If there is one thing that is consistent about me, it’s my inconsistency. I am, after all, a chaotic, emotion-driven introvert who thrives on cold, hard logic. Sometimes one side wins, sometimes the other, and when both decide to collide, we enter unstable territory known only as ‘holy shit what is wrong with me!?’
You can always be certain though that, eventually, I’ll drop social media of any kind to crawl back into my shell. That’s generally when I know I’m neither feeling nor being okay.
What have we been up to?
My good people. So much has been going on since last post, August 10th, that I don’t know where to begin. So I’ll just start at the most prominent life updates.
Health-wise, life has been crap for most of these past four months. And I mean the sort of crap that sometimes literally asphyxiates you and makes you want to stop breathing long enough to actually be able to rest. Since the burnout over two years ago now (time sure does fly), rest has been a precious commodity, but I’d been doing better since the depression went away. When the covid lockdown happened March 2020, I discovered just how not okay I really was. Stress hit with such force that, to this day, I still can’t get rid of it no matter what I do. And this lack of rest had been piling piling piling until I reached a point, over a month ago now, that my life quality had dropped to about nothing. I couldn’t fall asleep, I couldn’t stay asleep, I didn’t rest when I slept, and I woke up every morning as though I’d been awake all night. It was becoming unlivable. I was not getting any help from my doctor, either. To be fair, I think he’s simply lost as to my symptoms and believes it’s all in my head, but, in the meantime, I was suffering.
Well, help came from a strange corner of the internet, namely Pillowfort. Quiet little social media where you can have real, often deep discussions. I happened to start one with someone knowledgeable on personality disorders, and I must note: I did so as writing research. Psychology fascinates me. I did however not expect to get indirectly pointed out I’d more than certainly suffered from a (severe?) anxiety disorder as a teen. When I researched the symptoms of long-term chronic anxiety, lo and behold: all my symptoms fit. Like literally fit. Even the little tricks I started doing to get anxiety down at night, like breathing exercises and watching something relaxing, worked to a degree that I can only call miraculous. The next night, I still struggled to fall asleep and stay asleep… and yet I woke up quite refreshed. After two weeks of constant exhaustion. Logic had demanded I wake up exhausted again, but such was not the case. I was, honestly, flabbergasted. And ecstatic. Finally, finally, these health issues started to make a global sort of sense.
I’m more than convinced that long-term chronic anxiety is one major cause of my health issues. Today, namely, I needed to drive to the store. I felt able enough… until I started backing the car out of our spot – until my brain started having to pay attention to multiple aspects at once and started flipping out. At the store itself, all went okay until I tried thinking of what else I needed… and my brain started flipping again. That’s when I went home. I’ve been shaking since then, a few hours ago now. There’s no reason for me to feel anxious, but I am anxious. And that’s where the second half of my issues, I think, comes in:
Physical stress. Something indeed in my head, my brain, sending out all the wrong signals as to how to handle stress. I believe, without certainty, that this may have started when the depression went away. My brain literally grew up on depression and anxiety (and its attached stress). It doesn’t know how else to function. Thus, with the depression gone, the stress has free reign. It’s one theory, that I’ve tried to run by my doctor, but I think he believes it’s all in my head – mentally. The whole stress symptom/cause? has been completely ignored by every doctor I’ve met. I can’t get anyone to acknowledge the fact my heartrate jumpts to 130 at a little physical effort, causing exhaustion to set in almost immediately. My shoulder is still hurting from working on a divider over a week ago now. There are days I feel like my body’s dying and no one cares. Well, I care. I also think anxiety has me imagining the worst. But, it’s a fact my shoulder’s badly worn down and my back’s basically a fused mess now. The rest of me works fine.
So, I feel a little lost, and at the same time I know I’m not gonna give up, and if there’s anything I have learnt the now very hard way, it’s that my life and beliefs have value and I will never let anyone trample on what I feel is best for me ever again. My personality has evolved too much to return to that silent suffering. Even if it means dropping off society eventually, but then a part of my mind retains the hope of working again someday. It’s just gonna take a lot of time, and a help I am currently not getting.
But all is not dark!
Indeed it isn’t. With the daily, recurring anxiety lifting, and my sleep improving, so have my memory and thought processes improved. I can write again as I used to, or almost as I used to, am again able to remember scenes and character/tale history and tie my sentences and paragraphs together. Yes, all that was basically lost. It came back overnight. If this doesn’t help me believe that my stress issues can be fixed, then nothing will.
So I have been working on a few things, my main loves at the moment being Devon and Sorasiehn’s story, and Fates. Reading things over now that I wrote during the height of my exhaustion, I so often shudder at the horror… and, at the same time, feel pride and joy that I can improve upon the base ideas. I am not doing better by a longshot, but feeling better has already made a world of difference. If I can write, I can live. And I need to live. I can’t keep wasting time.
And where are we heading?
My intention had been to finish Fates’ part 1 before my birthday end of November, but I failed due to health’s decline. Still, I am very proud I managed to work on it again, diligently, and I intend to rework the new chapters into a newly revised edition that will have some character fixes (thank you Goddess of Gales for pointing out a major issue). I started a whole new file to distance myself from all that came before. The intent now is to finish the first part before… let’s be realistic… April 1st. Let’s say April 1st. The day the husband started his dreamjob several years ago, and I my Patreon. Perfect.
I’d also like to edit and polish Selessannea’s story, which I intend to self-publish as an actual book. I expect nothing really from it, especially without professional editing, but the point is to get something out and findable. At this point, I can’t keep being afraid of getting known, of people hating my story, or characters, or me, or criticizing… I want to think of the people who’ll find the book, love it, and want to support me if only in words. I really need more of that.
And lastly, I’d like to further rework Devon and Sorasiehn’s story and make it something worth reading (maybe as a book too? Not sure). I love those characters. And they, like Selessannea, are a good introduction to the world of Aeyuu and its biggest threat, which will be one of the main foci of The Age of Silence. I have not given up on that book. As a sidequest, I’d like to get one chapter written next year.
Lots of things to look forward to. Regular updates? Ehhhh sorry, not gonna promise that. XD
Noct, over and out!