…and I’m getting introspective. Historically, this was usually the point where I started to freak the fuck out about how little I’d gotten done — and, worse, about how little ‘free time’ I had left. That particular anxiety spiral was nasty because it just got worse as I got closer to the end of the day and, well, I’m still working getting that time machine. So it always inexorably marched onward.
Sometimes I feel like I have more of a problem with Time as the big bad than I do with something like Death. The passing of Time is just as relentless — and it’s something that I used to see as a clear, present, and constant problem. Like The Future was this sinister little goblin that kept stealing away slivers of my present before I could get anything done in them.
Anyway, now that I have treatment for my anxiety and depression, I don’t get worked up quite so badly about those things. At the same time, that doesn’t mean that they aren’t concerns. And what’s weird — now, anyway — is that I just can’t handle it the way I’m accustomed to. Admittedly, freaking the fuck out is not a good way of handling things, but it was what I’m used to. Now, though, I can admit that I don’t think I got enough done — I have quite a few things I’ve wanted to do this weekend that I just haven’t gotten to — but it doesn’t bother me quite so much.
Which is a different sort of problem.
I think I’ve mentioned it before — I know I thought about it a lot when I first went on my medication — but I used to be driven by my anxieties. They were my primary motivator, even though they made everything hideously more difficult and the depression destroyed my reserves of energy. In a very weird way, sometimes I miss that. Not the anxiety or depression, but the feeling that predicated the anxiety — the feeling that what I chose to do at any given moment was deeply important.
These days, I mostly try to get myself into a habit off doing the specific things that I want to do — I have one of those calendars where you list the habits you want to form and check off the days that you accomplish them. And that works reasonably well, except it still doesn’t quite mean I have the oomph I used to, which means it’s way too easily to let those habits fall apart if something comes along to disrupt the established pattern.
Now, I know that the oomph I used to have was more than a little manic. And, frankly, I get a lot more done without it than I ever did with it because I’m not wiped out with depression and terror ninety percent of the time anymore. So maybe it’s weird that I sometimes find myself missing that particular aspect of how I used to be, but I’m still trying to get a grip on how my emotions are now as opposed to how they were for most of my life, and how my behaviours have changed — and which ones really just don’t make sense anymore.
Case in point? I used to despise shaving. It took time, every day, and I was doing something that I just shouldn’t have to do, and it was a daily reminder that either my body or my mind was fucking wrong and at the time I didn’t know which because I didn’t even know that being transgender was a thing — and it was depressing as hell. It could ruin my entire day.
Now? It’s something that needs done so I can present as who I am. Once I’ve done it, I’m happier. I look right and feel better about myself. I’m more confident when my appearance and my identity mesh — as long as I’m not worried about someone taking offense and taking that out on me, anyway. And seriously? It only takes a couple minutes. It is not a big deal — but I still have an awful, awful habit of not doing it because of that ingrained habit of avoiding it so I don’t depress myself. Which is a real catch 22, because nowadays not shaving is the thing that’s going to make me feel worse about myself.
Intellectually, I recognize the dissonance going on there. Actually breaking the (now bad) habit and forming a new one is proving really difficult, though — especially since I don’t really know what really motivates me any more. I mean, I have lots of little wants and desires — some conflicting; many not — but none of them have the sheer driving power of the fear that used to get me out of bed. I mean, I was afraid of what would happen if I got out of bed — but I was even more afraid of what would happen if I didn’t!
Now, though, it’s more like… Meh. I want to get up and start my day, but it’s warm under the covers. It’s practically a coin flip to see if I stay under them for another five minutes, some mornings.
The upshot is that I’m trying to sort out what I really want to do with myself and my time now that anxiety and depression aren’t making those decisions for me. And it seems like it should be easy, but it’s really not because I don’t have enough experience with an emotional landscape that’s lacking anxiety and depression to really divine what’s going on in there. The past couple of days I’ve been doing nothing for the simple reason that I wanted to do something but had no idea what it was. So I kept trying to start something — a game, programing, reading, writing, etc, etc — and then going: ‘nope, this wasn’t it either,’ and then stopping because I was bored and I still wanted to be doing something…
…just something else. And I still don’t know what.
I’m starting to think that I need to work on self discipline (though how exactly you train that, I have no idea. As I may have mentioned, my previous drill instructor was psychotic fear) or maybe some sort of psychological hack to get revved up. I’ve had a bit of success with throwing on some fast paced music to keep myself going at work; maybe that would work at home, too?
I dunno. It’s a strange phenomenon but I feel kind of like I’m a kid again, trying to figure out who she is and how she sees the world. At the same time, though, I have the responsibilities of an adult and, well, it bothers me that I think I’m more self centered right now than I used to be — and it bothers me that I don’t know myself as well as I used to, even though how I used to be was horrifically miserable.
One thing I think I can conclude, though? I really don’t care about some of the things I used to obsess over. Escapist video games, particularly, and even reading to an extent — I’m a lot more interested in a good story than in just escaping reality. Which has made games much less likely to hold my attention long term, and has made me much more likely to be okay with waiting for a web serial to build up a queue before checking for updates.
And that leaves me begging the question… what exactly do I want to be doing instead, then? I do have some answers. Focusing more on my writing and getting things done around the house more reliably both figure in heavily. And that leaves me working on the question of habits and motivation. Because both of those things figure into the list of things I feel I should do, and always have — but I still have this target-less ‘I want to do something’ to deal with, and I don’t know how to make that something be the things I’ve decided are important.
Anyway, that’s what I’ve been thinking about today. And a lot of yesterday, but I figured if I put it down in text while I was on break this morning then maybe I wouldn’t keep spinning in circles over it this afternoon. Thanks for reading,