A chain reaction had sped its way through my brain, flashing through a set of circumstances where I berate myself for not being X enough, not being Y enough, it's my fault this and that for the way I've made myself.
The thought that has ruled me for longer than I know. The driving power behind every self-destructive notion, word and thing I've thought, said and done, comes down to a single concept. It's dictated my actions for years. It's formed my sentences, made my decisions, pushed me in directions, ruined my opportunities, and generally fucked with my life.
It's a hot thought. It sears through your brain. You can almost smell the charred flesh from where it's branded your skin. Its scars are everywhere.
My hot thought is:
"I am not good enough".
My thought gets everywhere before me. It identifies and turns down opportunities before I even see them. It fucks my head up, it makes other peoples' innocuous actions entirely deliberate and hateful. It taunts me when I bother to try, and it nails me down before I can even start.
In the hardest of times, there's nothing bigger. It's right, I concede. I'm not good enough, why do I bother continuing to live?
In the times where I have leeway, and I can exercise my mind a bit, I can fight back. "Sez who?" I mumble. "What's your proof anyway?"
Sometimes that's enough to get a toehold back. The hot thought's just hot air. I was afraid of getting burnt by the steam, and the heat, but it's got no substance behind it.
My toehold gives me that speck of upward strength. Sometimes I can fire off a counter-attack. "I worked hard on something and they said I did a great job!" I say, "that's even better than good enough!".