Lately I have written very little and, unfortunately, I have made zero progress on the novella since my last update on it. Now is the time to share a little about why. I am largely writing this for my own purpose in order to put into order all the things occupying my mind. However, if you follow my writing and have been curious as to my whereabouts, then this will serve as that update for you as well.
My last regular writing occurred on November 12, 2015 with the poem “Living Litany #1”. I wrote another piece 7 days later called “Sexual Abuse and Brainwashing”. At this time two things happened. The first was the release of a game called Fallout 4 and the second was an increase in my workload at work.
While I enjoy video games I don’t believe I am like your typical gamer. I have an extremely narrow selection of games I play, but when I play them I play the hell out of them. Case in point, I am a fan of the Fallout series of games which takes place in a post-apocalyptic wasteland based on an alternative future to the 1950’s. When a game in the series is released I have typically played it through for upwards of a thousand hours. I have done the same with three other franchises — The Elder Scrolls, World of Warcraft, and The Sims. With scattered release dates for each I am not typically switching between games. Instead I am “all or nothing” with each one.
The “all or nothing” attitude that I possess plays its role in just about anything I do. If I decided to read books again I would read at the exclusion of all other activities besides work. If I were to exercise again I would exercise to the exclusion of all other activities besides work. This makes having varied interests incredibly hard to manage. Writing, playing guitar, coloring, and practicing martial arts all take a backseat to whatever it is I am currently hyper-focused upon. I actually consider it a major problem in my life as I struggle to maintain balance between my interests. This issue seems to be exacerbated by flareups in the chronic depression as the desire to escape the confines of reality waxes while creativity wanes.
Professionally I am in the customer service industry. It is a metrics based industry meaning that we are measured on how long we are on the phone, how good of a job we do, how long we spend in between calls, and what we do with our time in between those calls. I have been fortunate to work in a place where I can fill the time in between calls with writing. This afforded me an excellent opportunity to get some blogging done as evidenced by November’s numbers. While some of my peers have suggested I work on my novella with that time I have found that writing anything longer than a blog requires my full attention and thus it must wait until after work hours.
Unfortunately the end of November my stepdad went into the hospital. This time was ripe with emotional fuel for writing, but I could barely concentrate as it was. His health was failing and I wanted to see him as much as I could and provide as much support to my mom as I could. He was in the ICU up until December 9 when he died at about 9:30AM. At this point I was missing a great deal of work and would miss more due to bereavement and the following holiday season. In between helping my mom, mourning my dad, and visiting before he passed I had some other issues come up as well. I won’t get into detail especially now that the issue is resolving.
Since my dad passed my sleep has been getting progressively worse. Two nights ago, for example, I only slept two hours. I spent the whole next day attempting to nap and having difficulty catching my breath. I do have a sleep study scheduled but it isn’t until February. I’d like to paint an image of how my sleep schedule seems to work right now. The first thing is that I will go to bed anywhere between 11:00PM and 1:00AM. That is a large variance. During the course of the night several things may happen. I may wake up randomly without knowing why I woke up. I may wake up needed water or to use the restroom. On the worst occassions I have awoken to bile rising up into my mouth, the feeling that I am choking, or a kink in my calves that I just can’t get out. By morning I am still tired and unable to recoup the energy loss throughout the day. I will usually get my energy built up around 7PM and by that time I should be winding down for bed.
With each of these elements impacting me simultaneously my writing, creativity, and emotions have suffered. The depression has flared up once more and despite excellent use of skills I have still suffered from the lack of motivation. I have remained fairly even tempered throughout the ordeal but find that I cannot think or speak clearly, I make mistakes I don’t usually make at work, I am more socially agitated than usual, and motor skills have degraded considerably. I am hoping to get back into writing through building up motivation by sharing these short little blogs. If something more important pops into my head I will certainly write it down. Also this likely means more poetry than essays.
As I leave you with this blog I reread it and see clearly how I am not at the same writing level that I typically am.