Lying fallow

I’ve been doing that thing again where I try and ignore the fact that life is happening, because I feel like I’m scrambling to keep up.  Or maybe it’s that thing where I need some down time, a quiet space, to deal with things.  Only I’m not, really, I’m ignoring them.  I’m not sure which thing I was doing, to tell you the truth, but I know it meant not blogging.

Part of it is because, once I haven’t blogged for a week or two, usually that’s enough time for something to come up about my dad, or my mum, or how my life is more complicated than I’d like it, or whatever.  And often I don’t want to blog about that.  Partly because I’m often avoiding thinking about the issue, because it’s hard and painful, partly because this is not a grief blog and I don’t want it to be, but mostly, I think, because it’s too hard to frame it.  I want to say ‘this is how I’m feeling: shit’ without it sounding like ‘and everything is always shit and will always be shit’ because that is absolutely not what I mean.  Or sounding too self indulgent or always glum – isn’t it funny how much we self edit?  ‘Oh, I mustn’t say this patently true thing, because then people will think I’m a whiner’.

But, of course, ignoring things doesn’t help.  And in fact, ignoring the fact that I’m sad just makes me sadder, because then I have to expend more energy building walls around it and pretending to be normal.  I remember Janet and then Suse telling me that everyone needs a surplus, and it’s important not to push yourself if you don’t have one.  Well, I’m on the bones of my emotional bum at the moment, folks.  And, because I am a REALLY SLOW LEARNER OMG WE JUST DID THIS ALREADY I keep forgetting that.  I keep thinking ‘oh, I feel fine today, in fact, I feel perfectly happy!  That must mean I can go out and see all the friends I haven’t seen for a month!  All of them!’ and then having a little mini-crash.  Because any large amount of emotion – even good ones – are a bit much right now.  So I’ve been out of contact more than I’d like, not visiting, not catching up for coffee, not blogging.  Beacause being normal is too hard.  I’m angry about that and I don’t want to admit it, but it’s true.

The latest post over at Fugitivus made me realise this.  It’s not that I don’t know how to act like everything is ok.  It’s not that everything isn’t ok – in general, it is.  I’m fine.  And even when I’m not fine, I know I will be again, soon.  It’s spring and the sun is shining and I’ve planted a garden and ok, work is mental and I’m conflicted about my future in this job or another and I don’t know what decisions to make, but in general, life is pretty ok!  But some days it isn’t, and that’s ok too. 

Some days I feel like I’m too broken, I’m traumatised and tired and that everything that has happened, and is happening, is a big lump inside of me that I’m dragging around and just being a normal human being is hard enough.  Just turning up to work and making small talk is enough.  Especially where I work where suicide-mental-health-trauma-how-are-you-feeling-let-me-touch-you-reassuringly-now-lets-talk-about-social-ustice are lurking around every corner.  Which is also fine.  Except when it’s not.

I feel the need to make another qualifier about how I’m fine and everything is fine and look at the sunshine!  But you’re all intelligent people, so I’ll just say: take that as a given.  That is the background to this.  This post, and any like it, is a focus on an event and not the larger picture.  I am not going to say that again.

Because I think that’s one of the big things that’s stopping me from blogging.  The same way I am starting to self edit in real life conversations.  I will start to say something completely innocuous about my dad – something that happened when I was a kid, for example – and then I will stop myself, and not say it.  Because whenever I do, there’s this little silence, this space in the conversation, where people try to work out how to respond.

And that makes me so angry!  I don’t want to edit him out of my life.  Ok, some days I do – this week I’m angry at him again.  But it makes me mad that everything is so weighted.  It makes it harder to work out what, as Harriet put it in her post, is ‘right’.  So I avoid people more than I’d like, even people I like.  Because I always feel like I have to be on my gaurd.

But then I was reading the Fugitivis post, and also Janet’s post, and I was leaving these long comments.  And I thought ‘you know what?  You have your OWN blog.’  I forget how helpful blogging is.  Part of that is, when I’m in hiding mode, blogging is the opposite of what I want to do.  I want to find a warm, quiet, safe space to curl up in a ball in and pretend like everything’s ok.  And that’s fine, for a while.  But you can’t stay there.  You can have an evening where you have a bath and read a romance or you watch a movie or just lie in bed.  But then you have to get up and go to work and talk to people and be a human being.  And if you stay in the headspace of the safe-warm place, where you don’t articulate the things that are upsetting you, you end up tying yourself in knots.  And then you bring that back to your safe hidey hole and that place isn’t comforting anymore.  Ok, everyone needs down time – sometimes I am just so tired of feeling broken and on the edge of my emotional seat (lots of derriers and emotions today, not sure what those metaphors are about!) that I have to go hide just to have a rest.  But it’s not helpful or constructive and it doesn’t make anything better for more than a couple hours.

Because I need to articulate the things that upset me.  Because that makes them less of a big deal.  I think I’ve been avoiding doing it because to do it with an audience makes it feel like a big deal.  Makes them feel important and big and A Thing that is Happening.  Which, inasmuch as they are part of human experience, they are.  But I think I need to pin them to the page (or screen) to give them their place and their moment, and then leave them behind.  Because dragging all this crap with me is exhausting.

I wonder what ratio of my blog posts are ‘I’m back and I’ll be blogging regularly again’ posts?


One thought on “Lying fallow

  1. yeah, what can I say Kate? I just wrote this very long and possibly inane comment and then lost it.

    To summarise: I like to let it out on my blog because it makes me feel like a load has dropped, even if more stuff then arrives to be processed. Movement feels good. Sometimes I feel like a negative nelly and think I should write more about craft and other fun to separate out the other stuff but it’s probably not going to happen and so I’m just not going to beat myself up about it. I think you should feel free to write when and if the spirit moves you…. However you like.

    From what you write, you sound like you’re doing pretty well, all things considered. Grief is frigging exhausting, especially when you have to work etc as well. Retreat sounds like a really sane response to me. But I do like it when you resume blogging….. (selfish me)

    I’m sure it came out better the first time, but ack this wind, it’s moving my brain around. Take care, xj

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