Naming the Demon

Don’t you dare fucking write about me, he says. Don’t you dare. Don’t do it! Stop! STOP!

Fredricks the DemonThat’s what the demon is telling me right now. This demon, who fights harder to sabotage me the closer I get to success — he’s getting freakishly strong. He takes completely over and overindulges in food, liquor, and spending. He stops me from writing. He entices me with hours upon hours of televison.

I got the jump on him last night. I told him I would pour out the entire bottle of rum if he doesn’t stop, right now. I said, sternly, if you get me drunk tonight, AGAIN, tomorrow when you’re asleep I will fucking pour the entire 1.75 liter of rum down the goddamn sink.

The threat worked. He crawled back into his dark little hole.

Also — as I have just found out — he doesn’t like outside attention. This explains why I get reclusive and hide from people. Why I will actually wander past an open elevator door and wait for the next one, rather than get into an occupied one. I can’t tell if he’s shy or he just wants me all for himself, just him and I, so he can feed off me and keep me miserable.

I thought, if I’m going to start writing about this demon, I should give him a name — but he absolutely had a fit. He started squeezing my adrenal glands and punching me in the heart. People are going to think you’re crazy or gone schizophrenic. If you give me a name, he says, you’re going to make me real.

To which I say, you are obviously real already, and have been for most of — if not all — my life. And I know that I’m not the only one to have this demon. Thank you especially to Steven Pressfield for pointing this out. He’s given his demon the name, “Resistance.”

Mine, I’m going to call him … oh, he’s fighting right now, he’s furious … I’m going to call him, “Fredricks.” Even worse, I’m going to turn him into a cartoon figure.

Wow, he does not like that. But it’s perfect, as “Fredricks” is the name of the brothers who tormented me relentlessly when I was a kid. And by turning him into a cartoon, I’ve reduced him to something ridiculous.

Fredricks. The cartoon demon.

Perfect.

If you give something a name, you suddenly have power over it. I’m gaining some power over him now. But it’s not going to be easy.

This has always been war.

 

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