Tiny Coconut

I have things.

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

That Sinking Feeling

Have you ever actually watched yourself "go under" emotionally? It's a fascinating process. And yes, I say that with the requisite amount of icy sarcasm.

I'm battling so many demons right now, I literally don't understand how it is that I'm functioning. There's the fear of failure, as I continue to not be able to meet deadlines I've agreed to on this book. (There are good, really good, reasons why I can't meet them, but I did say that I would, and therefore I should. But I'm not. Bleh.) There's the fear of being found out to not be nearly as good a writer as everybody thinks I am, which is feeding into the fear of failure thing, because it's making me be more cautious and thus slower while writing. Caution is not necessarily a good thing; there are parts of the book that I've written that I know are just too stilted or too wordy or just bad. Other parts I actually think are OK, even good in a spot or two. I just wish it could all be good.

Then there's the aforementioned resentment of having to work still. I know why this is popping up now--if I were a stay at home mom, I'd be able to work on the book without also having to juggle a 32-hour-a-week job as well as try to make sure my kids see me often enough that they might be able to recognize me in a lineup. Plus, suddenly it seems like all these people are suddenly leaving their jobs to stay home, like my friend ME from my office, and Jane over at www.plain-jane.com. (Yeah, I know. I somehow managed to link Natalie the other day, but now I'm at my office and using a different browser, and I can't do it on this browser. So sue me.) And I'm so jealous, in a sort of ugly-jealousy way, that I could just spit. Because I've finally realized. 'Taint ever gonna happen for me. Not ever. Doesn't that suck? Don't I have a right to feel bad about that?

So there's all that stuff. Plus more, like lingering issues about our not-so-friendly thank-goodness-not-in-the-neighborhood stalker. Which, of course, have chosen now to resurface, because really, I don't have enough on my plate.

So, to review: Stress, fear, anxiety, anger, resentment, depression. Maybe a little paranoia. Maybe a lot of paranoia. Have I covered all the bases? Oh, right. And hypochondria. Why I thought I could write a book on bipolar disorder without diagnosing myself is beyond me. (I am, in case you're wondering, cyclothymic, edging toward bipolar II these days. At least that's what I say I am.) But no delusions. That's good, isn't it?

Right now, my heart's pounding and my hands are cold and shaking, and I'm feeling awfully nauseated. And yes, I remembered to take my Zoloft. But really, Zoloft's good, but it's not that good. I don't think there's a pill out there right now that's going to buoy me. I'm going to have to do that myself. But damn. Just not feeling up to it, you know?

And so I'm watching, and I'm sinking, and I'm commenting on it. I'm talking about it at work, at home. You'd think if you can talk about it, if you can recognize it, you can stop it. I had never realized until the most recent Amy encounter, a good nine months ago now, that that's not true. You don't have to be in denial to be unable to help yourself. You can be totally aware, just watching yourself desperately tread water as the undertow pulls you down, and you can't even throw yourself a life preserver.

[OK, I need to step back a second here. Is that the single most self-pitying and pathetic paragraph any of you has ever read? I, personally, am voting yes. Oh, and among the top ten most overly dramatic as well. Yeah, it's how I feel...right this second. But trust me, I'm not really in that bad a way in a more global sense, I don't think. Just in case any of you were thinking about calling a suicide prevention hotline on my behalf.]

So whose brilliant idea was it that I write a book about mental illness? A book on a tight deadline, with all the stress that brings? A book that was obviously going to dredge up all my issues with my father at one point or another? Oh. Yeah. That would be me. Nevermind.

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