Content warning: anxiety, depression
I know it’s technically Masturbation Monday but my brain currently holds zero smutty thoughts. If you’re here for something sexy, I suggest something from the archives like this (<== click the link).
“I don’t always know my own mind.”
This may be a universal expression (or at least universal in the English speaking world) but I’ve always associated it with my southern roots. Even when I think it, it’s in a bit of a drawl.
Usually we say it when we’re feeling absentminded or a bit confused. And I’m definitely both of those things — more often than you might realize. But for the past few days, I genuinely have not understood my own thoughts.
Apathetic, lethargic, on the edge of despair.
Is it anxiety or depression? May the odds be forever in my favor, I guess.
All I knew for sure was that I didn’t want to do anything. Not work. Not blogging. Nothing. I didn’t care what happened around me as long as I had a WiFi connection and could escape to stupid videos on YouTube.
The not-caring only made me feel more anxious. This isn’t like me. I like to move through life using a routine that’s both efficient and comforting. My to-do list keeps me organized and calm. It’s a balm for much of my anxiety.
I knew I was tired. On the verge of burnout…again. I needed a real break — a week or so to unplug and unwind. But working for myself (and liking money) means I have to double my workload for a week for every week I want to take off. I understand what that means — which is why I tend to avoid taking time off without a “reason” — Eroticon, the holidays, visiting family. It’s easier to justify it to myself. Because I’m an American who was taught that you work 50 weeks out of every 52 and if you want to “prove” how committed you are to your job, you only take your two weeks off (if you get any at all) at times that are convenient for your employer.
Five years into a freelance life, and those old ways of thinking haven’t left yet.
When I said I needed a break and I would make it happen, I felt enthusiastic. I knew exactly what to do and how to modify my to-do list. I envisioned long (but efficient) days and then a well-deserved break when I got it all done.
But 12 hours later, I’d already lost the urge. Oh, the need for a break was there — I hadn’t miraculously perked up and found my energy and drive again. But my plans no longer seemed so important. I didn’t want to do anything. Not even what I’d wanted to do just hours earlier.
The apathy and lethargy continued. Write a blog post? Eh, why bother? Finish client work? I walked away from my keyboard in mid-task and didn’t look at it again until the next day. Imagine new topics for podcasts? I want to weep at the effort.
At the same time, a nagging little voice piped up in the back of my mind.
Who are you if you aren’t a blogger? Why do you always say you’ll do things that you don’t? Why are you even bothering with all these ridiculous goals? They only make you miserable.
Anxiety or depression? Fuck if I know.
Where some of these feelings are coming from would require another few blog posts…financial stress that reminds me of the lean, broke years (even though we’re not under the same strain at all — we’re actually fine, but the stress feels so familiar); fatigue from constantly working on my body and trying to find the “right” way to eat, move, and be; discovering things about myself I don’t necessarily want to face (none are super important but make me wonder if I am who I think I am). And where are those blog posts? Well, they all require mental effort I just don’t have in me right now, so…yeah, they may never see the light of day.
I woke up this morning and went right back to sleep. Unlike me.
Told myself that I’d get things done as I got them done. Fuck the schedule.
Then I felt a weight on my chest, thinking about what needed to be done — and felt exhausted before I’d even begun. Yep, burnout is creeping in.
I wondered if it would really matter if I wrote a blog post today. (In the grand scheme of life, the answer to that is probably, “No.”) Maybe I should just ignore all the things I say I want to do: schedule this, plan that, write something. What does it matter, really? (Ahhh, apathy, thanks for coming — you can leave anytime.)
I thought all of those things…until I realized I wasn’t falling back asleep because I needed to reach out to a fellow blogger about Masturbation Monday. A remembered sense of responsibility got me out of bed.
Once I did, checking comments and responding to people online didn’t seem so arduous.
Before I knew it I had a title for a blog post (something I said to myself in a bit of exasperation), and here I am, writing a blog post, feeling slightly more energized than before. The to-do list doesn’t seem so daunting. I may still be able to salvage this week and maybe even take next week off and get a real break.
Or I might lose momentum again, spiraling into my own head where I question everything and do very little — all while mentally berating myself about how much I suck. (Yes, I know, I don’t actually suck.)
The only thing I know for sure right now is that I don’t know my own mind.
Not much of a welcome to Masturbation Monday, is it? (Ah yes, something else I’ve neglected recently…) For actual smut, click the button below.