If your only problem is procrastination – or having to work a real job or take care of children, and that’s why you can’t write – some notes I took a couple of days ago will show you why I can’t write today – and why I’m so d*#&^d slow. Maybe it will make you feel better!
Note carefully: this is NOT a whine. It is an attempt to manage myself better. I try. Honest, I try.
January 5, 2015 at 10:48 AM
My REAL problem is and has always been that I want the appearance of making a free choice at all times – knowing perfectly well that my mind is subject to all kinds of constraints AGAINST free choice most of the time.
For example: right now. I resisted blocking the internet for over two hours, because I was unwilling to admit that I’m operating on autopilot, an autopilot set by a lifetime of bad habits.
How did this particular morning qualify as NOT free will?
Well, I finally forced myself to go to bed at 3AM. Not good.
I woke up at 8:30 (do the math), got out of bed (to keep me getting up as early as possible: one of my goals), took my pills, and told myself I would get right back to sleep asap, because that was the logical thing to do.
I didn’t turn on Freedom, and block the internet so I could start writing – because that requires willpower, and there’s no willpower possible in my mind when I’m this tired.
So, of my own free will (operating on what?), I decided to just check my email (not much there new since 3AM), catch up on anything new on the blogs I follow (thus stuffing my head with my debris I don’t have the capacity to process right now), and run a few Sudokus (KNOWING they would show horrible times which merely confirms what I already know: I’m too tired to write).
I think my mind does this because it knows perfectly well that I can’t write when I’m too tired.
But I hate having to rest, thus taking my mind out of the state of being in control for more time (the mind likes to be in control).
So, instead, the mind decides to use its control time ‘as well as possible.’ Which means… this is getting circular.
The root cause
For me, with the CFS and the brain fog, it is a constant battle between ‘taking care of myself’ like a baby, and ‘feeling human.’ Adult human.
My limitations don’t necessarily impose NEW constraints, but they definitely push me into the realm of overwhelmed much sooner and harder than if I were in my right mind.
Getting real control of my mind and myself involves doublethink: give up control and get some rest, and MAYBE you will get some time ‘feeling human.’
I hate resting – because even though it usually works, it feels like going backward.
And it comes down to the most basic part of being ill: I shouldn’t have to be. I’m still battling the basic facts of my life: I am not who I used to be, and will probably never be that person again, and I resent the heck out of that.
I don’t WANT to be noble and inspiring and writing IN SPITE OF CFS. I want to NOT HAVE CFS.
The consequences: I only hurt myself.
Okay. I’ve been up over two hours, so that means, according to the rules of my existence, that I need a nap.
I’ve managed to drink the protein shake BEFORE the nap – another rule – so that I’m not starving when I wake up, and then lose more time because the shake is cold and that makes me sleepy.
I turned the heated mattress pad on – another rule – so I’m not too cold to sleep if that’s what my body needs.
I’ve written SOMETHING – this – another rule: get started with the writing SOMEHOW.
I’m starting a new scene, which means – another rule – that I finished one yesterday, YAY/I’m awesome/fist pump required, and I’m slowly moving in the direction I insist I want.
I’m focusing on my mental condition and writing something down about it – another rule: get data whenever possible, to mine for long-term information about the self, to be used to refine that self.
I’m turning off the lights, sleeping the computer (so it doesn’t beep at me), putting the cellphone near me (so I don’t have to get up to answer it if it rings), getting the eyemask (so the light doesn’t keep me from sleeping/resting), making sure the industrial-strength noise-and-light-blocking headgear is next to my bed (in case some other human decides to make noise, like my neighbor with the leaf blower, or the garbage collection folks, or the tree-cutters-and-grinders – or the wind): rules. Rules. RULES.
Aargh! Please excuse me while I put myself to bed for my next nap. I’m getting grumpy again, and it might help.
When I get up, I’ll run through the ‘at least’ list – to revive my sense of gratitude because things could be so much worse – and get to work.
Scene 19.3 isn’t going to write itself, you know.
January 5, 2015 at 12:43 PM
Two hours! Two hours! That’s how long it took (not really surprising after that short a night’s sleep, but…Two hours!).
I’m more coherent, peeved at myself, woken up from a violent dream where I was trying to integrate all those pieces, and behind.
And since my housekeeper/assistant/whip-cracker comes at 3, I can’t just extend the writing time to compensate.
At least – 19.2 is finished – YAY!
At least – I don’t have to go to work.
At least – I don’t have a crying baby, or a sick kid, or a current crisis in the family (not an urgent one, anyway).
At least – I live in a heated house (the wind was a front which blew all night, bringing New Jersey’s temperatures down from 60 to 30 overnight).
At least – my lovely and capable spouse has us well supplied with food.
At least… the list is ENDLESS for the things I am thankful for and appreciate and don’t take for granted.
And one more piece of data – this post – registers the change before and after sleep (pay attention, Alicia!), showing how useful those darned naps are when your brain is brain-fogged and iffy and refuses to accept that we – it and I – are not the same as we were 25 years ago.
Maybe some day I’ll actually win this battle.