A Path to Hope Again

burns01 So, 67K into Harmony, I understand that what the book needs is for me to rip out a lot of the unnecessary byroads and tighten up the timeline. This book has been an education in writing around the problem and finding out what the whole damn thing is about eighty percent of the way through, and I am so goddamn glad I’m not sending it in for publication. It’s a hot mess, and I’m going to spend this morning’s run deciding whether to go back and rip everything out OR finish it and another book during NaNo. Or, just finish it and use NaNo for half the first draft of Afterwar.

Choices, choices.

I’m pretty sure that the Harmony realization has a component of procrastination in it, too. Several factors are combining to give me a crushing crisis of confidence (try saying that ten times in a row) and last week was a blur of forcing myself to get out of bed, forcing myself to eat, forcing myself to shower daily. My normal response to debilitating depression and overwhelming anxiety is normally to work harder, to exhaust myself so I can finally sleep. It’s kind of a change to exhibit some of the more classic symptoms, and if not for the meds I suspect things would get much more dire. It’s so goddamn strange to know one is exhibiting the symptoms, to know that it’s dangerous, and to at the same time be so occupied with the simple work of breathing one does not care and cannot reliably summon the energy to do what one must.

Fortunately, the meds blunted the edge, and the habit of having no-one else to rely on prodded and forced me up and moving. I’m also aware that a relapse can happen just when one starts feeling the worst is over. Part of me speaking publicly about these struggles is demystification, normalization, and the plain acknowledgement that having a brain that tries to do you in with uneven chemical responses is not a personal failing. (It also helps for me to say it out loud, so to speak.) It is a Thing That Happens, no more and no less, and you are not weak or broken or stupid because it happens to you. You are struggling to survive in the face of a Thing That Happens, and that is a very human act.

So that’s my handing out sticks for the day. I’ll take one for myself, thank you. Next I have to let Miss B prod me out the door for a short run–my ankle is still tender, and she’s still trying to break the other one to make me lame on both sides, being a great fan of symmetry. But the exercise will do me good, it will take the edge off her fidgets, and I might find a path to hope again out there in the windy day that is making the trees dance.

Over and out.