Hey, so I think the first episode of the PATB serial is officially ready. It won’t be available for purchase just yet though. This is my first book launch in a long time, and I need to think a lot about how I want to handle it. Not even along the lines of success–I need to figure out how to do this without bringing unneeded stress into my life that will harm me more than help.
While editing this episode, I was doing a lot of research into my condition and its relation to PTSD, and the correlation is really strong. The human body has built in defense mechanisms that shut it down when it feels required. The same way an animal might feign death when a predator is about to attack, the human body has the same kind of instinctual wiring deep within the nervous system. These systems can turn off dopamine production to stop the obsessive task orientation that can occur in trying to escape once danger has passed, which in turn disrupts motor skills and cognition. It can happen in learned helplessness, or when the body numbs to pain under stress. All these conditions from my emotional and physical numbing I experienced this summer, to the low dopamine symptoms of inability to lift my arms or hold my head up, the cognition loss, etc: these can all be a result of my body having been so ravaged by years of PTSD that it is shutting down as a defense mechanism.
I didn’t realize that just sitting, thinking I was relaxed, wasn’t actually me being relaxed. My body is tight, tense, my mind races, my thoughts hate to be still. I talk a lot about not knowing how to have fun, because, for real, I struggle with it so much. I can’t let myself just enjoy; I think everything I do needs a purpose. My mind knows it’s nonsense, but this is how I live my life. I rush everything–EVERYTHING–because I can’t feel comfortable in the stillness.
Peeps, I decided to start a business when I thought I was fucking dying! Not just the author stuff, either, btw. No, that was the ‘easy’ business. Before I got into writing, I was thinking of sculpting small figures, mass producing them, painting them with airbrushes, and selling them. My arms were so weak I could barely lift them, but I thought maybe I’d knit or crochet things to sell, or create a zillion of these beautiful tree of life necklaces I had designed. That might seem super cool ‘way to fight to live’ kinda bullshit, but that was me killing myself with stress when I needed more than anything to rest. I am fucked and never saw how damn bad it was.
When you read my first books, you’re looking through a brain of a traumatized individual who didn’t like to look around at the world, and therefore had difficulty describing it in words. Who was never really in her body, and therefore couldn’t convey the weight, the sensation, the depth of concrete imagery. I couldn’t write a complete sentence without rushing because a part of me is so uncomfortable being heard and sitting with my thoughts, that I just rush to the next idea, getting through it all instead of enjoying the experience. If you ever had a conversation with me in real life, whoo, it’s rough. I can’t finish my sentences without rushing through. I can’t handle being heard by others, partly because I don’t feel comfortable hearing myself.
I have been running on adrenaline for so long, I don’t know what calm actually is. But I need to figure it out because when I fail and I start rushing again, my body shuts down. It will hit me with a fever, or take the use of my arms away and force me to fall asleep, or will make it so I can’t focus, and I’ll get distracted by whatever, because ‘whatever’ isn’t stressing me out the way the other thing was I was trying to focus on. And it’s not like ‘things’ stress me out–I stress myself out over things. I’m the one doing this shit to myself. I strive to be perfect, controlled, useful, driven and exact instead of just letting myself exist.
I think I realized just why I like shifters so much, because my inner primitive animal is fighting me for control of my body, demanding I change or be knocked out of life for a while. Ha, and no, I didn’t see that when I started writing but it sure seems obvious now. It’s important I figure this out, and as a result, I need to slow down and see where I’m creating stress. I need to find the space between my thoughts and feel comfortable sitting with me. I’m practicing mindfulness lately, and looking at an interesting read about dystonia–dystonia is the movement disorder side of Parkinson’s, but is also traced to trauma wiring the nervous system. This particular doctor has a theory that movement can rewire the brain back to proper health by engaging and rewiring the nervous system. It’s been helping; just stretching when I feel certain muscles tighten and my energy start draining has given me my movement and energy back really quickly. I can see how my thoughts trigger the flares now, how stress does, how self doubt… It’s a lot to take in, and I’m being super slow with that too because I have a habit of jumping in to new health treatments and pushing to get results like I’m running a marathon instead of allowing myself to relax and heal.
I am so hard on myself, peeps, it feels impossible to put into words because I still can’t grasp it. It’s that aspect of my personality–this rigid, demanding drive to succeed at everything including healing–that is likely the source of so much of my problems. I am terrified of looking at myself, so I DO–I run around doing things, putting these value systems on the tasks I do to feel like I’m therefore a valuable person. But if I can’t value myself at rest, I am never actually valuing me, so the vicious cycle continues. I need to find that deep compassion I can find so easily for everyone I meet and actually turn it inward and let myself be okay existing.
It’s tough right now. It’s good to finally see this big link to it all, but whoo, it’s tough to face it at the same time. There are so many things I want to do, but because I let this get so bad, I need to pace myself and do the inner work. I’m waiting for the day I’ll finally sink into my body, sink into my life, and I won’t have to question it all, just experience.