Sitting back in my lounger chair, with the country music softly playing in the background, I get ready to write my blog post for this week. The vanilla candle is lit, the dog is curled up between my legs and I have a moon lamp on for soft lighting. This is my spot. This is where I can sit down and write. I use this space at least twice a week, if not more, to put my thoughts down and start to share them with those who are interested. And as most of you who know me, writing is not new for me. I used to write short stories when I was a small child, graduated to journaling daily as I moved through high school and am now the author of both a twice a week blog and a book that I am editing right now. I am a writer. And even as I say that, and know that, I don’t always feel that way. Yet, in my heart of hearts, I know this to be true. Yet, today, I am struggling to write.
Although I have set up my space in its usual intimacy and atmosphere that produces good writing, it is not working. It is not working because today I am overwhelmed, and just plain old tired. One of my good friends did her own post the other day about how sleep can be an avoidance technique for coping and I think she is right. I sleep a lot. I will fully admit that some of that is due to my depression and my insane need for extensive bouts of rest, but I think it may be avoidance as well. Avoidance of what is going on in the world, and around me, that is making me feel exhausted and spent. Making me experience a writer’s block for the first time since I started this writing journey.
I am tired because although I have been sleeping lots (like the three-hour nap I had today), I am not getting good sleep. My mind is racing as I go to bed and is continuing to race throughout my dreams leaving me waking up feel discombobulated and annoyed. Now, I have always been someone who struggles with insomnia so I have developed those skills to fall asleep and thank God those are still working. However, I am dreaming at an exponential rate about things that are not relevant, not needed and making me feel unrested.
I am dreaming about clients at work and the stresses that I have been facing to keep both them and my staff safe. I am dreaming about long-lost friends who I do not talk to anymore and wish that I did. I am dreaming about Covid, as I am sure we all are, and that my family and friends are catching it. I am dreaming about Hubby and reliving some of the experiences that we went through when he was unwell. I am dreaming of Grammie as if she is still alive and talking to me about what is happening in the world (and man oh man I wish this one was real). I am dreaming about babies and pregnancies and just those general reminders that others are able to conceive and we are not. I am dreaming about past boyfriends, and high school people who I have not seen or spoken to in over 15 years. I am dreaming about being a child again and spending long summer afternoons swimming in the ocean and jumping off the local bridge. I am dreaming about all of this and more…
Now, I could sit here and analyze all the reasons that I am dreaming about all these things, but I know what it is.
It is the challenges that are overwhelming me in my day-to-day life that I am avoiding when I am awake. It is the things that I have no control over and as a hard-core control freak, I do not know how to manage that. So, instead I do a few things that may help.
First, I acknowledge it. I acknowledge that I am struggling with all those things popping up in my dreams and more. And acknowledge that it is okay. There is a shit ton of stuff happening in my life right now, and in the world in general, and feeling lost amongst the chaos is natural, and in all fairness, expected. It is okay. I am too hard on myself, but in this moment, being hard on myself is not helping. Instead, it is important for me to take note, realize and adjust that feeling pressured and tired is a normal reaction to the list of stressors I am facing right now.
Secondly, notice that even though I am feeling how I am feeling, I am writing about it. I may not feel like I want to write. I may feel that it is not working or that I am struggling to do so but did it anyway. That is HUGE for me. I have a bad habit of breaking promises to myself, and yet, one promise, I have not. The promise that regardless of how I am feeling or what is happening, that I will continue to write. Write for the sake of writing. Write how I am feeling. And write whether anyone is reading it or not.
So, as I finish this post, I will focus on that quiet music playing in the background. I will grab that book off the table next to me and snuggle up with my puppy. With the flickering of the vanilla candle beside me and the soft blanket placed around me, I will be able to open that book, start that next chapter, and notice that even though today I didn’t feel like writing, I did.