Day 5. Go Ahead, Murder Yourself.


Join me in committing a murder.

I’m asking you to be accessory to a crime; I’m also asking you to commit your own murder(s), most likely plural.  Most likely we will be joyful afterwards.

The idea of having 5 days left to live is abstract.  As you know, I don’t intend to die on 11/13/12.  But having to confront the idea of dying from so many directions this year has brought me to consider it from an entirely different perspective, one that finally put me in a powerful position over the last several weeks.

What if someone, or more accurately something, does die, but (as is true with vegan dinners) nobody gets hurt in the process?

What if the 13th becomes is a deadline for murdering, or killing off, the parts of ourselves that are unhealthy, or that aren’t serving us well anymore. I don’t anticipate taking off limbs, or even eyelashes, yet in the process we will chip away minute parts of ourselves, parts that don’t weigh any more than an eyelash, small enough not to cause injury, but large enough to show slight differences in character in their absence. These distinctions, for example, would cause the new “me” or “you” to react entirely differently were a new doctor foolish enough to assign one of us an expiration date.

Think about it.  The idea of killing off yourself in this way becomes appealing, right?  I’ll start.  Then, I want you to jump on.

Here are ten pieces and parts of me that I will murder over the next five days.  Won’t you join me?

—  my rigidity, which might be termed my “my-way-or-the-highway”-ness as well as my obsessive nature.

— my difficulty with staying with any single task until it is complete.

—  my tendency to look up the truth on the internet during family discussions, unless that’s what we seem to want to do.

—  my tendency to accept the first assessment the doctor makes as THE WORD, or THE TRUTH (the replacement for this tendency might be a mixture of the above tendency, looking it up, with consulting second opinions when necessary).

— my tendency to obsess over unnecessary fine points, frequently to avoid dealing with the crucial.

— my propensity to want things I cannot have.

— my selfishness.

— my tendency to worry about everything. 

—my poor social skills (esp. at parties when I don’t know anyone).

 — my impostor complex.

 My list feels like the ultimate rough draft, as though it would take 100 or more list entries to approach the topic with any real seriousness.  But if I am truly to jettison, to murder, my obsessive nature, I must commit this murderous assignment, take its tenets seriously.

f about you?  Has this blog made you think about making changes year (or do you need to go back and start reading from Day 365 to understand what I’m talking about?  Don’t be intimidated by length; I wrote nowhere near 365 entries, or even nowhere near 100 entries).  What parts of yourself will you murder?  Why?  Let’s’ talk about it.

16 thoughts on “Day 5. Go Ahead, Murder Yourself.

  1. I would like to murder my tendencies to –
    1 perfectionism
    2 focusing on the insignificant

    Example combined- with everything I have to do at work, when one of my team provided a user guide for review for content, I started reformatting with a vengeance. I was changing everything from third to second person, passive to active, changed the order of the screens. Decided to take it from a navigation-driven structure to a function-driven structure. When I gave up after 6 hours and 10 pages, I realized I had found only 1 minor technical error in that range. The clients were happy with the guide the way it was. The author was a student on my team going through a rough patch who was hyper-sensitive to criticism. I let it go, but not until I lost those six hours, four of them beyond working time, without benefitting my work backlog, my family life, or my novel.

    Murder those ugly tendencies!

    • Oh, Cathy. It’s like you’ve taken a page from my life. I know exactly what you are speaking of. In fact, I wish I had added it to my list–in my world, it is called my tendency to make everything more complicated, from the simplest task to the most difficult. When you figure out how to take aim, and exactly where we’re supposed to take aim, call me. It’ll be a double tende-cide! xxo

  2. Hmm… clearly you’ve been influenced by jewish moms and catholic lore all over the world (I should know)….
    Things to change: the list is always too long and too short, and it changes daily. Perhaps that “principle of uncertainty” is something I should murder about myself. And I am clearly murdering my hair, even though it was so nice a long time ago.
    And I should murder my procrastinating habits. But more on that later.

    Regarding your blog… it does provide a different layer to our friendship. Another slant to tell the truth – if Emily D. allows me to steal the image.

    Besides murdering, I would also like to consider the keeping alive of a core self (so we can keep on murdering the parts that need execution).

      • Truly, Carlos, the only part of you that you must murder is that which is so very perfect…

        Seriously, though, I follow your slant completely. We’ll keep alive a core self, taking pleasure in murdering the less desirable parts. Who doesn’t love target practice?

  3. Maybe not a murder but an amputation?

    1. My too-often out of control temper.
    2. My tendency to second-guess e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g.
    3. My procrastinating laziness.
    4. My unwillingness to change.

    • Oh, yes, yes, yes, brilliant sister. The idea of the amputation makes such good sense–like a ma’am-putation. Also, I second you on the second-guessing. I wish I had thought of it for myself.

  4. I’m always up for a crime spree.
    I’d like to murder:
    – My ability to see and dwell on the worst in everyone, especially myself.
    Hmmm, thought I had a long list, but that one seems to cover all my bases.

    Thanks for getting me deep into meaningful thoughts this morning.

  5. I have to think about this but I’m so happy that you don’t plan to head into the afterlife on the 13th because, honey, we are having dinner on the 14th!!

    I’d like to murder my self-doubt.

  6. Man Heidi, how awesome of you, writing a list is what I’ve been doing as well of habits that very very desperately need to be MURDERED. Sometimes I wonder though, how many of the little quirks about me that I hate are really within my control? WIth the help of some great therapy, here’s what I’m workin with now:
    -Smoking cigarettes, or for that matter, relying on substances as “something to do”
    -Picking something up, trying it out, and putting it down 2 minutes later. Instead-finding things I love and want to master.
    -Hanging out with “users,” people who don’t wanna hang out unless there’s something material they can gain from it
    -Getting in a self-loathing rut where I doom myself to not accomplishing JACK
    -Overgeneralizing and tying everything back to a few limited ideas, instead branching out my interests.
    -SImilar to you Heidi, getting out of my comfort zone in social settings, meeting more good people!
    -Cluttering, ugh say no more.
    -Getting sick every semester and fucking up my attendance for expensive classes that I need to graduate
    -Drinking heavily on the weekends for the sake of escaping what happened to me the week prior or what lies ahead of me the following week.

    That’s it for now! Hey will you be around home at all on the weekend of Thanksgiving? I had planned to stay it school but now it looks like I’m coming home! Hope to catch you then! -JJM

    • Jacob–that is such a great response. Thanks so much! I love what you said about overgeneralizing and then tying everything back to just a few limited ideas. Isn’t that the truth! If that is a crime, then I should do life in prison. That is just such a thoughtful list. It’s pretty cool to be in therapy, right?

      I definitely want to hang out and talk with you–been wanting to catch up with you, too. Maybe we can brainstorm some about those headaches. I don’t know about Thanksgiving, though. I thought you’d be gone. We will prob. be at the beach, 95% certain. I’ll try to find out this weekend and get back to you. Otherwise, we’ll talk soon anyway (christmas is almost upon us). xxoxo ILY H

    • Jacob, I wanted to add one more thing your note made me think of. When I first started, I wish somebody had told me about the timing in therapy: it takes longer than you think it will for some things (some things happen very fast too). So you have to be patient with yourself. But waiting is okay. Just be zen about it.


      Can’t wait to talk with you. I’ll be around this week. Call me!

  7. Pingback: You And Your Impostor Complex Are Not Alone! « What I see, what I feel, what I'd like to see…

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