The Quicksand of the Holidays

Good lord what a crazy week. Good and bad crazy. We are in full holiday season mode now that Thanksgiving is now treated as Christmas’ conjoined twin. And it is absolutely burying me in things I am not doing. This pretty much sums up how this week has me feeling.

I am starting a new part-time job. I went to visit…family? People? We’re related? But not by blood? I don’t know. …super extended family on Thanksgiving, so Thursday was out. The day prior was chores and food prep and helping out anyway I could in preparation for Thursday. Wednesday was also spent doing all the homework. Tuesday I was on a trial basis for said new job and the entire evening was spent helping shop for Thursday. Monday was school work and the gym and dinner and chores and the typical struggling for leads for freelancing. Friday and Saturday was family time. So here we are; better late than never I suppose.

So pretty much no writing has been done this week. None. And that just cripples me. The joy of having depression caused by anxiety is being able to very easily tailspin into a downward spiral and beating yourself up for the smallest things. And the anxiety side makes sure to let you know that everyone hates you for it.

The single most important thing I can say right now, and for you as well if you are going through this, is simple; it is simply difficult for someone like me to believe it. Ready?

It is all going to be fine.

Wait. No, that can’t be right. How can it be fine? I’ve only rewritten a third of my book and it needs at least one more revision. Things are very much not fine.

It is all going to be fine.

I wanted this done by the end of the year and now the end of the year is here and I’m spending more time with family and I have no money to hire an editor so I took a job but now I don’t have time to write in this O. Henry hellhole nightmare scenario and now all my friends and family will be disappointed and I’m never going to finish and and and and….

The second most important thing: breathe.

I am writing this for me first and foremost. I am not guaranteed a dime of profit from this story. I am doing this because it is important to me. No one has said “Hey Chris do me a favor and write me a book”. I am doing this because this is my sweet precious fictional boy and I love him and he’s going to grow up big and strong. Whether or not he’s able to put me in a nursing home later in life depends on how much people enjoy it. But the deal with having anxiety is the constantly needing to remind yourself that there is no angry mob of people behind you. And that’s what it feels like; before I started taking medication, the closest thing I could compare anxiety to was having an invisible angry man behind you just outside the corner of your eye constantly yelling. That is what it feels like: the constant walking on egg shells, the constant anger and being on edge; it is exactly like having someone constantly shouting. It is exhausting.

I’m not a real boy writer yet, just a for pretend writer. I have no hard deadline. This gets done when it gets done. It is not paying the bills, therefore as much as I’d love to just have an IV of coffee coursing through my veins for the next 72 hours with my wrists and ankles chained to my chair until it is knocked out, I have other obligations. December is a crazy month; my birthday, my sister’s birthday, Christmas, and New Year’s. I am always working, this year is no different. I take courses online, leaving me at home where there is always dishes and laundry and grocery shopping and cooking to do. My parents are my roommates, and I am their son with son-based obligations. My sister comes home about every other weekend, and I go play good guy big brother. I am still trying to lose 10 more pounds, which means more time at the gym, especially as I gorge myself on turkey and stuffing and pie and seasonal booze and God knows what else.

This is important to me. This is the single most important thing I have ever pushed myself to do. It is crucial to me on so many different levels, least of which is simply challenging myself and proving that I am capable of doing this. This is me putting my foot down and no longer saying “Oh I have no earthly idea of what I want to do with my life” simply because this job is a creative one and I was afraid of people saying it was not a “real” job. I was born to write. I love it. I enjoy it. And I never do it. So I will, I will write the living Hell out of this book. But if it doesn’t happen until I take care of me and my family first, that is okay. And why is that?



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