I promise to do my best, to do my duty to God and my community, to help other people, and to keep the scout law.

I always find these workshops constructive, possibly because my brain works best in dialogue with others, rather than on its own. Is this something common to all human beings? We’re pack animals, after all.

Perhaps the practice of talking to other people about your inner states gives you the mental tools and language for self-analysis. This sort of behaviour was discouraged, when I was growing up, especially among men and I find internal dialogue difficult. My thoughts are always fragmentary and insubstantial, and seem to instantaneously evaporate. To make them durable I have to compose a persuasive speech addressed to some other person. Even then, if I formulate a pleasing phrase it just goes around and around in my head. (is this just me?)

This means that my own state of mind is totally unknown to me. it is a closed book. I shout questions into the empty vault of my skull, but all I get back is confused echoes. The only way I can get anywhere near understanding myself is to deduce my inner state from my behaviours, as if I was gossiping about a friend, and my inferences seem to have no more validity than gossip. I’m very doubtful about any conclusions I come to about myself. It always seems like empty, self-justifying waffle. I doubt my sincerity.

But I contribute a lot to the workshops, especially if the others are remaining silent. I want the sessions to go well, to make the staff’s job easier, and to rescue those who don’t want to contribute. I want the therapy team feel it was a successful and productive session and recognise, with affection and gratitude, my part in that. I want to be a supportive fellow patient. In other words, I want to be loved.

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