Some days ago I published a letter I wrote on and I shared what I had learned about my own tendencies to isolate and why I do it. This time however I wanted to write a little bit what this downtime has taught me that was actually somewhat positive.

Well, I say positive, but maybe I should use the word constructive instead. It hasn’t been necessarily positive as I have discovered my own bad emotional habits. Now let me start by telling you about a habit I had as a kid.

I was a messy and disorganized kid, to my mom’s great displeasure. I would empty out my entire box of Lego, and I had quite a lot, and then leave it as I was still playing a few days later. I loved (still love) Lego. There was something of the freedom to build whatever I wanted and emptying out would mean that I would have easier access to what I wanted. I still do this with notes to whatever I am writing, or I was doing it until I got a digital notepad. It was easier to find that piece of paper I needed for the correct project.

Now this was not the habit I wanted to address, even tho I might still need to do something about that habit. When my mom would ask, or more correctly ordered, me to clean up, my usual tactic was to move the pile of toys into a corner of the room and cover it with a blanket. The logic was of course that if I could not see it, it would be okay. My room was seemingly clean and organized, and I could still uncover the toys and play with it. Not my mom’s favorite side of me.

Considering I have spent the last few years going through my life, especially the preceding ten years, I had discovered some of my bad habits emotionally. Well, to be fair I may have focused too much on it, but I discovered that this was something I did often. When what I consider to be the love of my life broke it off with me, I fooled myself that I didn’t need to deal with it properly. I wrote a badly worded letter to her that may have been too honest and thought that this was enough for me.

I covered my problems with a blanket of work, alcohol and drugs. I would try to move on by not forgiving myself. I blame myself for most of the bad things that happens in my life. This is because I know I can somewhat control what I do. That self-blaming is the reason I escaped the pain. I did not need that pain.

But the pile of issues was still there. I had not cleaned up that room, and the more I delved into it, the more I realized I had not dealt with the problems from earlier. As a toddler I had an accident that left my right hand damaged and scarred for life, and even though I became physically better with time, I never dealt with the damage it did to me mentally, and that learnt behavior kept with me all this time.

When I finally broke 2 and a half years ago, the pile had grown unmanageable, or seemingly so. I started to think about all my mistakes, my baggage, and try to sort my pile out. This has brought problems for me as far as work. I may not be as productive as I once was, but at least I am slowly and surely trying to fix my head without destroying what I actually like about myself.

Sorry if this post was bit rambling, but I needed to get this of my head. Any ideas that I do not get out will only end up on the pile and that is the last thing I need right now.


JH Lillevik is a writer of sci-fi and fantasy. He writes screenplays, novels and short stories. He also works as a writing consultant for upcoming writers. His specialty is mythology, world building and psychology.

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