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F*ck Criticism

addiction Alcohol criticism depression Drugs hate hatred Healthy Mental Health Substance Abuse we are not voiceless

Starting with my life’s hypothesis I will then lead you into a set of rants on criticism.  These rants are obtained from my extremely skewed position on mental illness.  This opinionated charade will lead you to bicker and contemplate your sanity as I did mine. You’ll either bicker with yourself—why you are talking to yourself?—or with someone near you.  I can guarantee that!  But, through the fire and flames comes inspiration.  My conclusion will leave you breathless.

Hypothesis:  I don’t take criticism well!

I’m someone who’s struggling with mental health issues.  In fact, I’ve struggled with mental health for more than 50% of my life. Among these mental health issues, I was dealing with extreme drug and alcohol abuse.  These horrible instances led me to a life of self medicating hatred.  My hypothesis is that I do NOT take criticism well.  This is something I’ve struggled with since the beginning of it all.  This is my molder.

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For me? F*ck the haters… right?  We’ll see.

Why don’t I take criticism well?  I’ve been asking myself that for a long time.  If i’m being blunt about the reason why then i’ll just be another critic.  (HYPOCRITE!) I start with the incessant feeling to always get my way.  “MINE, MINE, MINE!”  What a horrible way to live through existence!  Mental health issues are bitch!  (No, not you Lily!—That’s my dog) 

I used to exclaim to my mom that my friends didn’t show me enough love. “Mommy, my friends don’t love me enough!”  I’d repeat when I got told the word “NO.”  I was told the word no relentlessly.  Pretty soon I started making my own rules! “I am king! I am my own messiah,” I thought. Until I was led to a Roman Crucifixion!  “Place the blame.  Become my own martyr!” When I was young, I was constantly perceived as an outsider.  This continued  into early adulthood. How could I overcome such dangerous situations in my life?  If I wasn’t number one, then who was?  These are questions that begged critical answers.  I imagine some of you are looking for the same answers right now! (GOD HELP US ALL) Although I hated the word, I hated the reason I was being told no even more.  “You’re not doing it right!” they told me.  I was constantly feeling scrutinized.  Why the self shame? (PRUDE, I screamed!).

I had this need for acceptance.  It nearly killed me.  It controlled me for the longest time while digging myself into a deep depression and anxiety.  I coped by using drugs and alcohol.  But, my problem was feeling hurt by what others thought of me!  It was criticism to a “T”……“You could’ve done better…” (S U C K I T!) This need—let’s call it a desire—for extreme social acceptance led me to self hatred.  I was break, break, breaking the law… (socially and legally). Why was I doing this?  Plainly, “The world doesn’t revolve around you Brian!”  There is absolutely no statistical nature to my f*cked up mindset.  So, why was I hurting so much? Deviance.

All of these issues led me to a long time battle with mental health.  (But you can overcome! HAVE HOPE!).  My attachments to the outside world were very diminishing.  I couldn’t do anything about it.  My relationships were crumbling and I was hurting deeply.  This was a very painful part of my life.  I have to imagine that many of you can relate! I was finding it hard to cope.  Until this point, I regret a lot of things in my life.  But, I can find redemption.  I will become better!  I no longer had any choice. I was in a constant battle of, “Why does he/she hate me?” or “Why do I hate myself?”  This went on until I truly found myself years later.

Why do we all go through such hardship?  Only one may know the answer.  Like the cultish fashion says, “You just don’t know until you know.” (Tupac)  At least I made it out alive! With the need to attach to something—I ultimately turned to self medicating.  It gave me that something to grasp.  I needed to feel something other than this ironic life!  Drugs gave me that. I felt alone and thought that I had no one who truly cared.  I was lonely. depressed. empty.  This was all from the self-inflicted isolation.  I took other people’s bullshit too literal.  Life sucked for a while!  But as good faith says, “This too shall pass…”

I began with common anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications.  They were given to me at a young age (11) at a youth mental health ward.  I wasn’t really coping with the criticism in my life… “Brian, do as your told!” (SHUT UP!) When being told, my first thought was, “So what I’m doing is not good enough for you?”  (Screw off!)  “It’s all my fault!”

