Messing up

This is not really a blog post. I’ve messed up a lot of things recently, I do not know where I fit or what I am for. I’m not sure I have anything to say, and every opinion I offer or feeling I have risks hurting and offending someone else. Some of this is depression talking. Some of it is the feeling that my silence and my absence might now be the best things I have to give. I need time to think about this, to work out if I have anything to say that is worth saying. To those of you who have been kind and supportive, my thanks.

I have come to the conclusion that I’m a fairly awful human being, I lack for sufficient compassion and empathy, I am not generous of heart, I am not tolerant enough and I am not reliably kind. I get angry and upset about things and it always, always causes problems. As I no longer have the wit or will to keep trying to hide how rubbish I am, stepping back seems like the most sensible thing to do.


About Nimue Brown

Druid, author, dreamer, folk enthusiast, parent, wife to the most amazing artist -Tom Brown. Drinker of coffee, maker of puddings. Exploring life as a Pagan, seeking good and meaningful ways to be, struggling with mental health issues and worried about many things. View all posts by Nimue Brown

27 responses to “Messing up

  • Michael Breddelwyn Peterson

    I believe you to be a good person, talented with your gift of thoughts and words and feelings, and how to combine them into something meaningful and beautiful.

  • Alison Clayton-Smith (@alisoncs)

    Am so saddened to read this. I value what you say. I hated myself very deeply for a long time, longer than I had realised. I felt I had to break apart in order to rebuild. And this happened, very painfully, when I did a year long therapy course, with the intention of becoming a therapist but then I realised that wasn’t for me. I learnt in the group that yes I can say things that hurt people, but that didn’t make me a bad person. That wasn’t all of me. And when I got angry or irritated by other people, I learnt to see what this said about my own needs, my own stuff. And to recognise that when others got angry with me, that said something about their needs.

    I’m learning about Acceptance and Commitment Therapy at the moment, reading Russ Harris’ The Happiness Trap. I think there is a lot of value in this approach.

    I hope that stepping back gives you space to find some peace within yourself.

  • potiapitchford

    You are not an awful human better by at all. You hold yourself to standards you wouldn’t dream of placing on others. You share deeply and profoundly. You feel passionately about a range of issues. You consider things deeply. You are special, unique and wonderful. You are open about what you see as your imperfections and perhaps do not see how real and wonderfully human these make you. I hope you can find pride in your unique differences, your specialists. And when we do finally meet face to face I hope you’ll honour me with a good strong hug knowing that I’ll treasure what that would mean for you.

  • angharadlois

    What Potia said! I don’t recognise you (the online you I have come to know) from that description, not at all. I’ve sent you a message more privately; I really hope you feel better soon. Be kind to yourself. Although I am not much of a hugging type, but this is one of the occasions where I would give a great big hug, if I could, if it helped.

  • siobhanwaters

    I hope stepping back and taking some time for yourself brings you the clarity to see that you are not these horrible things you think about yourself. I hope you feel better soon.

  • saigesweetwater

    If stepping back and taking time for yourself is what you need to feel better, then by all means, please do. But don’t do so under the mistaken assumption that no one else values what you have to say. I appreciate the openness and candor of your words, and I hope that you won’t be gone too long. We’re all a bit rubbish at times (I know I certainly am), but that doesn’t make us bad people – it just makes us human.

  • linda gaylord

    ***complete understanding*** (((((((((hugs))))))))) nothing in this life is easy,least of all being in public view….take all the time you need,until you feel ready to return….but most of all,be aware that you are under no obligation to do so….may you find your bearings and continue on your journey,in your own time and at your own pace….be well and blessed be….

  • witchinsuburbia

    My depression tells me the same types of things and some days it’s almost impossible to tell it to shut the hell up. The fact that you care about whether your words hurt people says wonderful things about who you are as a person. You’re not a bad person. It sounds like your depression is making you feel like one, but I never get the feeling from reading your blog that you actually are one.

    I don’t know you personally, but I do know the insidious things depression does to us. It sounds like you need a hug {{{{BIG HUG}}}} and some help. What kind of help would be most, well…helpful?

  • landisvance

    My therapist told me once that there really is something there that is upsetting to me – so don’t think you are awful or making it up because you are reacting to something real – now to figure out what it is and why it evokes the passion that it does – that will lead to freedom. Blessings, If there was ever less of a rubbish human I would certainly like to meet them. Hang on and this too will pass!

