Before I get into my usual wordiness, I want to share some stuff. The #1 thing driving me at the moment is this:
Amy’s adorable kitten got between a dog and its dinner, and the poor thing is hurting. If you can spare anything to help pay for the medical bills for this little cutie, you’d be adding some good into this damn unfair world. I hate the price tag we put on life; it’s so cruel. :/
I’ve been taking this month to look at it all, look at why I’ve slowed down, why this writer’s block has hit me, and how to unravel from it all. My successes during this time? I’ve looked at stories and outlines I love but have completely ignored the last year because of my focus on the PATB series. I even updated a few fanfics, and added 2 scenes to Chasing Raider, plus briefly fleshed out an outline. I have started eating foods I feared had mold, drinking socially once a week, having sips of coffee even though my adrenals once protested the very thought of it. I’ve been reading—a luxury I cut out for far too long. I have a desk covered in supplements I don’t take anymore because I don’t need them… but I haven’t quite convinced myself to hide them away just yet. I made myself a writing space, a daily thinking space where I can stretch and relax and let the thoughts flow.
I see that I’m stressing myself—that it’s all coming from my own mind—and I’m trying to manage it better, place less to no expectations on myself, and find that creative spark again. And I’m feeling it—the spark is hitting—but I’m also holding back, not responding to impulse, and that is where the biggest problem lies. I have lost my ability to just flow when creativity hits, not because the world is keeping me back, but because I am self-censoring to the point of my own destruction.
I am overwhelmed. The noose of poverty grows ever tighter even as my body strengthens, and I see I have no control over my creative impulse. I see all these beautiful things I want to create, all these places in my mind where I want to play, and I freeze. Because as much fun as I see it all being, there is something underneath it all clawing at me, demanding I hold still and stop rushing off toward the cliff. Surely if I flash off in any direction, I will end up broken and exhausted.
I’m not good with change. When I was a child in foster care, change was not an opportunity but a monster waiting behind every door as I wondered what fresh hells would await. PTSD has ingrained this fear in me, this caution that to fly free is to risk everything. Part of my survival was in being a chameleon, staring deeply into the social mirror and adapting at every turn so as to be whatever it was that would keep me safe at the time. It was very important back then, life and death with no exaggeration, and it is how I learned to live.
So my psyche is self regulating, taking over my nervous system, numbing me, freezing me, dulling my focus so that it can protect me, stealing my love of creating. If it can keep me frozen, I will be safe, even if trapped in this half life. I am my own jailer, and I couldn’t see it because when my psyche made me sick, it was such a good distraction from my thoughts. When it stole my memory—as PTSD has done for over 30 years—I could barely notice it slipping away. It was only in rediscovery that I could see how I had been distracted once again.
And that is key to the problem. I didn’t realize there was a trickster in my head, one who has been running wild since I got PTSD. This part of me thinks its helping, is treating me like an unruly child by modulating my emotions and sensations for me, instead of asking my input. And bluntly, perhaps it was right to do so, because as long as my sympathetic nervous system was engaged, I couldn’t be in the control seat of my mind. PTSD left me in a chronic state of fight or flight, and it’s only in switching over to the parasympathetic nervous system and being able to calm the fuck down, finally, that I can see the damage my thoughts were doing, keeping me in that unbearable state.
So I have found a way to switch off the survival nervous system and be in the calm while also still awake, but I’m seeing now the trickster underneath, the one who is flipping switches when it feels I’m losing control. Some of the triggers I could notice easily, mostly in the emotional. Anger, sorrow, fear—my body shuts them down. I can’t remember the last time I blushed. It can be uncomfortable being in a body that feels, so my body has shut that off when I cross the overwhelm line. It has made me sick, exhausted in a moment, knocking me out so I can stop thinking about what stresses me. Simple, uncomplicated. Half dead. Because my memories hold moments of deep trauma, my body has shut that down too, creating this veil between me and that part of my mind, regulating however it sees fit. And as I peer at it this last week, its hold loosens, and I wait, wondering if I have made a mistake, if I can adapt to feeling whole.
I didn’t see the overwhelm writing was creating in me, partly in how writing makes me feel. Writing has always been a bridge for me to reach both my memories and my emotions. It was a safe bridge, but lately it hasn’t been feeling safe because writing has also become a lot of pressure. It is leading me toward change in my life, great change, positive change, and I feel overwhelmed and lost in it. What monster will be behind this new door and will I belong here?
I think this has been the longest breath to steady myself that I have ever taken, one that has spanned months—perhaps even a lifetime in some ways as I ask myself to just be calm and relax.
In the proof that I’ve been having fun—I know, I can’t quite believe it myself—I want to share the two books I’ve been reading this month.
Babes, this book is so good, I can’t even explain. Partially because this book doesn’t fit any genres—it’s a wonderful rogue. The characters are deep and charming, the pacing is great, the plot complex, the characters are animals with their own social and economical pecking order they’re fighting against placed in parallel to the divisiveness of humanity—and come on, the cover is fucking win. <3 It’s a mix between a crime noir and a conspiracy thriller, but cats! 😉
This has been such a fun jaunt into a similar but different world where you can look at everything a little differently while watching the plot unfold. This is the first fiction I’ve read in ages and it is so unique and totally worth the read.
This is a socio-political commentary *ehem* I mean a totally harmless, relaxing read on how to stop stressing and why our fucked up world is making sure you don’t. I swear it really did help me relax, mostly by reminding me that this whole materialistic capitalist society is created around us selling our lives away by the hour through enforcing the lie that there isn’t enough to go around. Oh, and Edison screwed us with the light bulb and stole our sleep, damn it!
Yeah, it was a fun book. XD