As the years went by I slowly started to develop new friendships.  It was a constant battle between me (The center of my universe) and them (a ton of other universes). I developed more friends because of my actions more than my mindset although they weren’t truly friends. My mindset would say, “Don’t do that!” but my actions would do it.  Once again I was my own self critic! (Stupid, stupid, stupid!).  In the end, I lost these friends again to jails, institutions and death as the 12 steps would suggest.  Drugs became my new friend and others were just abusers (AGAIN?!).  Isolation and desolation became all too familiar to me. When I was doing things I went all out.  I started abusing drugs to extreme levels.  This was mainly to block out the criticism that the world had to offer.  I wanted to feel numb.  I told myself that the problem was all in my head.  But what if I couldn’t feel my head?  Dear drugs:  Thank you for working! (I was so wrong!)  Or were they working?  Oh, I think I just had a revelation! They were working me rather than working for me…

You would have to believe that hearing “the voices” (and other peoples voices) when getting clean a few years later made my life a livingcriticism F*ck Criticism suit criticism hell.  It was true.  The flashes of light came as they felt fit.  I became one of many new selves while trying to reform my evil deeds into something meaningful.  I tried to become constructive.  I tried. I once heard a quote from a bomb ass TV show… “Hellraiser got that part of Hell right!” (Supernatural).  The scene in the show was depicted by ripping Dean’s flesh from bone.  The eternal agony was just too much to bare!  Like Dean, I crawled my way back from the depths of darkness.  I turned this hatred into constructive feedback. At this point in my recovery it’s not criticism but it was self-hatred for all the things I had done while blocking out criticism.  Not to mention that I’d almost died or tried to kill myself many times.  Again, I wasn’t coping with the criticism.  (Get your shit together!)(BEAT IT!)

Today at four years clean and sober—and somewhat mentally healthy—I still don’t like to hear criticism. I effing hate it!  Someone always has an opinion.  Especially with social media and gossip central. Today’s world seems to be nothing but criticism! My friends and parents get on my ass at every opportunity I leave open to them.  They jump at every chance to give me their 2-cents.

With my world flipped upside down from the way it used to be I find myself in a predicament.  This predicament happens to a lot of people.  I simply don’t deal with criticism well.  But in order to keep friends, win over family, and please partners I must accept it either way.  I don’t have to like what I’m being told.  (Yes, I’m allowed to argue back with these criticisms.)  But in the end of the day I must keep what is truly special to me:  My mental health and sobriety.

I’ve been told once that, “What other people think of me is none of my business.”  This is true because I know that this is what I need in order to keep my mental health and sobriety.  My life depends on it!  I’ve got to be constructive and productive today.  Just for today, I will be!  I need to know that the world isn’t, “me, me, me!” Everything I do or encounter isn’t just me and my sole objectives anymore.  I need to know other people matter, too!  I need to treat the people in this world as they deserve!  AS I DESERVE!

The conclusion to my hypothesis is clear! I’m almost five years clean/sober and I hate it when my best friend and partner tells me a piece of my writing sucks (Some of them do people! Even I think so sometimes!).  But what I must do is not take this as criticism but rather as constructive feedback.  If I didn’t do this, I would be right back to using drugs and hurting the ones that I love.  (AIN’T NO ONE GOT TIME FOR THAT!)

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To state my conclusion, you may not be happy about this.  You may go bicker and rant on someone afterwards because they criticized you.  But as confirming my hypothesis, I don’t deal with criticism well, either.  It’s simply apart of human nature.  Sometimes that’s just the way life is.  All people grow up in different ways, but we all deal with this issue in one way or another!  It’s the process of growing my friend! My past health and addiction issues are a testament to that. Now, I will be stepping up and taking a voice for this social action.  I will not remain voiceless anymore!  I don’t take criticism well because I don’t take criticism at all anymore. I take constructive feedback to better my life.  This is important for someone coming into their own to realize.  Help yourself by helping others!

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