Self-Care: Acknowledging and Recovering from Disappointing Realizations

K N F
4 min readJun 17, 2018

As I get older, I somehow fluctuate between the notion of not having expectations and actually having them. I write this as I am faced with the reality that I must acknowledge and confront this “situational” and seemingly “unstable” mindset. I mean, what is life without expectations? Is it not the same as not having hope? Isn’t the foundation of hope expectation/s? What therefore, would I be without expectations?

Sociologically, I’d apparently be in a state of what Durkheim calls anomie. Psychologically, well, I know I’d be easily classified or diagnosed as clinically depressed. The point is, having expectations has its usefulness. They (can) serve a function. This however, does not give one an excuse to be naïve, because, as the famous saying goes “a promise is a comfort to a fool” — even when it’s a promise made to or for oneself. I’ve therefore come to realize that while I may continue to gather all these expectations, I will no longer be (a) fool(ed).

That being said, I found it necessary to identify or call out some expectations I’ve come to have but have been sorely disappointed by. I’ve concluded that by identifying these disappointments and putting them to paper, it’s the only way I can recover. I’ve identified 4:

The idea that people you (deeply) care about, will care about you. Having tried to fall back on the “I wish I didn’t care so much” or the “zero fucks given” ideal, I’ve come to realize that not only would this make me a sociopath, it would definitely make me a “pretend” psychopath. (I’d have to say this is basically worse than being the “real thing”, since nothing is more damaging socially and psychologically than being someone you are not.) I declare today that I accept that I care, (and maybe sometimes too much) and now is the time to focus my ability and need to care, in the direction of those who deserve and need it.

Self-proclaimed radicals. This is quite possibly the most disappointing of all my expectations. When I talk about self-proclaimed radicals (free-thinkers), i’m talking about people I know personally who physically manifest all the signs of a radical, but who simultaneously partake and even adopt thoughts and behaviours of a system or ideology that they are so “radically” against. To check myself for potentially offering destructive criticism, I pause to ask myself why I care so much, but my first disappoint in point (1) above may tell you why. I also stop and ask myself, “and what it is to you” if they do what they do, how they do? The answer to this question is a supposition that I may have a large dislike for pretenders or worse — people who aren’t able to acknowledge their inherent contradictions. I just crave authenticity. Genuinity, even. It just boggles my mind, and for good reason: these self-proclaimed radicals are generally to be found in the academic domain — a space carved out specifically for intellectuals. To appease myself or to reconcile these emotions that I now feel, I’ve had to adjust my perspective. So, after an encounter with an unsuspecting self-proclaimed radical, I kindly remind myself that the difference between an intellectual and a radical, is the ability to be authentic.

That people who wear (invisible) beautiful masks, are the fucking worst.Because this disappointing realization speaks for itself, I will only say this, one must not be fooled by “niceties”.

The politics of life has no real place for the soft, only the savage. Scientists (mostly the “hard” ones) keep telling us that, it is our ability to think — to reason — that makes us “better” than the animals in the jungle. Well, as Maury would say, when it comes to whether or not the “fact” that we (civilized) humans are better than the (instinctive) animals in the jungle: that is a lie! Let us not be fooled. Life is still about “survival of the fittest” and individualism. While I will agree that the former is definitely a characteristic of the jungle, I can’t say for the latter. Instances of this lack of a “fact” are well documented in our history, from the savagery that was the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade and African slavery in the “New World” — two never-to-be-forgotten historical events that continue to socially, culturally, psychologically and economically devastate one group of people (Blacks) by another (whites). Other examples: the recent historical events of Brexit (Britain’s exit from the European Union) and the Presidency of a ruthless businessman with a set of “work-in-progress” international relational skills, Donald Trump. These two recent events alone highlight the lack of the post-racism, post-sexism, post-classism and post-xenocentrism and essentially, post-individualistic ideals that so many of our laywomen and men (including our “scholars”) continue to deny. I mean, when you have white supremacists and white nationalists literally daring to convince people of colour that they do not “belong” in the United States or the United Kingdom, trying to dismiss the reality and value of diversity, we can’t possibly be better than the so called uncivilized animals in the jungle. At this point, I’m not sure what’s worse — the idea of having to “fake” being a savage for the sake of survival or becoming a hermit who decides to live in an actual jungle.

I’ve experienced other disappointments, but these are by far the most outstanding realizations that really fucked me up socially, psychologically and I’m almost certain, physiologically.

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K N F

Bsc Psychology and Sociology | MPhil Sociology | Experience Researcher