I ended my year of failure with a success.
DoctorTeeth has written 17 entries about this goal
I noticed today, the last day of work before Christmas holidays, that I was walking down the hallway and felt the urge to start crying. I’m overwhelmed, overtired, and overstretched. Seems like the depression might just be trying to creep back in. But at least I noticed it, took a deep breath, and made a tiny resolution.
I just want this damn Christmas to be over. Except then I would miss out on my vacation. So…I just wish I didn’t have to have Christmas this year.
I realized last night that today signaled two weeks until Christmas. (For me, Christmas starts on the 24th). I was really surprised it had come up so quickly, and then I got angry. Because last year Christmas didn’t feel real because of my depression, and I thought that this year it would feel more real and special.
And it doesn’t.
It doesn’t feel like Christmas to me, because I have nobody special to share it with. And yes, I have friends and family, but my friends all have their own things going on and it’s hard to see a lot of them when they’re NOT busy with holidays. And the last time we visited with my Nana to set up her Christmas tree (three weeks ago now? I guess so, although that doesn’t feel right either), every time they brought up Christmas-related thoughts I started to feel sick and anxious and tense and like I wanted to run away. And that wasn’t even an actual Christmas thing.
When I think about Christmas coming soon, it’s not with excitement and anticipation: I’m seriously dreading it and hoping that it will be over before I know it. And that’s the exact opposite of how I’ve done things the thirty-one Christmases before last year. So, thanks for ruining the best day of the year, wife. I sure did deserve that.
hooray for failure
In November, I kind of abandoned my traditional life for NaNoWriMo. In some ways, I tried to keep things going, but my NaNo focus made it really difficult. I wasn’t writing every day, not by a long shot, but something about the additional pressure of that activity made me just stop everything else. I am just now coming out of the November shadow, and while I don’t regret doing it, if I had to do it over again I would have girded myself for the stress onslaught that was coming.
It was really interesting to see how I reacted to that additional stress: it wasn’t a lot but it was enough to completely throw me off. Exercise went almost to nil, meditation dropped off, and I slacked a lot on chores and cooking and all that “personal care” stuff. Not to mention not doing 43Things at all. Plus even my leisure time was stalling out: I watched way more TV, read way less, and barely did any knitting.
I did get some things done, though. Mostly NaNoWriMo stuff but a little bit of other work, mostly on the creative front. Not nearly enough to balance out the inactivity and time loss, but it wasn’t a complete write-off.
I didn’t entirely realize what was happening at the time, but now looking back on it when I’m a little more aware and mindful I am really surprised. And the repercussions of that stress and my poor reaction to it are going to be felt for a few more weeks, if not months. It’s good that I am noticing this now, I suppose, but I would rather notice it WHILE it’s happening next time and then deal with it in the moment as opposed to damage control afterwards.
So December is for trauma reduction as well as reducing the amount of planning and organizing and transforming that into doing. There will be some planning and organizing, too, because that’s what I do, but I need to work on actually implementing those plans, because otherwise all I have is minutely annotated roadmaps to places that I will never go.
This is a placeholder because I’m still trying to figure out exactly what happened last Sunday, what I discovered, and how I can best put it into words. But if anyone was waiting for a breakthrough: I think I know what that feels like now.
- I re-gamed my life
- I went on a budget
- I started to think about fashion grooming as more than just something I try very hard to avoid
- I started titrating off the pills
- I volunteered
- I finished 2 knitting projects
- I read more than I did the last month
- I made some serious progress on Couch To 5K
And other stuff. Less positive stuff as some of the above things(I can’t help but get a fiery flush of blood to my chest, face, and fists when I think about my wife, for example), but I am working my way towards failing head over heels into September.
Went to the doctor on Tuesday and talked to him about getting off the pills. He thinks it’s a good idea, although maybe not the best timing (the most success happens in March-April, as the days get longer and people brighten up in general at that time). He and I both said I should talk to my therapist and re-evaluate after that, but he gave me a prescription for 75mg instead of 150mg, in case we feel lucky.
Although it’s not over, August was probably the strangest month of My Year of Failure. Two Fringe productions simultaneously, and that co-occurred with the arrival of two separate houseguests loaded with tons of unspoken stress on each side. The first half of August was gearing up for the second half. No real structure to my life outside of “run around, do shows, sleep, repeat.” Which meant I didn’t get a whole lot of time to figure out what I needed to do and what I needed to keep up on.
That’s not to say that I didn’t need the things I had. I did. Very much so. My guests especially. But combining Fringe with guests with a one-bedroom apartment made for days where I had no time to myself, and I didn’t pay attention to what I was doing to myself. And others too, I suppose, but I pretty much put life on hold until today. And that comes with its own benefits and costs. Ones that I’ll still be debating later tonight and then on to tomorrow.
So it’s tricky. I need to figure out what the last four months are going to look like. Because with the stress and structure of school, I need to be able to take care of my personal life too. And that might be very hard, but it might also be easier than I expect, because with structure comes definite blocks of precious time, blocks that I may very well make the most of instead of wasting away in front of the entertainment system. Which, let’s be fair, is important. But not every day, after all.
Who knows. August is over before it began and I have not a whole lot to show for it other than a couple of attempts to patch together the holes in my soul and my relationships. I’d like more than that for September.
July marks the halfway point of my year of failure. It also marks twelve months of being alone. Wherever my hopefully soon-to-be-ex-wife is at the moment I’m sure she is having a wonderful life. Meanwhile, I’m too scared, sad, and angry to go to a Canada Day party, so I’m watching old black and white movies on TV. Looks like there’s plenty of failure left for me in these last six months.
I will get into this in more detail tomorrow when I do my May Boot Camp entry, but this month sucked pretty hard. I set myself a lot of goals and accomplished almost none of them. And it felt pretty crappy the first week, seeing no goals get accomplished. So that lead to more inertia, which lead to no completion, which was just a vicious cycle that lasted for quite a while.
Last week I started seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. It happened to coincide with the day that I slept for over 12 hours and woke up the next day feeling weird. I didn’t really like it, actually, but one thing I did like was that I was able to survey where I was, and remember that I needed to make TINY steps. Not great leaps. That started a slow climb up.
Twice in the past week I have verbally forgiven myself for not being able to do what I set out to do. I stopped listening to my music, or turned off my movie, and said out loud: “It is okay that you can’t do X today. It is not okay if you can’t do Y or Z today, but if you can’t get to X, it is okay. You will just try harder to do X tomorrow.” It is weird to think about myself doing that, but it’s what I did. And it also felt weird. But unlike the post-coma day, it was a good weird. So I will keep it up.
I have lots of other thoughts about failure and success and depression and motivation. But I need to take more time to compose them. When I have, though, I’ll put them up here. For now, though, it’s enough to have tried tonight, and succeeded more than I failed. And pick up for tomorrow. The last day of month five.
DoctorTeeth has gotten 8 cheers on this goal.
- Waterfall Nymph cheered this 4 months ago
- wraiths82 cheered this 11 months ago
- spiraljetty cheered this 11 months ago
- Ru ~ dig deeper cheered this 13 months ago
- Lagniappe cheered this 14 months ago
- sitruunapuu cheered this 15 months ago
- Spatz cheered this 15 months ago
- JadedForever cheered this 15 months ago