A blog post every day of November. I blew it off the first two years I was blogging, but this November 1st I promised myself I was in. I didn’t want to make a thing out of it, it’s not like there are tons of people following here, hanging on my every word. I appreciate that my friends spend any of their valuable time reading, sometimes posting feels like an imposition on them-it’s greedy asking people to pay attention to me. I didn’t want to share the news that I was planning on asking for time every single day.
I can see Z cringing as he reads this. He’ll ask me why I do things like this, how I can’t see that it looks like I’m begging for compliments. And hell, I look forward to November. I like to read blog posts everyday, my RSS feed is exciting and full all month long. I don’t think the authors of blogs I follow are being selfish for posting everyday, I admire them for being up to the challenge. I’m grateful to them for sharing with their readership. But this is where I am right now. I’m not very well. And when the crazy starts to take over I feel worthless and embarrassed for being pathetic enough to think I can try. The voice tells me to give up, it’s the kindest thing I can do because I’ll only end up disappointing myself.
But I made a promise. It felt like an appropriate challenge. Can I find something to write about every day? Can I push through writers block? Can I do something important for myself? Can I be cool about a deadline? Post something I’m not necessarily happy with because it’s time to post, damn it?
I fucking made it two days. Way to prove the crazy’s point. She’s gloating right now, the bitch.
I wanted to write on Saturday, in fact it felt urgent after receiving my friend’s news. I needed to work out some of my feelings on the page. And I did start. But Z was presenting at his very first academic conference (Go Z!) that day. I had the boys all day long. And our closest friends in Syracuse were coming over for our weekly dinner. We were planning on looking at pictures from their recent trip to Turkey. It ended up being a fantastic night of takeout, drinking, way too much Halloween candy, just the right amount of laughing our asses off, and lovely photographs. I needed it more than I needed to write.
I didn’t even tell Z I was challenging myself to write every day this month. Yesterday morning he knew something was wrong. And when I explained myself to him he asked me to cut myself some slack. I told him I felt like a failure and he pointed out everything I was managing to do this fall. He also said even if I missed a day I could still do it for the rest of the month. Which is pretty obvious, but in my glass-half-empty world I’d somehow been cosmically disqualified from participating.
Back during my breakdown I wouldn’t have been able to hear a single word Z said. I would have accused him of blowing smoke up my ass, of secretly hating me, of finding me physically repulsive, of saying those things just to get me to shut up. It terrifies me to remember how unwell I was. And I do get some comfort in realizing I can hear him now. What he says makes sense. It is still hard to go easy on myself, but I can see that I should. Progress is a beautiful thing.
The progress has also pretty uneven. Because I haven’t been well and so much of that is tied to my period my therapist had the idea for me to fill out a worksheet for the next few months charting my mood along with where I am in my cycle. The idea is to find patterns, to come up with coping strategies for the harder times, perhaps even to augment with meds on a part time basis. I felt excited and empowered by the idea-armed with facts we could move forward to come up with a plan. She asked me to start the next day.
I didn’t. I told myself it made sense to wait the few days until the first of November, so I didn’t need to begin the the middle, so I wasn’t wasting paper. I managed to fill out November 1st and was pretty proud of myself. Every night I look at it after I put C down for bed. And every night I walk away from it. Why can’t I do this simple task that is designed to help me? I’ve thought about it a lot over the last few days. I am scared. As usual. Scared to know how bad it is, scared of what my moods mean. Facing my illness every night as I check off boxes and rate my mental well being is terrifying. It is easier not to know, easier to pretend I’m not unwell. A therapist told me years ago that the people in the worst shape won’t admit they need help. I certainly didn’t when things fell apart in my life. Z had to beg and threaten me to get me to consider seeing someone. Thank god he did. I’m not nearly that far gone now. I know I need help, I know the chart will provide that help.
So yes, my goal is to write on every remaining day of the month. It’s also to keep on listening to Z. The worksheet-well at least I know why I’m not doing it. I think that needs to be enough right now.