I’m home and I have slept. With passing time, so too have we had the passing of the worst of my anxiety. It has to be learned anew each time, for even though I know it in the brain part of my being, my anxiety won’t let me believe it.
Sometimes it’s enough to just know something intellectually though. Sometimes that gives you the strength to white-knuckle through the hard part. You can remember with your brain that you’ve been through this before and passed through the flames, and you can logic yourself into just waiting for the time to pass.
One of my nieces suffers from an anxiety disorder. I’m kind of happy that she has an actual name to put to it. I just got told I’d depression and spent years going through various different anti-depressants which failed to do anything significant for me until I finally met a psychiatrist in 2011 who said “Of course they didn’t. You have a cycling mood disorder.” I guess it’s a form of bipolar disorder in that there are two extremes I can reach, but it hits all the beats in between as well.
Our brains and our responses and the causes really are so poorly understood. Maybe it’s all just really really individual and it’s only our pattern-seeking primate brains that search out the similarities so that we can label certain things and treat a group of people as if they’re the same. I worry it might be an ineffectual approach.
I also worry about my children. I worry about them getting through the teenage years and learning over and over again how to get through times of (what feels like) intolerable emotion. I worry that they mightn’t survive it.
I have twenty-five in my head as this age that, if you can get there, you’ll be okay. I mean, you won’t be great all the time or anything like that, but by the time you get to your mid-twenties, the patterns have repeated themselves enough, and your pre-frontal cortex has formed enough that you can get yourself through the rest.
Up until then, though, it just seems like a bit of a crap-shoot.
I don’t want to lose my children to the vicissitudes of mental health. I want to give them the tools I’ve spent a life-time developing (which even still require further work). But I can’t just download and install them into them as if they’re human-puters awaiting an upgrade.
They’re already upgrades of me anyway. So long as I can manage to refrain from fucking them up too too much.
Anyway, on a different note, I spent a tiny portion of my day yesterday “swallowing cold vomit” as G. puts it. This is the act of re-reading and digesting stuff that you’ve written. A necessary and terrible step in the process of fixing what you’ve written and making it better.
It was so horrible for the first couple of chapters that I nearly closed the rest, sight unseen, and gave up on the whole thing. Nearly. I pushed through. It got a bit better and I found some stuff a little later on that I nearly even liked.
So that’s a thing. But the start is really really dreadful and I need to decide what I’m going to do about it.
Also, creative time – limited and all as the time is that I’ve assigned to it – is being squeezed out of my day again. That’s because I’m finding it difficult to want to do it, and when I feel like that then I get a bit rigid and if I fail to make the time in the morning /early afternoon before I collect the children, then I pretty much won’t do it that day at all.
It’s like I get to say to myself “Oh well, it didn’t happen due to circumstances outside my control. Well, that’s not my fault, so I can’t be blamed.”
Only I can be blamed for these days of failure to launch. I choose to “be too tired” to do anything about it in the evening. Okay, I don’t choose to be too tired as such, but I choose my interpretation of my energy levels. I could bloody-well do something, couldn’t I?
Gah! I’m so tired of taking responsibility for myself and my own happiness! Can’t someone else do it for me for a while?
I shy away from committing to anything solid in writing here. Look, I’m going to try to do better, fail better and all of that.
See you tomorrow.