Admission: Apathy happens.

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Not all that long ago, I posted a bit about how I deal with apathy when it rears up, how I try to manage my anxiety, and what I avoid to in order to keep the anxiety levels down, and thus keep the apathy from seducing me with its wicked siren song.

What I didn’t mention was that, during the writing of that post, apathy had its claws in me. I was slightly numb, and comfortable in that slightly numb space, after having a great but non-routine few days. A dear friend was out visiting, someone I had not seen in three years, and it was great. We had a good visit, we caught up a bit, she loved on my critters. It was a few days of lots of stimulation — as breaking out of your routine can do — and it was good, good stuff. I wish she could have stayed longer.

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The annoying thing about stress is: the body does not differentiate between stress brought about by good things (which we generally call excitement) and stress brought about by bad things. The differentiation, near as I can tell, is all in how we think about it. For whatever reason, how I think about things is not strong enough to psych my body into responding differently. Good, even great things that I could look forward to (and enjoy in the process) make me anxious. They make me tired. They kick me into wanting to retreat mode immediately after.

So, we had company. I  was able to talk about project ideas and get immediate feedback. I was able to talk about project ideas of hers. Just being with someone who is not from your immediate family and does not live in your city allows you to ability to see your city anew, to see your surroundings anew. I felt a wee bit like a tourist, and it reminded me of how I felt about this place when we first arrived. I went a few places I hadn’t been before. It was just *neat*.

When she left, my mind was awash in plans and ideas and places to take projects. I want to get Marriage out, I want to finish the Sacred Marriage book, I have a series I’m plotting out called Cultivating Compassion, I have the Midnight Circle to begin, and there’s a number of other blog posts that I want to get to. SO MANY THINGS. Being jarred out of the same old, same old shook up the routine, and that’s not a bad thing. The problem for me is, too many awesome ideas is overwhelming. I’m the person who cannot have a stash of yarn, because then there’s too much potential and I can’t make a decision. This morning, I have to run errands for the store, part of which means going to the post office. There are two post offices I can go to, and I woke up fretting over which one to go to. More than two options is worse. Ugh.

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Then! Then, I pulled my back out, and my sciatica flared up. Fucking sciatica. Anxiety plus unrelenting pain equals apathy looks good. I lost a week to just dealing with the pain, and dealing with after effects of heavy painkillers. (My favorite? The conviction I had one night that, since it was dark when I closed my eyes, closing my eyes would result in my suffocation) (Sleep did not happen much that night) In the middle of that pain, it was very attractive to sink into the apathy.

It’s happening in waves, now. I have moments when I’m free of it and I’m excited but in a held back way, about things. I have posts I need to make, about the people I let into my awareness that help me claw back to ‘good’, about the importance of cultivating friendships and being selective about what you allow to influence you. There are posts I want to make, but won’t because there’s no point, about the way many of us in the pagan communities insist on talking to and thinking about one another. I will make a post about my current heroes, the lightposts who’ve made it easier to keep caring, instead.

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Thanks to the subscribers of my subscription stories (the dawesomest of my dawesome fans!) and supporters who have donated anyway, the missed day of work without pay is so longer scary, and I thank you for that. My pay has been cut anyway due to decreased hours, so I was really nervous about bills next month; now I’m not, and that’s thanks to YOU, so thank you 🙂

For now, I must run to the post office.

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3 Comments Add yours

  1. owanderer says:

    Anxiety is awful. I’m finally getting a hold of mine after a year of hell so I applaud you in establishing your boundaries and sticking to them. Reading your posts on anxiety has given me ideas on how to cope on a day-to-day basis and gives me permission to be anxious without feeling guilty about socializing. I’ve often beat myself up for feeling anxious when doing something fun so it’s reassuring to know that someone else out there gets anxious despite good/fun things. Thank you very much for sharing your experiences.
    (and a friendly wave to Poseidon who has been a quiet pal throughout my shenanigans)

    1. Jolene Poseidonae says:

      While I’m *not* happy to hear that you’re struggling with anxiety, I *am* glad that my post was useful to you. Giving myself permission to not feel guilty about being anxious was a big flipping deal for me; I hope doing so helps you. It’s maybe sad but I also accept that the vast majority of my enjoying time out with friends happens after it’s over, and I’m safe at home, and things are quiet, and I can reflect upon the time spent and the joy of the visiting. I used to get really upset about it, but it is what it is, and so, you know, whatever.

      I wish you all the best in dealing with this asshole that is anxiety.

      1. owanderer says:

        Thank you. That’s kind of you. I do the same–realize and reflect after a social event that it was fun or nice in some ways. Thanks for the luck. I hope you find ways to cope and soothe yourself from anxiety too.

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