Until most recently, I’ve struggled more with my mental health as opposed to my physical health.
My mental health, in the past few months, has gotten better even as my physical health leaves something to be desired (but I am working on that as well).
I’ve come to the realization–not for the first time, unfortunately–that I lack faith in my writing. This lends itself to a lack of discipline, which is probably why I am a better writer in the past than I am in the present.
Part of this is because fatigue–both mental and physical. I have struggled with depression for years, and I also struggle with the need to be perfect and to constantly prove myself as having value.
This is why I’m currently working seven days a week. It was supposed to be forty hours a week but my own need to make sure something gets done (and gets done right) leads to a domino train of self sabotage in the name of paying the bills: for example, I am currently working seven days a week because we are short staffed and I volunteered for it. It is not a good way to keep myself healthy, physically and mentally speaking. In fact, I have never felt so burned out in my life.
The good news is that it paid off, and I’m officially a supervisor. #awesome
The other piece of good news is clarity: I need discipline. In the same way I need to start going to the gym again and also practicing self validation on a daily basis, I need to start writing again. Not tinkering around with minor edits before attempting to sell this unsellable story, but to start writing–anything.
Unfortunately, when I reach this realization (for the umpteenth time in my life), I self-sabotage again: no one wants to read what I’m writing, I’m not improving I’m sucking, etc.
More often than not, because I’m already tired and fatigued from my emotional labors for the good of capitalism so I can pay those goddamned bills–I listen. Or I think, I’ll do it when I’m not tired.
But the thing is, I am tired all the time. I keep thinking there’s going to be a day where I’m not tired, but the reality is that day is not gonna come. So I need to push through that like I push through most things in my life.
So, I am going to start writing again, and I am going to start practicing types of writing not in my wheelhouse (like comedy). I don’t know if I’ll be posting those here or not. The thing is to just make sure they get written.
My other moment of clarity came when I realized I wanted to start doing things again. A complete list, here:
- I want to join a local writer’s league–one that pays dues (cheap dues but dues nonetheless). I believe the enforced structure (which may not necessarily be found elsewhere) would encourage me to produce even when I don’t feel like it, and to also find a community of writers–which is honestly very important.
- I want to start weight lifting again–usually, like writing, this gets put off because I’m too tired after work, and I muddle through the day being tired all the time. But the reality is, if I can linger at work being, and I quote, “too tired for this shit,” then I can leave work on time (for once) and be too tired for thirty minutes as I lift some weight.
- I finally wanted to watch the fourth season of Black Sails. I had “wanted” to do this some time ago, but the desire finally translated itself into action.
- Black Sails lead to another desire: to learn how to sword fight. I actually took fencing at the Y in my youth, and I enjoyed it (for the most part). I believe, again, this would encourage discipline and meeting people outside of work.
But I don’t want to get ahead of myself. I frequently bite off more than I can chew and it inevitably ends in disappointment and self loathing.
So here are the goals I’m setting for myself:
- Lift Monday, Wednesday, Friday. I’ve heard this should help my gastro issues as well.
- Write Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday
- Permission to relax (as much as one can when one must work) on Sunday.
I’ll let you know how it goes.