Thursday, 29 March 2018

Oh, I am anxious and aching, breathing the burning air

A four-day weekend is upon us and I couldn't be more ready. It's been a strange week, mentally. The fog of depression and anxiety came down again, and suddenly every day has been a struggle from waking to sleeping. It's been a week where I haven't been able to write, despite being full of love for both the projects I'm working on. A week where my day job has seemed overwhelming and I've lain in bed every morning secretly hoping I'll discover I'm suddenly sick and can't go in. A week where I look at all the weird little coping mechanisms I have and suddenly wonder is this normal? A week where dread has settled in the pit of my stomach for no reason, and my head has throbbed and my body has rebelled against me, and I find myself wondering is there something wrong with me? Some mystery illness? Some phantom condition that's silently killing me?

Of course there isn't. My body is fine. My mind is mis-firing, and all I can really do is get through each hour and say to myself, see? Nothing bad happened. And that's how I make it to the end of the week. Tomorrow I won't have to get up with the alarm clock. I won't have to go anywhere or do anything if I don't want to. I'll have four days where I can read under a fluffy blanket with Yuki on my lap and a cup of tea at hand, write if the spirit moves me, and laze on the sofa with Nero watching MasterChef. I can exhale.

I don't know how other people experience anxiety, but for me it's a sense of not having enough time, of not working hard enough, of not being good enough, of having faked my way in life. And so my writing suffers. What's the point in me writing when my writing isn't good enough? What's the point of writing if I can't get out 5k a day, every day? What's the point in writing when I'll never write all the books in my heart? And so I don't write, and then I feel worse, because I'm not working hard enough at writing.

There really aren't any tricks to getting out of this cycle. I just have to write something. Anything. There are scenes in my head for Chaos Songs waiting to get out. I just have to unfreeze myself, and sometimes that takes a while. 

But I have four days ahead of me, and today the sense of dread isn't so deep. Today I feel like I might be okay, and while that feeling lasts, I plan to do the little things that bring me peace. Burn a spiced vanilla candle, read a Point Horror book, wear a perfume laced with lavender and chocolate. And write, because I know, I know, that once the words are flowing, I will feel less claustrophobic, less uncertain, and more grounded. I've been here before, so many times. I know the way out, and I find the way out, every time. And that's how I make it to the end of the week.

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