I got up this morning and knew that today, for the first time in about a month, I was going to work. I was going to write. And that it wasn't an April Fool's joke.
And the absolute, most infuriating thing about that is that I cannot tell you why or how today is different from yesterday. It's actually mind-boggling. If I had an inkling, then I would know for next time. I would get there faster, I would break down less, I would not waste as much energy and effort getting absolutely nothing accomplished.
And part of it may just be waiting. Everything should be balanced. Play is just as important as work. If you push and push and push to work, then you will fail. Some people have developed an ability to dig deep and "push through," but I think those people are white-knuckling and they are gonna break down. When I broke down, I just embraced it. I struggled, sure, and I said, I don't like this and I want this go away and I want to get things down and have the desire to work and love this again and twelve million other things. But I stopped fighting. I quit. Throwback to #nofilter. Seven months later. Oh hey, history, kind of you to repeat yourself. Not. And then I watched so many hours of television I can't even count them all. And when that didn't keep me entertained, I gamed.
And I'm sure there are people that would argue that I was just running away from my problems, that I was simply procrastinating, but I've been around the block enough to know that there was something else there. Sure, on the surface that can be the answer, and you can chock yourself up to understanding me and move on. I'm not saying your argument is false. I'm just saying it's more complicated than that. Something deeper. Something unsettling enough to paralyze me completely. Make me question myself to the core. An out-of-the-blue impactful thought that gave me pause today: if it's about achieving balance, and part of that definitely involves play, then what's to say my current overcompensation (literally the only thing I want to do) isn't just trying to balance out an earlier deficit from childhood I'm not even consciously aware of? Where my space for play and imaginative discourse were stifled? Who knows if/how being sooooooooooo closeted/repressed for so long is still affecting me?
I just knew it was bad. Unsettling, as I said. I went so far as to get my blood tested. Something must be wrong. But the tests all came back negative. What then? Why did I break down to the point I was missing deadlines? That the things I enjoyed just made me angry and frustrated? Why do I stop believing in myself? Why do I question, and doubt, and reconsider everything - and I mean, literally, everything - like to the point where I am ready to give up on ever writing another word and change careers, chucking my 1.85 degrees in the garbage along with all my incomplete, imperfect work?
I lost my confidence in everything. Not just writing. I felt completely shattered. I'm not over that. I'm not healed. I'm not fixed. I'm not just flipping a switch and now I'm going to just pick up where I left off like nothing happened.
Lying to myself is one of the most pernicious things I can do. And not a way to believe in myself again. I don't know how to get back to where I was. I may not for a long time. I'm trying to accept that. Which isn't easy. But sifting my imperfections and my failings has the ashes of the answers. I know that much.
Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy – the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light (6)C'mere darkness. Let's have a cuddle.