October 12th, 2018
In an attempt to help people get inside my characters’ heads, I’ll try to find simplified examples from the internet and use them to begin a discussion and illustrate certain behaviors or traits. Ashley Maypole has a lot going on — we’ll talk more about the other stuff later on — but something that both he and I suffer from is something called Imposter Syndrome. “I feel like a fake” — the first line in the diagram — is the clearest way to understand how this feels, and on a perpetual basis. Page 3 of issue #1, seen here, finds Ashley, hungover and strung out, laying down everything he’s thinking. It’s a quick, decisive sketch of who he is, as told by and to himself.
I’ve struggled my entire life to feel like anything I do is authentic or worth anything. It’s irrational, and not recognizing it as it is was damaging to me and others. As much as I feel, which is too much, and work hard at nearly everything I do, it often fails to appear to be or feel as real as when other people do it. I don’t know why, but at least I can recognize it now, and that helps. It helps to have a name for it and know that other people think and feel this way, too.
The second part of the diagram is even more important — ways to deal with it. Talking about your feelings is important, as is listening to the same people you vent to. I could for sure listen better — sometimes I get talking and I can’t stop and I think it’s just in my always vain attempt to show people that I’m smart and that I know stuff, too. And it makes me feel dumb and the cycle goes on.
The good news is that art helps. Whatever way you choose to express yourself can be a positive way to battle things like this in your own life. And if all else fails, get a cute dog. Cute dogs cure all ails.