I think the key to being a long-term radical and not losing your mind is eliminating the gap between theory and emotion. Hearing and judging a new idea, re-examining an old one, or pondering something yourself is often a sensory experience, felt in your gut — it “resonates” with you or not. Listen to your subconscious, it knows the truth (and it is merciless to dogma). Your mind’s job is only to articulate what’s stirring down below.
If you’re not careful this can spell instant demoralization, but that probably means your political strategy sucks or you mistakenly believe that your country’s population is less radical than it really is. You should always be following your nose, trying to figure out a method for getting from where we are to where we need to be.
When I was a new radical, political theory was vital and a direct expression of my dissatisfaction with my life of continually exchanging one taskmaster for another, from parents to school to work to cops to whatever.
Once during a lunch break I was reading Capital by Marx, a section about how employers attempt to minimize the break-time in the workday to maximize work-time. While reading it, the top manager came in and cut the lunch break short. That’s theory addressing life.