I’m doing just fine, thanks

I have every intention of keeping a consistent writing schedule, I do. But the problem is that when I sit down to do it, I’ll instead do anything else. I think part of it stems from the fact that I’m afraid of committing to something I’m not entirely sure I’m capable of doing. That self-doubt, it lingers so, and it hangs on like sludge in the water pipes.

On Twitter the other day—where I am always present because I’m a self-flagellating internet addict—I learned about the #TerribleWritingClub. I signed up for the daily writing prompts, delivered via text message, and as anticipated, I put off working on any of them because no one knows procrastination as I do. I’ll avoid doing anything because I’ve already determined, it will suck. Here’s the thing, though: I pay for this website, and the server space, and the domain name, and the content management system, which I don’t manage but which I feel incredibly empowered by because this is the same shit we used at my last real job! I make the rules around here. And so, I’m going to answer the prompts I signed up to have text messaged to me.

How are you?

HOW ARE YOU, REALLY? Journal honestly, about how you feel today, and if you’re sharing publicly use #TerribleWritingClub so that we can share some love back with you.

Yes, hi! I’m miserable. Yesterday would have been my fifth day inside the house had I not left for ten minutes to drive down the street to buy a pound of coffee beans. That little interaction helped remind me that I desperately require socialization, even if it’s the surface kind that only exists to keep society placated and conforming.

I live in a constant state of panic and existential woe

I’m miserable because of a multitude of reasons, truthfully, not just because my home state has turned into the living embodiment of Hades. I live in a constant state of panic and existential woe because it’s what I was raised to believe. I was taught to fear the worst and expect it, even if the outcome is otherwise. I was told to remain cynical despite my best interests because once you let that guard down, something—someone—is going to get hurt. That person is probably you—it’s always you, even if you weren’t the one that started it because if you’re worried about it, it’s because it’s bothering you. It’s hard not to let something like that not take over your thoughts and max out your emotional capacity, which is why you’re always the loser in the end. The chump. This narrative is all I have ever known, and it’s why I drag my ass to therapy twice a month—to learn how to undo this disastrous way of thinking.

The good news is that it’s been 13 months since I’ve started working with this new person and baby, have we seen some gains! I’m talking about the big, bulging kind that you want to wear out with a muscle shirt. I want to shout it from the rooftops. I’m learning! I yell. Look at me fly! But just like bodybuilding, when you flex those muscles before you’re ready, you can end up injuring yourself, therefore stalling your process.

I’m not saying this is what my life is like all the time, and I’m certainly not trying to imply that I am stalled, by any means. But I can relate to this state of being.

I’m not as miserable as I say I am.

I’m not as miserable as I say I am. The truth is, I’m learning so much every day that I’m often overwhelmed. And sometimes it’s so much, I’m overloaded, and I have to shut everything down and reorganize all the bits until things start to make sense again. Then I have a period of brilliance, where it all makes sense, and I appear like a functioning human being, and I’m writing my best work. Then something happens that derails me, and I need time to emote, and then to recuperate and to analyze why I did what I did and how I can change it next time.

Life is cyclical. Things happen, and then they happen again in slightly different ways. I’m doing fine. I’m miserable, but I’m fine. I’m resilient, and I’m fine. I’m just damn fine.