My day started with tea. At home (after a run through what felt like 80 degree soup). And it’s Friday. Already things are off to a better beginning. I’m a few steps back from the edge of the meltdown that’s been stalking me all week.
This is an edge I walk constantly, one that’s always made worse by excessive temperatures (seriously, I effing hate summer here–100+ degrees for about 2 months with ACs that cannot compete? I’d like to move to Alaska, even if they do have mosquitoes the size of crop dusters.). It’s not something I talk about generally because it is what it is. I am overworked, underslept, and that isn’t likely to change at any point in the near future. But I feel like talking about it today. So, be warned. This is one of those in your face honest posts that may surprise you.
I am regularly asked how I do it all. Usually I have some kind of flippant remark about my organizational skills or discipline–both of which are absolutely true and part of how I Do All The Things. But they aren’t the whole truth of it.
You see, I have an anger problem. A bad one. I rarely get upset or cry (Hallmark commercials with puppies and movies where animals die aside). I get angry. Deep seated, blood boiling, want to kick a hole in the wall or punch someone furious. It’s something I’ve struggled with for years, first working on in therapy, then in martial arts (which was a lot more effective–when you want to hit something, you actually CAN), then through yoga and meditation. Also through several years of writing about serial killers. We won’t talk about what that might say about my mental health. The root of my anger issues comes from a couple of different places: 1) A deep seated betrayal that the world does not in fact operate on the merit system and being smart and busting your ass does not automatically grant you everything you are working for and want, and 2) Fury at myself for having wasted SO MANY YEARS doing what other people thought I should do instead of what I knew I was meant to do since I was 12.
I’ve mostly worked through the first one. I don’t have control over the first one. It sucks and it’s shitty that the world often rewards mediocrity and gives undeserving people the things we’ve been killing ourselves to achieve, but that’s life. It’s not an excuse to stop working on my end because if I’m not trying, then I definitely won’t get what I want.
The second one. Well, that’s a whole other kettle of fish that is complicated by the fact that I work multiple jobs that I hate (most of the time) with every fiber of my being. I resent every waking moment that the bullshit I have to deal with from both of them takes away from my doing the thing I’m meant to do. Hours and hours of it every single day. So I sublimate the anger into fiction (sublimation being one of the high level defense mechanisms we talk about in psychology–according to Freud it’s a sign of maturity that allows us to behave in socially acceptable ways) and I use it. When I’m bone deep exhausted, and I don’t want to work out, don’t want to cook, don’t want to open my WIP, my anger is what fuels me, gets me to put one foot in front of the other, one word after another when all I really want to do is sink in to the sweet oblivion of a sofa coma. For a month or three. Because I’m not willing to waste another minute not putting my dream first. I’m not willing to just do what has to be done because that leaves me doing ONLY the things I despise, that eat away at my soul by the day, and puts me that many days behind the end goal. That means the shit wins, and that’s unacceptable. Taking some step toward the dream EVERY SINGLE DAY is the only way I can live with the time I wasted. Knowing I’m making some kind of progress toward doing what I want is the only thing saving me from going over that edge into the soul sucking miasma of major depression. Writing (and the writing community that’s become such an integral part of my life) is the thing that saves my sanity and my soul. So thank you all for being my Prozac.