’s what writers do, right?
Heather Heartless recently posted..I Can’t Feel My Face

Noa October 5, 2011 at 6:32 pm

@Heather: If you were to look at my Greatest Funny page, there are 2 types of posts on there–the posts that did really well, and the posts I really felt were some of my best work, and only one of them is in both categories. I don’t know why that anomaly exists, but it does–and you never really know what’s going to resonate with people. No matter what, though–you posted it, it’s your baby, and as long as you can put it up and say, “I can stand behind this,” it’s then your best work up to that date. Keep going, yo.

@Dani: Are YOU proud of your work? That’s what really matters. It’s cliche, but it’s very true. If you can’t stand behind it, then no, it’s not your best. But if you look at it and feel pride at having written it, then own your shit, yo.

asplenia October 3, 2011 at 8:37 pm

Oh Noa. I read this earlier at work and couldn’t comment. Been thinking about what you wrote here and how it applies to so many of us so much of the time, and here you put it all out in words that slam into the chest.

I only recently found your blog but LOVE your writing. No one can be like you and not be awesome and amazing in a million other ways too. If I knew you personally I would forcefeed you compliments over dinner while I presented proof for your critical jury of one. Whatever messages you got that bubble up inside, they’re wrong. I wish I could say knowing that was enough to make them not count but it doesn’t. I’m in counseling tryin’ to rebuild self-esteem and I understand how hard it is to drown out the repetitive tape in our heads. But I am so grateful you shared your thoughts and feelings and wish you could crowdsource some of the angst — you don’t deserve to bear it alone.

Hugs. xoxoxox
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Noa October 5, 2011 at 6:34 pm

Thank you so much. Your words are very kind–I’m so glad you commented. I’ve never had the balls for counseling, so I’m really impressed when people have the guts to do so. I’m afraid of what will be dredged up. You’re tough as nails–thank you so much.

nadine October 3, 2011 at 9:04 pm

reading this blog post started my womp-womp cryfest today. this is me. this is me a lot. I’m constantly convinced I’m a piece of shit person… that I’m a bad person… and whenever things are good, I think “well it’s bound to go to shit soon because of how much I suck and don’t deserve anything good in my life.

historically, this is the worst week of my life. i am not living like fuck. i need to though. i’m not really sure how… and today so I didn’t have a womp-womp cryfest all day, I took a xanax to calm down… and that just kind of spiraled into sporadic obsessive-compulsive cleaning, strange videos made on my iPhone and then a nap with the cat after falling asleep to Curb Your Enthusiasm.

I gotta live like fuck tomorrow and the rest of this week and try to not be a fucking waste of a person for once yo. But thanks for keepin’ it real… it’s kind of nice to know I’m not the only one with feelings like this.
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Noa October 5, 2011 at 6:35 pm

You’re not the only one, I promise. And tomorrow, the day will no longer be there–it will be a fresh new day for you, and you don’t have to worry about what happened then. You have people who stand behind you, whether you take xanax and nap or whether you climb everest.

GirltoMom- Heidi October 3, 2011 at 9:30 pm

Brave bitch, brave! I am into you. (Put you on my Links I’m Crushing on List.)

GirltoMom.com- Heidi
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Noa October 5, 2011 at 6:35 pm

Thanks, Heidi!

Becca October 3, 2011 at 9:41 pm

Amazing the shadows we cast over ourselves. I am always feeling this choke you so eloquently described. For me I hear my dad’s voice telling me all the things I will never be, how I will never measure up. For physical insecurities I hear my ex telling me in painstaking detail every physical fault I have, and not to be outdone theres myself agreeing with every lie until I hear my husband and his praises, my children’s utter devotion, seems to always drown out the other things and lets me start to believe it too.

Noa October 5, 2011 at 6:37 pm

Adrian’s been really patient and wonderful while I work through my fucked-up. He’s never backed off on telling me what he really thinks about me, makes me acknowledge when my behavior towards him is a product of my past and not how I feel–he’s helping me recognize my patterns so that they can be corrected. I got lucky.

I’m so, so glad you got really lucky, too, Becca.

Front Desk Ninja October 3, 2011 at 10:33 pm

I read this two minutes after you posted it (I swear to you I’m not that big of a creep, you just post things when I’m online and all sorts of needing a distraction) and couldn’t figure out how to send a hug through the internet.

I think anything worth anything remotely interesting, will always be their toughest critic. They will always hold themselves up to a standard that is damn near impossible to reach, so we constantly strive for more. We all have those people who toughened us up, who made (or still make) us feel like crap, and like the goals we’ve set out cannot be achieved. Which is when we tell those people that they’re wrong, and we’re moving out so we can still stand to see their faces at family functions.

