Crisis Fatigue

I have been realizing that there is a problem with my support system, in that unless I am melting down, I can’t seem to get anyone to understand where I am emotionally.  If I say “I’m depressed and numb” it doesn’t seem to get anywhere.  I wonder if I’ve inadvertently connected with people who only respond to perceived crisis, because that is how they generate their own momentum.

It’s taken me a while to realize that I have a little bit of crisis fatigue.  I feel like people where I live have a tendency to react to normal everyday issues and problems on a level that I try and reserve for actual super crazy out of the blue stuff.  It seems so ubiquitous around me, that I adopted it.  I’ve worked really hard this year so far to step outside of not only my reaction to it, but also my instigation of it. I’ve listened to my friends say similar about other people when literally in the middle of doing it themselves, so I know that I have done the same.

I’ve also seen my friends in actual crisis not getting the response that they actually need because of this crisis fatigue (either from me or from other people).  I never, ever want to get to that place. I want to know that I can rely on my community if I need to, and I never want people to feel put out or burdened by me.

Not that I don’t have loving, caring people around me, but I think since everyone has this weird crisis mentality, there’s a tendency to ignore what is happening around you while shouting the loudest.  Or to conflagrate something into a bigger issue than it is.  I start out telling my friends a crazy situation, and they jump right on board with how bad and unfair it is and I end up feeling so much worse.  And since I know we attract what we are sometimes, I have to do that too.  Have I bought into a weird hipster empathy that is hollow?  Probably.  But I have great power to change and influence my life and community.

There is a chasm in my friend circle here, and it is that I will always be walled up about things.  And that is no one’s fault but my own.  I should not be the person who tests the waters, but I am, and when it turns out they are too cold, I don’t jump in.  And when it comes to what is important to me, the local waters are frigid.

I don’t want to go back to having no friends here.  The idea is exhausting.  I don’t want to cut myself off from friendship.  I know I probably need to widen my circle and find people with similar values, interests and ambition as myself.  I just don’t think about it too much until I’m too tired and I need that person already.  I miss living in a place where I can just call someone to come pray with me, or to sing over me, or to study with me. I miss living in a place where people call me to do those things for them.  It’s the only thing that matters to me… why haven’t I put more effort into finding those people?

Part of it is probably fear.  I really really miss my friends.  Larky, Stephy, Liesl… I left pieces of my heart behind and I feel them, cheesy as it sounds, just like Mr. Rochester in Jane Eyre said, affixed to my rib cage and the heartstrings pulled so tight.  There’s a thousand times a day that something wonderful occurs to me and maybe I should pick up the phone and write letters and send emails more often, but it hurts to be so far away, it’s hard to make myself feel that hurt every time.  I’ve never been good at it.

I know that makes me keep people at arms length, and I know that those friends I’ve had for over a decade will always be unmatched.  But does that mean I have to go on through life without someone to collaborate with and adventure with here?  I don’t even know how to meet someone like that.  I’ve been crazy lucky in the past, and just made some divine appointments with kindred spirits.  How much can one person expect that in a lifetime?

 

Let Me Sleep

I’ve been dealing with uncommon for me exhaustion, and (maybe more common for me) depression, lately.

For a while, launching The Theopathy League website was helping, now it’s just reminding me how much time I’m not dedicating to drawing and painting and bookbinding, and it doesn’t mean that I will give it up, it just means I don’t know what to *do* with all that.

I mean, all I can do is try to solve the tiredness problem so that I can steal time to make art and work with my hands, and the space to do it in, and oh goodness I’m already tired just typing that out.

There was a little quiz thing on Facebook recently, and it asked what I’m looking forward to, and I thought of things that would have come off more dramatic and depressed than I feel them.  Or I thought of saying “Literally there is nothing to look forward to”, but that sound really bad. I don’t feel really bad. I just feel almost nothing at all.

I have two settings right now, work or wanting to be asleep.  Anytime I’m not at work I just want to be sleeping and I low level resent everything and everyone that represents me not being asleep.  I’m legit not just sleeping all the time, but that’s mostly because I feel like the people around me would be judgey if I did. But I don’t know for sure.

