Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Am I Still a Writer?

NaNoWriMo is coming up.  For almost 20 years, now that I think about it, I've either attempted to do NaNo or thought about why I shouldn't do it.   I've finished some novels because of it, and I've tormented myself because of it.

I'm wondering if I should bother this year.  I have not written anything in months.  Part of this is my very small life -- I don't leave the house often, I don't speak to people often, I certainly don't interact with anyone other than my husband on a regular basis.  I've withdrawn from many things because the effort of fighting off panic is exhausting.  I can't battle it intellectually, and my medications only work so far (I can push myself into a social situation, I can even have a good time, but I will be exhausted afterwards, sometimes for more than a day).  And, for better or worse, I always got my stories from bits and pieces I picked up from being around people, especially people who weren't in my current carefully curated circles. 

So I feel...voiceless.  No, more than that, I feel wordless.  I have nothing to talk about really except my lacks and losses and insufficiencies, and I'm bored with that.  I'm typing this more out of an insistence that I do something than from a deep need.  I could crawl right back into my chair and speak to no one but my critters.

I'm thinking more and more about the pointlessness of my life, too.  Not suicidally, no, but how fear has so overtaken me than I do not more more than can not move, because something might make me uncomfortable.  I'm bored, I'm stunted, I'm barely living, but I'm not constantly marshalling my forces against my emotions to keep them in control.  I'm not doing that part...which is not really healthy, to tell the truth, but seems like my only choice.

So, am I a writer?  Was I a writer?  I'm not a musician any more.  I'm not a reader.  If I'm not a writer, then I'm out of identities, because that is the one I've held onto for most of my life.  I'm a non-entity.  I'm a cat (and dog) lady.  I'm a hermit.

The sun shines outside and I have the window open for the fresh air.  Maybe I can re-assume my writer identity with a little effort, like writing this blog and doing my morning pages, and maybe even doing NaNo.  It's not something I talk over with the ones I love most -- this conversation is the kind you have with people who aren't particularly concerned over your emotional well being moment-to-moment.  It's the thing you discuss with your writing group (don't have one anymore), with someone you meet on more intellectual ground (again, I don't put myself out where those people might be).

My isolation has been a long process.  I'm not sure how to walk it back anymore.  Few notice, fewer speak, and only one or two are willing to help me pry loose of my shell for a while, because that's work and I should be able to do it for myself.  But I can't or I won't or I don't.  Maybe I could use NaNo for that.

I have a week or more to think about it.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Why Can't I Read?

Reading has become spectacularly hard lately.  I pick up a book and start, but within a few pages I'm nervous, jumpy, and wanting to do something else.  I don't understand it, but it's a pain in the ass.

I'm going to make an effort to revive this blog and post more widely and more frequently.  Part of this is because Google, it its wisdom, has decided to kill G+ next year.  There are a lot of  people looking for other places that aren't Facebook to use, and  I will likely sign on to one or another in an attempt to stay connected to the people I know there.  It's my one real social outlet, so it's important.

But I've got this blog, which I've had for so many years, and I can use it as well.  There are comments, so people can talk back to me.

So, since this isn't a book review, let's revert back to the topics of former years. 

My mental health is...problematic at the moment.  I actually think I'm doing better, but it's been a difficult few weeks.  I just crouched in my corner with my tablet and played games constantly.  In part I was reacting to an overload of bad world news, the erosion of any logic or reason in the US government, and the latest turmoil which, in my opinion, ended in a very awful way, with a demonstrable liar and theocrat in the Supreme Court.  I am eager for November when I hope there will be a general voting down of the asshats and shitwaffles in charge.  We might get different asshats and shitwaffles, but that's what we've turned our political system into...

Or perhaps that's what politics has always been.  Netflix has the complete run of Monty Python on now, and I've gone through them all (very happily).  Political problems they were  complaining about in 1970 sound very much like what we are complaining about now.  That's a lot of years without a big change.

So, in short, I've gone through the usual cycle of suicidal thoughts, rotten sleep, general listlessness, and even a return to (some) emotional eating.  I'm wondering if the Zoloft is losing effectiveness (as such drugs will occasionally do) or if it is just a seasonal change/emotional change.  My brain and I -- isn't it odd how I think of myself as separate from the  particular organ that generates my thoughts?  That's peculiar, but an accurate description of my thinking.  I seem to have two different sets of operating instructions, and one has more sway because it handles all the hardware.  The other only occasionally gets control, and then mostly when there are drugs involved.

Wow, I'm remembering now why I stopped writing this way.  I feel self conscious and intrusive, and a wellspring of negative thoughts are flooding me.   I'm triple thinking everything I'm saying and trying to type fast enough to get ahead of it.  The physical symptoms of panic are starting, and I'm just sitting along in my office with my laptop.  I want to talk -- my body/brain wants me to get back in my chair with my tablet and stop bothering people.