Nicole Akers’ recent account of her experience was so astonishing that Medium suggested she tag it as fiction. Like they say, the truth is stranger than fiction.
I Hate the Midwest and it is Amazing for Personal Growth
Absorb what is useful, Discard what is not, Add what is uniquely your own. — Bruce Lee
I know Nicole, and her story is true. She closed her story with the following question:
What beasts are you fighting today and what’s the forecast look like for overcoming them?
The forecast is cloudy with a chance of misery.
The Beast Will Not Be Ignored
Ignoring the Beast is like jumping in a river and trying to ignore the water.
Trying to ignore The Beast only makes it stronger. It adapts to everything, even being ignored.
Ignoring it just means you don’t realize how strong it’s growing. You forget about it, but the Beast never loses sight of its prey. The Beast is part of you and part you. In many ways, I am the Beast.
The Beast is relentless and will never give up trying to get to you.
The Beast has No Conscience
It doesn’t just hunt without conscience, the Beast has no consciousness. It lives and thrives, but it’s not aware. It has no concept of anything, especially not “quit.”
It Simply Feeds
Mindlessly and endlessly it feeds on anything in its path and relentlessly pursues everything that’s ever been in its path.
That’s a lot of adverbs.
Feeding doesn’t satiate the Beast but only makes it more ravenous.
The Beast is UnFightable
You can’t fight it. The Beast feeds on the fight. Fighting it only makes it stronger.
How do you slay the Beast that can’t be fought?
The Beast is UnKnowable
I don’t even know what it is. I just know it’s there. Always there. It’s always throwing everything it’s got at you, and it’s got everything to throw.
The Beast is Unrecognizable
You never know what it is. You only know when it attacks. There is no Beast fighting class.
Sometimes the Beast is as we think it should be. It’s the enemy. Sometimes it looks like an ally. Like trying to keep a pet tiger, one day it will be hungry enough and you will be close enough.
How do you Fight the Beast?
The Only Way to Fight the Beast is to Starve It
It feeds on your fear and guilt.
It yearns for your sadness and hurt.
It thrives on regret.
How about little doubt for dessert?
- Say Hello to the Beast
- Forgive Yourself
- Smile at the Beast
- Forgive the Beast
- Keep moving forward
- Know that everything is going to be all right.
Say Hello to the Beast
Don’t feed it fear.
You have to say hi to it and wave to it. The Beast always knows you’re there. This is to remind yourself that it’s there. You also want to let the Beast know that you know it’s there.
Sometimes you have to hug the Beast. Yes, it will let you get as close as you dare. Just don’t let it smell fear. Roosevelt was right. If you have no fear, there’s nothing to fear, nothing to feed the Beast.
Don’t feel guilty for starving the Beast. The Beast pursues and hurts you to feed off those negative emotions. It knows just how to make you feel bad for starving it and will make you feel guilty for it.
Don’t feel bad. You did your best. The Beast doesn’t want you to know that. It needs your guilt to survive. You did your best, so be proud. Smile knowingly at the Beast.
The Beast created itself. You didn’t. Don’t feed it the guilt it needs. Forgive yourself.
Smile at the Beast
It loves sadness like I love chocolate. Sadness comes easy when it seems like the Beast will forever pursue you. The Beast was supposed to be a friend or part of the family, even a part of you, and it turned on you. It’s enough to make anyone sad.
It did it to make you sad. It feeds on sadness.
Smile at it. Tell it a joke and laugh a hearty laugh. Let it know you know it’s there, what it did, and you’re still happy.
Be happy out of spite, if you have to.
Forgive the Beast
Would you expect a snake to apologize if it bit you? Of course not. It’s what snakes do. It’s your fault for getting too close and not listening for the rattle. Would you ever let the same snake bite you twice?
Don’t Let the Beast Hurt You
At least don’t let it know it did. The Beast hurts you so it can feed on your hurt.
Starve the Beast by forgiving it.
You don’t forgive the Beast to make it feel better. You forgive the Beast so you don’t carry the hurt.
Keep Moving Forward
The Beast needs your regret. I wants you to live in the past, dwelling on everything you didn’t do that it wanted you to, ruminating on everything you did that it didn’t like.
You did what you had to do and what you thought was best for you and your loved ones. If it wasn’t the right thing for everyone, even if it wasn’t the right thing for you and your loved ones, you did your best. They don’t blame you. They love and support you.
Some things ain’t meant to be
The best things in life are free
And tomorrow is another day
Funny how the truth sounds so cliche
You gotta keep on, keep on keepin’ on
- Jack Ingram
Continue loving and supporting yourself and your loved ones and keep moving forward. Keep calm and carry on.
Smile at the Beast as you go.
Know that Everything is Going to Be All Right
A little doubt. A little dread. Keep it up and the Beast is fed.
Faith smothers the Beast. Faith in yourself, your family and your friends. Everyone who believes in you.
Things will get better. When they’re better, you might remember that they’ll eventually get worse again. You’ll be right. When things are good, the Beast wants you to think things will always be good. When things are bad, the Beast wants you to think things will always be bad. That is exactly where it wants you.
Just as you’re right things will get worse, you’re also right that things will get better. Like Stephen King said, “Ka is a wheel.”
Keep the faith.
What Does it All Mean?
First of all, it’s not real. Or maybe that’s what the Beast wants you to believe.
Only two people could possibly be immune to the Beast: Barbie and Rainbow Dash.
I don’t know if this should be taken as advice. Nicole’s story of her Beast inspired me to take a closer look at my Beast. It’s dramatic, so I like it.
I’d like to say that I hope Nicole and her family will be all right. I have no such hope. I know with every atom of my existence that they will thrive. I don’t need any faith. It’s just a fact.
I should feel a little guilty taking inspiration from another’s pain, but like Bono said,
Every artist is a cannibal.
Every poet is a thief.
All kill for inspiration
and then sing about the grief.
Oh, and like I said…