If I lie down to sleep, all the ideas come to me.  It’s not a lack of inspiration.  It’s the lack of ability to do anything about the inspiration that is tiring, that is exhausting to hold all of this in my head.

I should maybe go back to counseling, but I’m not even sure how I’d manage that.  It was hard enough to take the time off to do it last round, and everyone is so weird about it. But I don’t know. Maybe I’m just hormonal.

Every day I dream of getting away to a monastery for 3-7 days.  There are a couple in Oregon, and I desperately want to book some time at one, but it doesn’t look possible for me.  Normally, I’d try and problem solve that, but I’m too tired to think about it right now. I’ll get back to it later.

Things will look up, I’ll make sure.  But until then, why can’t anyone just let me sleep?

Lists Save My Life

When I say OCD, I get the impression that people think that this is extreme finicky-ness or perfectionism that I have as a personality trait.  But that’s not the case, as people much better at writing than me have pointed out.  I’m fortunate to have a pretty mild obsessive compulsive disorder, or maybe it’s just better handled because my parents were so aware of my genetic predisposition for it.  But the obsessive compulsive thoughts are always my hardest battle.

This morning was a bad one. Depression or stress or anxiety always ups the compulsive loops in my brain.  Sitting at my desk at work with a lot of uncertainty about my future and a lot of just generalized despair and I felt the thoughts go through, like some evil version of Buddhist prayer wheels, poisoning the air in my mind.

I learned a while back that if I made lists, it would fight it.  I figured this out because prayer solves a lot of things in my life, but because of the nature of these thoughts it is so difficult to practice, it become a religiously tinged negative loop.  Making lists works though.  It works as a form of prayer, as a meditative practice… something weirdly obsessive enough to disrupt whatever is going on in my brain.

These lists go from the mundane to the spiritual.  They can be lists of ways I can fix a situation, or things I’m grateful for,  of the LORD’s promises through scripture, they can be a shopping list.  I don’t know why it short circuits the compulsive thinking, but it does, and it offers me relief.

The tricky bit is to remember to do it.  When you are locked in what Allie Brosh calls a “Sneaky Hate Spiral”, thinking about anything outside of that spiral is hard, even without an OCD component.

I don’t know.  Maybe it’s time to go back to therapy, and possibly get medicated.  Maybe I shouldn’t make mental health decisions when I’m on my period and my husband has had a bad week.

But until then, I’m going to make lists, and remember to breathe,

A.C.

On British Comedy, tea, and the remedy for the in between times…

So I’m in horrible limbo right now, in between a lot of opportunities for both the hubby and myself.  We both tend toward depression, so it’s been so important to keep our heads up.

Television is never enough of a diversion.  I’ve been reading Anathem by Neal Stephenson, Focault’s Pendulum by Umberto Eco, and just finished “Go Ask Alice”.  Go Ask Alice was a trifle disappointing,  if you want to read about dissipated youth, anything by Phoebe Gloeckner is way more authentic feeling.  Eco, as usual, is causing me to look up every few words… great for my vocabulary, slow going in general.  Anathem is slowly picking up and is a worthy read thus far.

I’m fiending to get my hands on Stephen Fry’s new book.

I’ve been watching A Bit of Fry and Laurie,  some Keeping Up Appearances and other sundry BritComs.  It’s about the time of year where I bust out Spaced.  Also watched Believe: The Eddie Izzard story on Netflix… SO GOOD.  I  ❤ Eddie Izzard. Yes.  Something is beautiful about drinking tea, eating marmolade on toast and watching British comedy. The world is better for it.

I have also been crafting.

Fun with a glue gun

Nena came over and I figured out what to do with all the trimmed selvages.  Also, we had previously thrift shopped and found a beautiful brocade table runner, now almost two purses:

Table runners to purses... glamour!

Other than that there are situations afoot that I can’t talk about yet.   I’m hoping to be able to announce them soon.

Also, I really need to begin to consider Christmas cards and my Channukah party…

A.C.