Sunday, March 1, 2009

My Craziness (Or Why John May Never Get His Post)

NOTE: This post is nothing more than naval gazing. If that doesn't interest you in the slightest, then it is probably best not to read it. Except for John. Whether it interests him or not, he'd probably better read it, since it was written mostly as an explanation/response to him and his own post.

John's been on my case now for a while to post something I've written about women in comic books, going so far as to threaten my life and go on strike. Now, there are a couple of reasons why these aren't compelling enough for me to post something I'm not comfortable with, starting with the fact that John is (a) a nice guy (not a Nice Guy™), (b) is a moral guy, and (c) has a super cute girlfriend he'll probably want to be hanging out with for the rest of his life instead of hanging out with a whole bunch of other men in jail - because not only have I been telling our friends and my friends of these threats but he's now posted them on the internet. As a side note, I have to say, John, you'd better hope I don't turn up dead in the next couple of years. In fact, you may want to invest in a giant bubble for me.

But even if John were someone who could kill me or hire someone to kill me over something as minor as not getting a blog post, there's an even bigger thing stopping me. I have an actual disorder, an anxiety disorder - Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Being generalized, my anxiety doesn't affect one aspect of my life, but it does affect a couple areas more significantly than others. Those areas are generally writing, and phone calls - making them and receiving them.It made my two-week job as a telemarketer horrific. And it made the last half of my senior year in high school hell, because I couldn't write, and I couldn't make myself turn in anything I did write. It made college interesting, because I could often spend days at my computer writing papers I wouldn't end up turning in. Luckily for me, I amassed a couple of professors who could handle my idiosyncratic way of handing in many of the papers that had been due during the semester right at the very end. Oftentimes, though, I would just neglect to hand in the papers that were assigned and hand in the papers I was able to write and turn in. This blog started, in point of fact, partially in an attempt to get over the sometimes paralyzing fear of someone aside from me reading what I've written.

I've gotten better at that particular aspect, but there are still some rules I have to follow in order to post. One rule is that even if I say I'm going to post on a certain topic, if I find that I absolutely cannot make myself hit the "Publish Post" button, I put that post aside and simply work on one that I can. If I try to post something that aggravates my anxiety, I can - and have and will in all probability become again - paralyzed and not be able to write at all. Another rule is that I can't labor too long on any given topic or post. I can sometimes give what I write a once-over, but if I spend too long reading and rereading, I'm likely to become ever more unsatisfied with it. This means that some of my posts have stupid grammatical or organizational errors, but the other side of that is that I have a post without grammatical or organizational errors that no one is allowed to read. I end up, again, paralyzed. Why is this important? Well, because I've violated the second rule of not intensively rereading what I write in regard to the post John wants, and I refuse to violate the first rule by posting something I'm not comfortable with. I like writing, I like my blog, and I'm not ready at this point in time to suffer from writing paralysis and I'm definitely not ready to overcome this particular problem by just muscling through it.

This isn't something that is just a petty little thing. This isn't something that I can make better just by willing it to be better. I've walked that path, and it hasn't worked. I can improve in increments, not in Herculean steps. And while for for others who don't have this issue with writing and posting, this doesn't seem like any Big Issue, for me it is. And I'm a selfish asshole who really is more concerned with making my life better. Posting that particular post at this time, when I'm in the throes of anxiety-created panic attacks, will not make my life better. I'm not getting graded, or paid, and my life - no matter what John wants me to believe - does not depend on getting this thing done. And even if I was getting graded, I've proven amply in the past that doesn't really matter to me; and since I walked out of my telemarketing gig when I had no other source of income, I've also proven that pay doesn't really act as much of a motivator either. I've made progress; my life isn't controlled by this. But parts of it continue to be, and while I recognize that as a bad, it also isn't something I can do a hell of a lot about right now. I can do a little something about it, and I continue to do so. I continue to push myself past my comfort level in small ways; and some days and weeks and months are better than others. This is not that time.


John said...

1) Again with the gazing at navies :)

2) If you die by any means other than fatal bowel disruption, it clearly wasn't me. The method is just as important as the result. (luckily for you, that technology hasn't been invented in the real world yet.)

3) As I've said before, you don't have to publish the post, just save it as a draft. I promise I won't publish it either. I just want to read what you have so far.

petpluto said...

"3) As I've said before, you don't have to publish the post, just save it as a draft. I promise I won't publish it either. I just want to read what you have so far."

Yeah, I get that; but here's the thing, and it's kind of a big thing that stops that from being a possibility right now, as right now is a bad period for me. In the future (and even possibly the near future), I could do that; but right now, anyone reading it - you, Jess, MM, anyone no matter how much I love and trust them (and I do love and trust you guys) - is beyond my capacity.

I know that it sounds crazy - hence the title! And I know that it is weak, and slightly pathetic, and it isn't something I'm happy about or proud of - which, ironically, is why I have such a hard time talking about it. I don't want to be like this, and it is very hard for me to talk about it because it means that I'm less than what I want to be.