Saturday, April 2, 2011

The Struggle

WARNING!!! This one's not for those who believe that people shouldn't have or express beliefs. If the mere mention (And believe me, the mentioning is mere) of one's personal beliefs fills you with indignation, please skip this one and wait till the next post comes out. Oh, and it's a kinda boring and rambling too. Just so you know:

We all have that one thing that haunts us. That aspect of our personalities we dread. It fills us with self-loathing and self-doubt. It makes us question ourselves. It derails us and distracts us from our goals. It causes us to go into a dark, desolate place within ourselves. If you say you don't then you're either lying or not human.

For some it can be fueled from something external. An addiction to something like smoking, alcohol, drugs, food, pornography, sex. Sometimes, it isn't external at all but from something within. Those are hard to define and sometimes even harder to fight. Either way, it's something we try to keep on a short leash not just because, deep down inside, we believe it is wrong, but because once we allow ourselves to come near that vice again we KNOW we'll just end up slipping down a steep slope that would be hard to claw our way back from.

I don't really know what to call mine. Lack of motivation, indiscipline I've never been able to place my finger on it. All I know is that it's effects have proven to be very destructive in my life in the past. I lose focus, make mistakes or become distracted. I procrastinate or make excuses. Nothing gets done. I don't move forward. I don't follow through or stay the course. It doesn't seem like much compared to other people's problems but this is my foe. I fight against this dark monster within myself constantly. Over the years, I've come to know his tricks.

But these enemies know us just as well. They know when to strike. They attack when defenses our are down. They don't forcibly try to take over. Instead, they sneak in subtly. They say just the right things to lure you into giving in to them. When things are going wrong and problems arise, they make their move. They can make us feel like we're returning to a safe familiar place or like we're taking something back for ourselves or getting revenge. Just as bad is when things are going too well, there they are. Only now they tell us it's okay to indulge. We're earned it. They'll say whatever we need to hear to give in.

That's how the devil works, right?

If you know me, then you're still reading after that last line. Like I said when I first showed up here almost seven months ago, I'm not here to preach any sermons to anyone. That's never been what this blog was about. I'm not in a position to tell you what to do with your lives or judge you. I'm just trying to find my own way through this mess just like you guys.

Good? Good!

That out of the way, I am a christian and, as such I can't help but see this similarity. You may or may not be a believer in such things but this is exactly what I've been taught. What I believe. If it's more comfortable to avoid any religious connotations, fine. But the simple fact remains that, when we do give in, we aren't really taking anything back. If anything, we lose more than we gain. And no matter who we may hurt in the process (Intentionally or otherwise), we always end up doing the most damage to ourselves.

However one chooses to deal with (Let's call it) one's personal devil, be it prayer, therapy, blogging, all/none of the above, there is one thing that I've learned. The worst mistake you can make is to forget they're there or underestimate them. No matter how far you fight them back, they're always there. Always waiting for the next opportunity to strike. You always have to fight them off.

As for me, I'll do what I have to to keep fighting mine.


  1. Keep fighting. I'm in your corner.

  2. those damn vices can take so many shapes. and the shapes can change over the years too, which makes them even sneakier.

  3. I don't know if you intended it this way but this post was quite motivational for me. Thanks Vinny :)

  4. I think we all have two sides within us the part that will do good for not only others, but for ourselves, and the one that destroys us and others.

    To overcome the evil, or bad, and this side can be talked of in many different forms, we all need to have some faith or connection with a higher power, God.

    I enjoyed your post...

  5. Keep those demons in your corner... I have enough with mine eating my stomach from the inside! hee hee hee

    I know what you mean. I think.

    On another note, have you decided to enroll in driver's ed? Sorry. Didn't mean to bring that up.

  6. "The worst mistake you can make is to forget they're there or underestimate them." Well said.

    To me this is a universal principal. Preach it my friend!

    p.s. I really do not have anything against a discussion over religion or people's personal belief. What I am uncomfortable with, and certainly will quickly walk away from (instead of engaging in a debate since it'd be a total waste of everybody's time) is the argument that one religion is better than the others, or one denomination is more authentic (or right"er") than the others. You are doing neither. And I actually do appreciate your sharing your struggle and the process in which you deal with your personal devils since it inspires.

  7. Got your back, dude! And I won't go Boomer on you.

    Liked how inclusive and respectful this post was and the message it sends.

  8. Well, my go to advice nugget sort of applies here "the first step is to know thyself."
    I think you do pretty well with that!

  9. @ dbs: Thanks. That’s really good to know.

    @ SherilinR: Exactly. I guess that’s part of what makes them so hard to overcome.

    @ Alittlesprite: I’m not really sure what my intention was either. I am glad you found what I said helpful, though.

    @ Greg: Thanks. And I couldn’t agree more.

    @ Nikki: It’s cool. I’m dealing with it. I guess it’s like I said: No more procrastinating, right?

    @ subWOW: I try to avoid any such debates whenever possible, myself. Actually, I thought the disclaimer wasn’t really necessary after I reread it, but I decided to err on the side of caution.

    @ AC: Much appreciated.

    @ Meri: I try, but it doesn’t help that I so often go into denial.

  10. Very well said. Plus knowing where your enemies (vices) are is a big positive when it comes to dealing with them.

  11. What if we have like five of these devils? Is that a problem? :) No, I totally know what you mean. Keep fighting guy, and if you do slip a little, just get back up. That's what Jesus died for isn't it?

  12. Vinnie, what you put out here was amazingly brave. I too find that I procrastinate and lack motivation sometimes and that lack of discipline/motivation and tendency to procrastinate is the least of my personal demons.

    We all keep striving and pushing through. You are right though, just when you think that you have worked past it, it rears its ugly head, but ever so quietly. Stay vigilant. We're with you.

  13. Wow that was an awesome post. I often think my personal devil shows up way too often in my erratic blogging behaviour. And you are right, it is such a fight to keep on course.

    That is one of the best posts I have read in a long time!


  14. @ Vege Assassin: I think Sun Tzu said it best: “If you know your enemies and know yourself, you can win a hundred battles without a single loss.”

    @ paulsifer: That’s what I believe.

    @ Torystellar: Thanks. I’ve been called many things. I don’t often hear “brave” as being one of them.

    @ Average Girl: That’s a great compliment. I’m flattered.

  15. Being honest with yourself about your struggles is the best sort of bravery. Well done.

  16. your post is like an internal dialogue I have with myself EVERY day. Laziness is really the worse vice. That leads to temptation and wa la.

    I admire your strength to identify your weakness. Thanks for the blog.

  17. I think sometimes we give the devil way too much credit.

    In your corner and kicking ass!


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