  • Connie

    Step back and see that you are not an awful human being. You are simply a human being. That you recognize that you have, residing in you as we all do, negative as well and positive tendencies, shows that you are a self aware human. I do not believe it is possible to exist as all positive. There is no light without the darkness to contrast. To truly know forgiveness and compassion, you must accept that you feel frustration and a want for revenge – and then you make choices to hold it or let it go. To feel peace, you must know anger – and make choices, because how do we know what stillness is, if we haven’t been tossed about as a comparison? To be empathetic and generous, we must also be selfish… because how can we even begin to take care of others if we do not take know how to care of ourselves? To know love, we must also know what hate is – or, again, how can we make a choice, how can we tell one from the other?? You see these negatives as huge things, but please do not forget to look at their positive opposites. They are much, much greater than the negative. Humans make mistakes. We all make mistakes. The potential for awful is there. But so is the potential for wonderful. I’ve known you for a long time. You are wonderful. You choose wonderful. You share wonderful. But… I don’t expect you to *be* perfectly wonderful. You are a human. A wonderful human that might sometimes forget to choose not to be awful, like we all do at times. It’s what we are. You are a bright and light-filled soul… with doses of reality causing some naturally occurring deep shadows, because that’s just how we are made… and I am blessed to call you friend.

  • Christopher Blackwell

    Messing up is not a crime, it is how we learn and grow. If the gods wanted us to be perfect we would be designed that way. As we are designed imperfect as humans that so that we can grow and develop and to give us a chance to learn from our mistakes. If we fear making mistakes then we give up the chance to learn grow and develop.

    We humans make value judgments, often on insufficient information and this includes those judgements about ourselves. Part of it is what we don’t know about others, their fears, worries, mistakes, and sometimes not even their positive feelings or judgements about us.

    Now the negative judgements we hear loud and clear, because often the only way for some people to survive is to prove someone else is worst than they are. So they will say hurtful things that may either not be true, or that may be major exaggerations.

    This bad enough for our self value system. but often we internalize it and beat ourselves over head with these harsh judgements.We become our parents and our own big bully. Left unchecked it can destroy a person ad you see suicides for just that reason..

    Stop trying to be a saint. You are not supposed to be. Forgive yourself for being human instead and imperfect. Know that you are to required to e. You are part of the patter of life. Remove you ad the patter would have to shift ad not necessarily for the better but more often for the worse.

    Start seeking out your best aspects, note each daily success even the smallest success. Be aware that you are not all powerful and how people chose to react to you as a person is not all about you and your imperfections,, but is mostly about how they choose to see you based on their own imperfections and doubts.

    You have no real control over how people will choose to view you. That will be based only on their needs of the moment. Even if you were the saint, they would find reasons to accuse you of causing their problems. It is far easier to blame you than to change themselves, and take responsibility for their own faults and actions.

    Learn what lessons you can from your past and the lose most of your past. Put is weight down and walk away from it. As to you worries about the future you can’t know what future will happen. At best all plans for the future are tentative and must remain loose and flexible. Today is all that you have for certain so put most of you attention must be what is going on around you and inside you. You could question why this need to tear yourself done. You have had no shortage of others to tear you down. So why not give yourself a break ad just accept yourself as you are.

    Do you really think that we are so stupid that we follow just anyone if the person have no value for us to get by following what they can tell us? if nothing else realize that our being here is an eagle that we do to see these great faults that you their you have. So in all the gloom and self loathing, you are just mistaken. We are too busy working on our own lives and making improvements.

  • momahedger

    No no. Please do not. I have enjoyed your posts but had forgotten my password.

    But I have frequently forwarded your posts to my pagan friendly christian husband and we have agreed, grown and found answers.

    You are not a bad person. You are upfront and honest. And that means sometimes hurting feelings but then giving a hug.

    Like what happens to me. I do that also. Written communication can be tricky and people need to know that.

    Hugs. You are not a bad person. You are human

    Mary lou oxley, faery gaelic witch

  • momahedger

    But if you need to step back for You, then do so and love yourself. Tske care of yourself and come back

    I have ptsd, fibromyalgia and depression. I know how I get and wonder if I want to go another 20 years + in this pain and fear.

    I am,not always the witch I see desire to be until Brighid and Morrighann show me those are my expectations not theirs.


  • Annika

    You are NOT a terrible person. You are ill. Give yourself time to get better. Things WILL get better. Being so honest about the way you feel is very brave, and this makes you a very wonderful person.

  • inanna

    nimue, i very much want you to know that your writings have added a depth, a richness, a remembering and a sense of coming home to myself to myself that i didn’t even realise was missing. i am a yoga practitioner and teacher but long before i even knew the word yoga, or spirituality, or even druidry or paganism, i needed to spend contemplative time in nature. your work has reminded me of that aspect of myself, has helped me make sense of some seeming contradictions in my life, as well as continuing a much-needed phase of my work that involves looking very critically at the yoga world.

    as i read the kind-hearted comments from your online community i can’t help but reflect on the fact that for me, in the dark places i regularly visit, nothing anyone says about what a good, kind person i am ever makes any difference. i’m not at all saying that this is what’s happening here, but sometimes, i am convinced that those words are said because people simply cannot bear my pain. of course they wish me to be happier, but they also, i think, lack the ability, and the skills, to let me just go through it.

