I’ve posted a few extra times this week. I usually post three times: Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. It was working out just fine except I started to get more lead lines randomly popping into my brain. And when I get them, I stop what I’m doing and write them down. Then I write the post that goes with the lead line. It all just sort of shows up in my head. It’s how I write.
I suppose I should have a better system; I’d like to. I wish I was operating in an organized fashion. Up at X, meditate by Y, and writing by Z for a preset number of hours. Unfortunately, my depression has screwed up those plans. So, my writing is haphazard. Usually, I have one finished piece and one I’m working on at any given time. Normally, when I’m depressed, the posts are akin to last minute homework as I race to finish up the night before. Not this time. For whatever reason, my mind is generating a lot of lead lines. Ideas keep popping up.
One would think that being productive would be a good thing. And it was. Initially. I had one piece ready and then two and then three. But,since I keep the finished posts open on my desktop, things started to get crowded. I decided to redo my file organization.
In the “draft blog posts” folder, I created a sub-folder, “semi-ready draft posts.” That let me close the open documents without feeling anxious that I’d get them mixed up with the rougher drafts. But I kept working on the pieces and kept starting and finishing new ones. I ended up in the same place. The storage space was too full; I started feeling overwhelmed. So, I created another sub-folder in “semi-ready”. I called it “final”. I then transferred over the totally finished documents. But it happened again. There were too many semi-ready and final posts. I started to feel stressed in my chest. What if I posted them in the wrong order? What if they became irrelevant? What if I kept writing and the surplus kept going and my posting fell further and further behind?
I did not like the feelings of anxious stress the stream of successful writing was generating. It was moving me away from my baseline, from the steady state I crave so much. I like the calm. I like the quiet. I do not do well with agitation.
I decided to correct the situation by putting a few extra posts out.
With anxiety, you can walk a very fine line. Down the middle are the behaviours and life events and routines that don’t cause problems. When I deviate, things get more stressful. I don’t like to move out of the safe zone I’ve created.
Some would argue that’s not living well, that I should be more flexible. There’s some truth to that, but until I’m better at coping, I prefer to keep deviations to a minimum and expand my world gradually. Those who advocate for me adopting a different lifestyle don’t actually have to live with the consequences that radically changing how I function would bring. Or perhaps that’s just how I’m justifying this bout of depression. There’s a fine line there too.
It was interesting to me, however, that doing well – having a lot of completed works – was as problematic as doing poorly – getting things done just under the wire. Had I been asked about it before, I’d have said having many extras in the bank was a good thing. I didn’t realize that it would be anxiety provoking on a different level.
Why is having what to the outside world would appear to be success, problematic? Why don’t I like to do well? What’s up with the self-sabotage? Because that’s what it is, in a way. It’s not the first time it has happened, either. I do it in other ways.
I purposely engage in a behaviour that will have negative outcomes, knowing it will negatively affect my eating disorder recovery, or mental health problems. Then, when the inevitable occurs, I blame myself. Of course you failed. But it seems to me that mostly I fail because I’m afraid to let myself do anything else. Afraid of what it would mean to succeed. Imagined, fantasized success is fine. Doing well in the real world is more difficult for me.
It’s definitely something to think about. Fear of success linked to self-sabotage. I will be looking into that.