…And We Just Talk

…And We Just Talk

Photo by Matt Flores on Unsplash

As those of you who’ve seen me live (thank you, by the way), you’ll know that a lot of my material is based around that inner-voice in your head.  It’s destructive. It pretends to be your best friend. Yet it doesn’t like you very much, and for some unknown reason, you listen to it regardless. Someone suggested to me after my last gig that I should talk about where it came from more, as there’s so many of us who “have the same thing”.  I was taken aback – I thought it was just me.  

So here we go.

As I’m currently writing the next chapter of my adventures with my inner-voice (I dunno, it doesn’t really have a name other than “fuck off, for fuck sake”). I thought I’d share some more about where this came from, as you know, comedy is therapy.

The issue that causes my lack of self-confidence, or self-worth will be different to yours, you may perceive yours as worse or less than mine.  It doesn’t really matter – it’s my brain as it is your brain.  I don’t believe the events of my life to date are particularly harrowing, there are certainly people out there who have experienced far, far worse than I.  But this is my “stuff” and I want to share the importance of sharing our experiences. You see, to talk, is to heal. Not to fix, but as a means to understand where we came from, so we can heal our inner conflict.  For me, we need to go back to the industrial garden town of Scunthorpe…

You see, the problem with Scunthorpe, was the fact it was a bit of a shit hole.  I’m proud of my roots, but really, Scunthorpe didn’t have much going for it.  Years of dependence on a failing steel industry, a corrupt MP lining his own pockets for years, and a chronic lack of investment made Scunthorpe, like a lot of industrial towns in the north, very bitter.  

I can’t remember the exact date, but I think it was around September 1996 when I first started to really doubt myself – when that “fear” really set in – when that feeling of not being good enough really landed.  Maybe it was due to my step-dad’s decision to kick ten bells of shit out of me as I wouldn’t “fight him like a man”, maybe it was then the subsequent move from Scunthorpe to Leeds, and the terror of starting a new life in the big city, maybe it was just the way I was, and maybe I didn’t have the owners manual, maybe it was the loss of most of my close family members over a short period of time. Who knows?  Still working on that one.  

So the self-doubt crept in.  The loathing of oneself would rear its ugly head at the most inappropriate times. The never trusting a decision you made was a reoccurring theme, and frankly has been to this day.  But somehow, I’m still here, and you know what, for the first time – I’m actually pretty settled.  Sometimes the dark clouds do come a long – but I can sense them now like a regular Wincy Willis, and I go and talk.  In the past, I’d have bottled it up, and it’d explode at some point or another.

I need to find someone to confide in, and if any of this seems familiar to you, so do you. Could be a therapist, psychologist, the Samaritans or sooth-sayer (ok, maybe not the last one).  But you need someone who can listen to you, who knows what they’re doing without judgement.

And you talk.  

You peel back those layers of learned behaviour and thoughts. You do the work. It’s tough, and it brings up a lot of ugly shit.  But it will work.  I promise. I hold on to that thought of “I do not want my life guided by hatred of myself” –  a desire not to be ruled by my emotions.  But a desire to understand where they come from, will help me move away from trusting them so much.  My inner-voice will have to change tactics if it want’s to remain being my friend.  I’m teaching it to support me, to believe in me, for it to say “John, trust yourself”.

Photo by Matt Flores on Unsplash

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2 Replies to “…And We Just Talk”

  1. “The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts, while the stupid ones are full of confidence.”

    ― Charles Bukowski

  2. Great blog John 🙂 I have that inner voice as well, always seeing the negative and expecting the worst…it’s time it shut up!

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