Every so often, I do something Stupid. I don’t mean jump off a building just to feel the rush of concrete stupid, but the sort of stupids that pretty much every person does once in a while. Say something wrong in class stupid. Spend too much money at the mall stupid. fall in love with the wrong person stupid.
When most people do something Stupid, they can shrug their shoulders and say, “Oh well, I’m human, humans do stupid things, this doesn’t define me, I wonder what’s on TV tonight.” Most people probably don’t capitalize Stupid.
But something happens in my mind where I get stuck. My inner phonograph needle catches on a scratch and the song skips back and forth, in and out of that Stupid thing that I did. And, before I know it, everything I’ve done in my life so far has culminated into that single act of Stupidity. “I said something Stupid because I don’t study enough, because I’m too arrogant and self-righteous, because I’m too lazy to change that.” “My money is gone because I Stupidly spent it on things I didn’t need, because I’m selfish, and I made myself that way.” “He’s gone because I’m crazy and Stupid, Stupid, Stupid.” Soap suds of self hate, circling the drain, unimpeded.
It’s not always so bad. Sometimes I can talk myself out of it and move on. But perhaps even more profoundly relieving is being able to talk about it, to recognize my spiraling self-hate, and to combat that part of me with the help of people who care.