    so i want to say to you that i trust the human ability to descend to the depths of despair. i trust that the human experience is one of flux, just as the nature of the oak i can see from my window is one of constant shift. i trust that it is inbuilt into us to be able to be broken apart again and again by life and to not be destroyed but in fact strengthened by that process. i trust
    that the descent to the depths of our own personal hell realm, surrendering to the process, is an opportunity to mine for jewels – and, i know that this is the hardest thing i have personally ever done. one day, i hope to be able to remember it as the precious gift i know it to be when i’m happy when the fog of depression (such a non-descriptive word) begins its slow creep into my bones. i am convinced there is, for me, a link between depression, and compassion for myself – the only sustainable wellspring of compassion for anyone else, i am sure.

    many blessings as you journey xxx

  • Lea

    I know that fall hole your in right now. Take time to let yourself heal, seek help if you need help, and whisper back to those toxic voices that you are worthy. Because you are worthy – of love, both self-love and external; of peace; of forgiveness, again from self and from others; and gentleness. A friend of mine was told this recently by her mother – we all deserve to treat ourselves with gentleness. And she’s right.

    Remind yourself of these things as you do what you need to do to heal from depression. Because all these harsh things you say about yourself come from one of two places – depression or an assist/hater in your life attempting to snuff your light for fear of what it reveals in their own darkness.

  • dawnmedus

    I would like to echo what has already said above and to say you are not alone. Take comfort from the lovely messages above and I hope this feeling passes quickly. I love reading your posts here, you are an incredibly gifted writer. Thinking of you.xx

  • Leithin Cluan

    My guess is that this is the depression talking, but I wouldn’t want to minimise you or distance you from your reality. So, it is what it is.

    BUT – you are far, far from a terrible person. You are as far as it’s possible to be.

  • skylark

    I won’t repeat that which has already been said, other than I believe you are an incredibly open and honest person who is able to bare their soul in public, which cannot be an easy thing to do. Your words are always full of wisdom and give lots of us hope and cheer. You judge yourself too harshly, I for one await your blogging and your books with anticipation and interest and I hope you can find some joy in the messages of your readers.

  • Crowsong

    Depression can be a nasty beast with big sharp teeth, and I’m so sorry it’s taking such a big bite of your heart right now.

    I’ve never met you, but your words have been a touchstone and a comfort so, so many times… holding up a tiny candle, and sending gentle hugs, wishes for comfort, and a star to shine in the night sky.

  • gwionbach

    This person you describe isn’t you, or maybe it’s a part of you but certainly not the whole. Consider it seasonal, and know it will pass. In the interim, know that you make myself, and many others, think and feel, and that is a wonderful gift you have given freely to the world. I’ve enjoyed your writings and thoughts for nearly 4 years now, and I thank you for all of them.

  • Sue marsh

    Niue u know already how I feel about u and what u write . My computer has broken and I am hopeless at writing on my phone but please know that you are genuinely loved and are important to a lot of us. Please b kind to yourself.


    Hi Nimue, I only know you through your words and you always come across as authentic. That’s true now with your latest post. I don;t have any easy solutions – each person’s path is different, but please reflect on the comments here and know how much you are appreciated. I don’t know what precipitated your current state – whether it was a thoughtless word from someone struggling with their own issues, or whether you’re just going through a time of shadow – I can only wish you the return of brighter days and wisdom from the journey.

  • dapplegrey

    We are all of us awful, truly awful, at times. We’re also wonderful. Has it occurred to you that the very fact that you think you’re awful means that you’re not? To feel humiliated and miserable in the face of your awfulness is to realise how much you need your own compassion – so just as you’d be compassionate towards someone you love when they felt they’d messed up, you need to be loving and compassionate to yourself…..
    You may be right to step back and seek some silence for a while, and if this is what you are being led to do by the kindness within you, listen and follow, because this is indeed what you need to heal and become yourself again.
    You are such a gifted writer with such a sharp intelligent mind, but for those of us who use words a lot sometimes the ability to think and express in words is not as helpful a thing as other kinds of expression. Music. Dance. Movement. Silence. They’re universal healers.
    I will miss reading you but will be patient; you are in my thoughts, and I wish you every blessing and the return of happiness – which will come, even if it has to be slowly, never fear. XXX

  • celticchick

    I don’t know what happened to make you feel this way, but I read your blog and never thought you were an awful person for saying what you feel. You never call anyone names or say anything terrible. You will always have someone who will disagree with you on something. I hope you don’t stop writing your blog because of this. Don’t let people who disagree with you stop you from doing what you love to do.

  • Sparkless

    Goodness I’ve been reading your blog for awhile now and nothing you have written has lead me to the conclusion you are rubbish or any of the other negative things you said about yourself. We are all human and there isn’t a perfect human on this planet so why do you expect yourself to be one? I’m pretty sure you don’t expect your loved ones and friends to be perfect either. You would allow them to make mistakes and still love them, right? Not that you’ve made any mistakes that I know of and even if you had, it’s okay cause I have made many myself and I’m not rubbish. Please do for yourself what you do for others, simply love yourself and know you are good enough, no, you are fantastic!

  • locksley2010

    We all screw up, we all make mistakes, that doesn’t make you a bad person. We learn from the bad times in order to do better… We’re not machines.

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