I think everyone here, is amazing. We all have our days, our moments of weakness, but we’re still able to stand up and kick life in the face and be the kind of people we were meant to be.

I’d take a shot of rum if you had it.
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Noa October 5, 2011 at 6:37 pm

I’m fresh outta rum. Will Patron and hugs work?

Also–thank you so much. Thank you. Thank you thank you.

Jake October 4, 2011 at 12:41 am

Ugh, welcome to every day of my life. I’ve discovered that, sometimes, the word “happy” triggers a massive panic attack wherein my brain begins creepily whispering “You don’t deserve this…they’re going to find you out…” Fear, paralysis, self-deprecation—it’s a lovely cycle. Thanks for letting us know that there can be a reprieve, even if it is brief.
Jake recently posted..Naked pictures of our old apartment.

Noa October 5, 2011 at 6:38 pm

There is a reprieve, and it’s brilliant and wonderful and you take another step forward that you never thought you could. Hang on–it gets better.

Jen Smith October 4, 2011 at 12:50 am

Well said – well said. Anne Hillman’s book “The Dancing Animal Woman” has a poem about the choking feeling and this really resonates with me. And every single time I laugh at The Blogess’ Copernicus monkey without a face (a hug is just a half finished strangle…) I think about the concept. I am, and have always been my own worst enemy.

I haven’t found any answers – hell I haven’t even found the right questions to ask. Maybe the struggle to keep breathing IS “what its all about”. I do know that I have gotten to “know” some absolutely amazing women once I admitted defeat and started looking around. So thanks for helping me feel not so alone on the journey.
Jen

Noa October 5, 2011 at 6:39 pm

I think there are far more people on this journey than we even know about. When we tell our stories, we connect with others and grow stronger together. Thanks for sharing your story, too.

Heather Rose October 4, 2011 at 8:53 am

After reading all the fabulous comments from all of your fabulous readers, I’m realizing that none of us are alone. Not in the ‘the little green fucking aliens are coming to get us’ sense, but in the ‘you all know what it feels like to want to gouge your brain out with an ice pick’ sense.

I’ve spent so many nights wedged into the smallest space I can find (usually a closet – I’m starting to think the evil monkey from family guy is real) just trying to feel grounded and in touch with something, even if it’s just the floor and a couple of walls.

You’ve built a community here that can give you that without the dust bunnies and lingering mold, and that’s fucking amazing, so celebrate it.
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Noa October 5, 2011 at 6:40 pm

I don’t even have the proper words to thank you, Heather. I really appreciate it.

Julia October 4, 2011 at 10:17 am

I’ve been reading for awhile, but was always content to snicker quietly at the back of the class. I came over here to leave a pick-me-up comment and Oh. My. God. so many other people beat me to it! You are so lucky to have such a wonderful, irreverent, funny, caring, profane community of readers.

Noa October 5, 2011 at 6:40 pm

I am unbelievably lucky to have readers like you. Thank you so much.

elizabeth- flourishinprogress October 4, 2011 at 11:36 am

girl, i needed this so fucking badly today. thanks for spelling out these thoughts and these fears so beautifully.

after months and months (and months and months) of fear and procrastination and hemming and hawing, i am finally done with what i needed to do and it only became possible when i decided to live like fuck.
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Noa October 5, 2011 at 6:41 pm

I hope your project is so fucking amazing that you can start to see just how fucking rad you really are.

Ninja Mom October 4, 2011 at 2:57 pm

Life is ridiculously difficult to live. It’s overwhelming.

Glad you’re still struggling to stay afloat. I, for one, think the world of your wit and humor, and you’re soooo worth it.
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Noa October 5, 2011 at 6:41 pm

Thank you so much, Ninja–that means more than you know.

Lilscorpiosweet October 4, 2011 at 4:54 pm

Because Fuck giving up.

Because we are worth the salt thrown in our direction. Because we are who we are. Situations are what make us who we are. Without these voices or people or expectations we are all just floating in a place where we have choices. We can move on (or away from the problem) fix the problem, wait for someone to fix it for us, use what we have to the best of our abilities or we can give the fuck up. No one said these choices were pretty. No one said that life was easy because if it was we would all be living the dream.

