I can’t believe I’m going to say this but… I”m having a bit of trouble… writing.
Talked to my therapist the other day. We discussed that I have some really good coping mechanisms for all the stuff that’s going wrong inside my head and that I’m actually doing pretty good as far as that’s concerned but at the same time the coping mechanisms I have right now… well, it’s like I’ve outgrown them. I’m not sure that’s quite the right way to put it but it’ll have to do.
One of my CMs is to switch gears as soon as my mind starts going down darker paths. Sounds good, right? Not always.
Sometimes when I find myself writing particularly depressing stuff that I know is going to leave me hurting in the end more so than the venting thereof will have helped I switch gears and go work on another project. Then once I’ve found my groove in the midst of that project there’s room for the mental malfunctions to seep in again and I have to switch to something new- again!
It is a great CM, in moderation but I’ve gotten to the point (at home, at work, and sadly in my writing) where I’m having to switch so many times that not only am I running myself ragged but I’m not actually getting anything done and if I am I most certainly don’t feel like it.
At work I start in one kitchen and then make an excuse to run to the other kitchen for awhile before running back to the other one or- hell, even another totally different one! Let’s face it my job is monotonous, as any job as, and it gets to the point that I can do it on autopilot and my mind begins to wander… and then I have to run off and disturb the autopilot.
At home I feel like I can’t sit still because there aren’t enough ways for me to distract myself. My home has been carefully cultivate so I can spend all the time I want drifting in and out of days dreams which is just wonderful to the ever creative side of me but the rest of me, which is too quickly overshadowing much else, doesn’t do so well with spare moments to think. We spend out time in our hobbies (he gaming, she drawing, me writing) and when we’re not doing that we’re taking drives through the forest or nice long walks. All of these are wonderful but they don’t give me that temporary off switch I need for my brain. That moment of changing from one action to the next where the mind is entirely occupied with processing the change for just a split second. This makes enjoying happy moments very hard. It makes loving the silent contemplative moments I’ve not been able to love quite so much with any others a bit of a strain.
It’s sucking all the pretty colors out of my rainbows, damnit!
This mental cancer of mine is spreading. I’ll deny it for twenty-three hours out of my every day but for at least one hour, once a day, I have to admit that I can see it slowly spreading. I don’t want to admit this- it feels like accepting but it’s something that demands acknowledgement. I can see it spreading to every facet of my life and now… now it’s hit me where I really hurt.
It’s attacked my writing.
I’m sad to say that I have noticed that most of my writing has been focused on this crap lately. Usually my blog posts are sporadic but now… it’s like I have this one long running theme I can’t break myself of. I’m not sure if I’m peeved or distressed more but it’s a combination of the two.
My poetry has gotten better if only because I’m hurting in a way that feels fresh. My non-fiction has reached a new level if only because the details have become so much more vivid and bright. My journaling is going in ever smaller circles if only because my mind has already carved out the well woven path and it’s so hard to climb out of a rut when it’s been worn so far. My short fiction has become fractured if only because the little stories are so heart breaking I can’t bear to tell a whole one at length.
I can survive these. These are intimately effected by me like the reflection in the mirror. If I break I expect them to break too even if I’m not too fond of the resulting glass in need of cleaning up and the bleeding fingers that will follow soon after.
What I’m having trouble dealing with is my stories. Half of them aren’t written so much as they are played out in my head. Huge beautiful plots put together as a painter with her canvas. I love sitting down and just staring at a wall with my own mental television projecting things I’ve never seen. I love how I can take myself away, how the characters come to life, and how mysteries I don’t fathom my own creation of unravel and restitch themselves into extraordinary masterpieces. These are the things I try to write about. Everything else is mere expression but this is expression and creation. Everything else requires giving and giving but this- this bit of creation is like giving back to myself. It’s the art I gave up in foster care only because I didn’t think I’d live another month.
It is the very air I breathe and the process of lungs pulling in and out. It’s tides churning and the sun moving across the sky. It’s the blood bringing my body to life and the colors in my eyes. It’s a kiss in the dark and a dance under the moon. It’s been with me longer than any parental figure or friend…
And now I can’t visit this beautiful world without monsters hunting me down. I can’t work on one of my novels without having to change to another one after less than three pages. I’m no longer fleshing world out but running in for a quick look before being ruthlessly yanked out again before I get caught.
It doesn’t bode well for NaNoWriMo.
Writing puts me in this special place… Did you know I can type whole stories with my eyes closed? I don’t do it on purpose, sometimes it just happens as I see everything unfold before me. It’s like meditation of the most lucid kind but in these moments, where my body is moving on it’s own and my brain is left unguarded… things go wrong. I get the flashbacks and memories which require an entirely different set of coping skills but then because of what they do to me my body over reacts in much the same way it did to create the PTSD in the first place. My flight or fight response becomes hypersensitive and tries to be hyper-aware of when these ‘dangerous’ moments are going to happen again.
So, the second my mind has a chance to relax- fight or flight, random unexplainable terrifying feelings, or whatever the hell it is, forces me to change gears. To enter a new world that I have to re-get used to and the second I’ve found my rhythm it has to happen all over again.
First day of NaNo I went from really happy to unbearably and seemingly unreasonably depressed because these things, all this crap going on inside of me, wouldn’t let me sit still and work on just one thing. The depression passed and I went back to it but it was so forced it made me want to gag. My solution? I’m now working on three projects. It’ the coping skill needed to keep me from feeling either depressed or panicked but in the end I don’t finish anything which leaves me feeling even more like crap.
In far fewer words- because I’m a much less verbal person than you might expect from reading this, I told this to my therapist. She was pretty understanding and helped clarify a few things that I think I already knew but didn’t understand quite as well until someone else said them. She told me that maybe until I got a bit better with everything else I shouldn’t expect quite so much from myself… to lower my expectations…
I feel like I’ve already done that a little bit. I am going easier on myself. Taking more breaks, treating myself nice and all that jazz but at the same thing if I’m completing nothing than to expect less… I don’t know. I know where that thoughts going but I can’t shed light on it yet. I’m hurting, I’m tired- though I seem to do little else but sleep lately, and I just don’t feel like doing anything.
Later tonight I will sit down and I will write for NaNo. I don’t know what I’ll write or on what project but I will do it. Not because I’m expecting anything from myself, at this point I’m not sure I see myself completing my word count, but because I need to write. I need to embrace the familiarity of sunshine even if I have to imagine it and even if my imagination stakes it so far away. I need to achieve something slightly above the nothing line to know this stuff hasn’t taken over my life because to let anything else happen would be giving up and I’ve put myself through enough damn trouble in life being stubborn for what I wanted and needed to let something intangible kick my ass.
PS. I am reading all your wonderful comments- thank you so much and please know I do plan on responding to all of them as I always do though during this month it might take me more than the handful of days. Peace, hugs, and slugs.