006 - The Fuckery Theory
You know how when you start a new job, there is almost always that coworker who introduces themselves to you, then immediately follows up their name with the expression, “I hate drama.” This person is, inevitably, the most dramatic person in the office.
Enter the Fuckery Theory.
It is my deeply held belief that there are two kinds of fuckery in the world: naturally occurring fuckery and self-induced fuckery.
Naturally Occurring Fuckery
Naturally occurring fuckery stems from an outside source. Illness is naturally occurring fuckery. Weather is naturally occurring fuckery. Acts of god that are not covered by renter’s insurance are examples of naturally occurring fuckery. You get a flat tire on your way to work. You get food poisoning. You unknowingly let a psychopath use your bathroom. All examples of naturally occurring fuckery - that is to say, things beyond your control that throw you into a drama-tornado.
The real problem that trips people up and keeps them stuck in an unproductive loop is self-induced fuckery. Self-induced fuckery is when you know your tire is going flat and ignore it until it makes you late to work. Self-induced fuckery is telling off your mother-in-law, knowing she will only escalate. Self-induced fuckery is when you feed the flames.
People who participate in self-induced fuckery are the same people who light a match, throw it into a puddle of gasoline, and then ask for attention and sympathy when they get burned. Anyone who has ever uttered the phrase, “Why is this happening to me??” is a victim only of self-induced fuckery. These are the people who appear on reality TV. They are fun to watch but make horrible friends.
Sometimes, you can get stuck in a stream of naturally occurring fuckery that can look like self-induced fuckery to people on the outside. A boyfriend who turns out to be a psychopath. A shitty apartment. A chronic illness. Sure, these things can be exacerbated by self-induced fuckery, but they stem from naturally occurring problems and things outside of one’s control. If you find yourself in a mudslide of drama, it’s important to evaluate how much fuckery is naturally occurring, and how much fuckery has been self-induced.
This is the sucky part. The taking-responsibility-for-one’s-actions part.
As a person with a chronic illness, I know that if I do not drink enough water, stretch, and eat healthily, I will begin to suffer within a few days. While my illness itself is naturally occurring, if I neglect myself and make myself feel worse, it is self-induced. Does this mean the illness is my fault? No. But it is my responsibility to attend to it and to take the best care possible.
Sometimes self-induced fuckery can balloon into such a large and overwhelming cloud that it appears to be naturally occurring. We can ignore the warning signs and small problems until our entire existence is on fire, forgetting that we are still holding the matchbook.
Having a crazy ex is an example of naturally occurring fuckery. Having only crazy exes is an example of self-induced fuckery.
I recently unfollowed someone on twitter, because I realized that the fuckery they were experiencing was indeed self-induced. They were an expert at framing it as naturally occurring. They felt victimized by other people. They said that they were continually disrespected because of their appearance. They refused any kind of introspection. Anyone who dared disagree was victim-blaming. They never acknowledged that pursuing relationships with people who were not attracted to them was not a healthy behavior. Sure, they were disrespected because of their appearance. But that was because they refused to cut off this negativity and seek out positivity. They refused to date anyone who did find them attractive. Essentially, they wouldn’t be a member of a club that would accept them as a member. And that is some self-induced fuckery.
Self-improvement is achieved through introspection. If you cannot identify if your biggest barriers are self-induced or naturally occurring, they are self-induced. Ask if the steps you are taking are increasing the amount of fuckery around you. If the fuckery is indeed naturally occurring, it is your responsibility to keep it from becoming self-induced.
Evaluating your personal drama according to the fuckery scale is a form of self-care. Only once you can ascertain the kind of fuckery you are dealing with, can you begin to address the root causes. Addressing self-induced fuckery is painful. It is a shitty feeling to realize that you’ve caused your own shittiness. However, correcting the self-induced fuckery in your life will lead you to a deep sense of personal pride and relief. I cannot overstate this enough. Ending one’s self-induced fuckery cycle is akin to putting on glasses for the first time. Suddenly, the trees have individual leaves! The grass is individual blades! Everything suddenly seems so much sharper, more in focus!
Embrace deeply fulfilling contentment and abandon the dramatic, if exciting, fuckery cycle.