I wanna punch “No one” in their whore mouth because its that shit that makes sense. At least to me. I am constantly preparing for worst case scenario so I can deal with things. I hate having to look at the bright side of things when shit is bad. When someone tells me to look on the bright side of something I want to stab them. I know what I have, I know who I am and what I am worth. I count those as blessing yes but I can’t dwell on that because that shit doesn’t put food on my table or money in my pocket. People need to realize that not everything is sunshine and rainbows where pretty ponies prance and frolic with the butterflies that poop confetti. That fantasy world doesn’t exist for me.

I have to live in the here and now. I would love to plan for the future but as my boyfriend says the future isn’t set in stone. Thank God for that because if it was there is no wiggle room and sometimes I can be claustrophobic. I have to make my own way through life. I have to roll with the punches because I don’t have any other options but to deal with it. I know that if I were handed the proverbial silver spoon .. you know the one that is the get out of jail free card or the ticket to wealth and happiness, I wouldn’t know what to do with myself. Could I be grateful? I have no idea because for so long I have had hardship after hardship to mold me into questioning do I really deserve that silver spoon. I would like to think that I would be eternally grateful but I worry that I will get to the point in my life that expects that kind of thing and to go back to hardship would devastate me.

It’s like having a symptom taking a pill for the symptom and having side effects. Sorry but if the side effects are worse than the symptom I would rather deal with the symptom.
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Noa October 5, 2011 at 6:42 pm

That’s right–because FUCK GIVING UP. Life is hard as shit, but the good moments make it all worthwhile. It’s just stepping across that rickety-ass bridge to see the beauty on the other side.

Norway October 4, 2011 at 5:39 pm

Amen. Personally, I’m always told I’m smart. Or that I’m a good singer. Which is great, but then I look around at everyone who has ever been a little bit better than me at anything, and nothing I can do is very good. Nothing.

I scare myself, because I’m okay at things. I’m not the best at anything, and the people who are the best are the people who will succeed. I’m not the best, so I won’t succeed. I don’t even know where to begin.

So I sing in my room and take all the honours classes and stay up till midnight to do my homework and stay in Girl Scouts and read all the time and suck up to people I hate and try too hard and dream too much and get too scared. And then I tell myself no.

I tell everyone else yes. Yes, you’re brilliant. Yes, I’ll help. Yes, you can do anything you set your mind to. Yes, follow your dream.
Yes, you can.

But me? No. I can’t.

As a general rule I avoid swearing. But maybe today, or maybe tomorrow, I’ll learn to Live Like Fuck.

Noa October 5, 2011 at 6:46 pm

Guess what, Norway?

That voice that tells you, “you’re not the best?” Hold on to that drive, because it’s the people who think they’re the best that never work harder, who never get better, and who never succeed. Talent is absolutely worthless without drive. It’s girls like you–who think they’re just average–who tend to be the most incredible people. The trick to that? Always strive for more, but don’t kill yourself if you stagnate every once in a while, or even backslide a bit. We all stumble, but what makes the difference is standing up again. You’re not average–I promise.

Hold on to humility, but not self-abuse, because despite what I know you’re telling yourself right now, you’re much more badass than you think.

Gab October 4, 2011 at 11:34 pm

Oh, the choke. I’m an aspiring author. The choke and I are good friends.

But hopefully, whenever I’m hating on myself and my work, I’ll be able to remember this and remember to forget all of that and LIVE LIKE FUCK.

Thank you. :)

Noa October 5, 2011 at 6:46 pm

Thank YOU Gab, and good luck on your writings!

tavie October 5, 2011 at 8:47 am

Thank for speaking for me. I feel like I’ve been living in a constant state of panic attack since Sunday evening. Here I am living on my own again with my son. I have 2 ex’s now and the one that parents my daughters constantly telling me what a piece of shit I am, because he cannot forgive me for what happened 7 goddamned years ago. Bitter fuck! Get over it, I think I’ve proved myself to that shit by now….let it go! LIVE LIKE FUCK!

Noa October 5, 2011 at 6:47 pm

I hope you get out of the choke soon and live like fuck, because you fucking deserve to!

Andrea October 16, 2011 at 11:06 am

Hi. I’m new to your site, and have just read a couple of your postings, and though i just love the humorous ones, it’s these that really bring it home that as women/moms/professionals/whatever your life it, we are all so hard on ourselves and to hear that others feel it is amazing, to admit and write about it is just really, simply comforting. Looking forward to reading more of you! AC
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Noa October 19, 2011 at 9:32 pm

Thank you for your comment–I really appreciate it.

Jodie Cory October 28, 2011 at 2:17 am

As I started reading this post,this song came on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0DBEdshgTUY&ob=av2n I found it so coincidental that I had to share. :D
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Noa November 2, 2011 at 7:09 pm

Thank you for sharing that!

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