My body is seething with something and I don’t know where to put it.
I don’t feel well. My joints hurt and words aren’t connecting quite right in my brain and my vision is just a littlebitoff and things are slightly fuzzy and there’s a weird electricity humming through my body, jolting in my hands and feet and settling around my heart and hardening my jaw and I’m tired and I can’t believe I feel like this again.
I should be used to this — feeling like a relatively normal human being one day and then having the whole world shift slightly from under me the next, with or without explanation.
About two months ago, something shifted in a bad way, as it hasn’t in many years. What followed was two months of traveling but holding back, of not writing, of hiding away from friends and colleagues, of not dating a single man.
Then I felt something lift last week. Just… lift. A fog cleared. I didn’t try to reason why. I just accepted and enjoyed. My threshold was still disarmingly low, but I could feel a hum return again. I went to the theatre. I burned all my energy back in the hot seat on Love Bites, laughing off the chaos. I went on a first date. A few days later, I went on another. I wrote, when I could. I reduced ten pounds of New England apples into butter. I read books.
But then last night, a shift again. A burning and a throb in my head and my joints. Tossing, sleepless and in pain, for hours. And today. Today, I forced an edit of an essay, still unfinished, took a bath, climbed back in bed. Sent an email. Walked my dog, left Ben a trembling voicemail. Pondered…
Months ago, when I was on the social media fast, being alone and not feeling well but unable to reach out and connect still left me with some sort of purpose; something to study.
I need something to study. A goal. Something tangible I can hold in front of me.
During the rare periods I’m too sick to do much else, “not getting sicker” is the goal. Staying warm and dry is the goal. That’s what I focused on for the last few months, while I traveled to Portugal or prepared to travel to Portugal or got back from traveling and had to clean my body up from it.
Now I’m a little better and can write a little bit, but… I don’t know… my body has just not bounced back. Writing pitches takes far longer than it should — one is festering in my drafts folder because I can’t seem to pull it fully together. I don’t have any active deadlines right now to aim at. Not one; a result of getting many pieces in before my trip and being too sick to pitch or take on new work since. That is very bad. That hasn’t happened once in my six years as a freelance writer.
But… those bad-brain pitches. That essay I wanted to post today that still doesn’t have an ending. I have ideas but no mojo to get them going. Writing takes skill, at minimum; creativity at its best. I have office-y things I want to learn and plan that are just flat out not happening right now. I have overall business growth I want to get on a scratchpad and brainstorm (my dog! it took me a long time to get to the word brainstorm), but focus is a HUGE problem.
And then there’s this…
This project of self-exploration. As I was walking The pup I wanted to scream into the void – WHAT CAN I DO FOR NINETY DAYS THAT WILL HELP ME FIGURE THIS ASPECT OF MY SHIT OUT?
- This want to do so much, with the lack of physical capability to get most of it done.
- This plethora of ideas but lack of tangible plans and goals (and see above about lack of capability to set those goals).
- This lack of consistency in physical energy and work output, which sometimes then leads to a lack of consistency with finances, too (like, a month from now when no checks will be coming in).
- This shocking frustration and disappointment every time I go from feeling a bit better to worse again.
- The desire to be a human around other humans in a body that sometimes chooses for me that it needs to be alone, despite whether or not I’ve made social plans for it.
- This pride that none of this makes me lesser than any other human being out there, but l the acceptance that sometimes I just won’t get to do as much as they do. For now, anyway.
What do I add to my life or abstain from to help me focus this? To understand it? To harness wisdom from it? To help me figure out what I can put in place so that when I find myself here, again — trembling and alone and frustrated and angry and sick and wanting to do something with it — I’ll know what the hell I should do next?