Making Things Is Hard

Hello again, everyone. It’s been a while.

As I write this, I’ve eaten yet another huge roll of Oreos, and am quietly remarking on the fact that this is my… 15th? 16th? Attempt at getting this out on paper. I’ve honestly displayed some very evident signs of stress and agony over this during the past few days, suffering from an entire depressive episode and two panic attacks. I’ve rattled what I can of my dysfunctional mind to figure out what to make, channeling what advice I haven’t already forgotten as a means of hopefully creating something nice.

I’m going to try to explain why making things, one of my Ultimate Goals® in life, is annoyingly difficult, and why it can sometimes result in more harm than good. I’ll say it now: this isn’t an attempt to beg for your pity or make you feel sorry for me. I’m merely explaining why more often than not I spend entire days just staring at a blank page, baffled and running in circles over what to do. It’s not just the fact that art and writing are much, much harder than they look from the outside (much much much harder, holy smokes), but my wonderful little plethora of demons and a ton of reflexive/learned behavior that I sometimes wish I could just reach into my psyche and tear it out. Life has been hard, and unkind, and relentless. (And will hopefully change course for sunnier lands in the coming years!)

Let’s start with the root of it all:

Mental Illnesses-

*Cue Dramatic Strings*

I have a fair share of these awful, possessive voices in the back of my mind I can’t control. Like these amorphous shapes you can’t focus on, these forms appear at the least favorable times and dig into every crevice of my body with root-like appendages, turning me into something I’m not, and wish I wasn’t. (I’ve wanted to write a story about this analogy for a long time, but can’t come up with anything further than that. So we’ll see…) I’m not sure if I’ve discovered them all, but it seems like there’s a fair few of them. Firstly, I’m high-functioning autistic. I’m still figuring out what exactly this means for me, but it results in some apparent behaviors I’m trying to wrangle down. The biggest Thing out of all of this is that I can become overwhelmed by what I’ve decided to simply call “Noise”. Noise can be anything, really, any form of stimuli that grows overwhelming and stressful in large amounts. It’s ranged from media, to loud noises, to certain music, and even certain voices. While I’ve managed my actual responses in person, it honestly makes me want to curl up like an armadillo and scream for it to stop. Sometimes, “Noise” will even just be the thoughts about life and my future itself, making it hard to wake up in the morning. (There was a ton of Noise during school, believe me…) “Noise” usually lures out the worst of my Mental Illnesses, making the following days hard to recover from. Sulking is probably a hobby of mine at this point.

As for my other Demons, there’s the trademark pair: Anxiety and Depression. They form an awful tag-team of strengthening up the other, though it’s hard to tell if it’s worse when only one of them roots into me. Depression is the heavy hitter, showing up unpredictably and taking any unfortunate situation and turning it into some really loud Noise. It honestly can totally change who I am as a person when it strikes, driving people away and causing all kinds of terrible havoc.  It’s honestly like a kind of werewolf thing, where after I’ve finally calmed down, I’ll look back at the damage I’ve done to people who I care about and have tried to help me and despair. It’s really bad! But it’s extremely hard to keep it in check, and so more often that not, I’m feeling like trash, wailing in my own misery while everyone shuns me for their own safety.

Anxiety, meanwhile, is always sort of there in the background, making me often worry about imaginary problems, causing very real Noise. Almost any situation causes a worrisome viewpoint of it to develop, from washing dishes to getting out of bed in the morning. I’ll always mull over how everything could probably be bad in this way or that, and how because someone said something a very certain way they must totally resent me in secret and oh god I’m a terrible friend aaaaahhhhhhhh! And when it’s about something I care about, like a friend I hold very dear or something that I worked very hard on, Depression usually rolls up to give the ol’ one-two.

These episodes can get really bad. I’m not joking when I said I’ve sometimes done some very extreme things in these moments, things I’m not comfortable with, and things you’re no doubt uncomfortable hearing about. Mental illness and my handicaps are really tough. And it’s hard to get this across to people who don’t understand! Which makes getting by socially difficult, and a million other tiny problems that pile up into a planetoid of despair. And this happens so often, it’s sickening. And I’m sorry for you and others who have to deal with my terrible problems.

Life At Home-

Oh boy.

Oooooooooh boy.

Currently, I’m basically living under a rock. A rock with very bad guardian figures. For my own reasons (probably because they may possibly find this and I’ll get hurt for “lying” about them online “again”), I won’t talk too much about my terrible blood relatives. (I’m sure most of you are aware of them through my Twitter, which you should follow if you like random thoughts and depression-typing.) But know that they had a rough, very shout-y relationship, complete with punching walls and terrible screams well into the night, climaxing in a very quick and traumatic divorce. They’ve manipulated me and gaslit me for a variety of reasons, tearing me up between the rift between them both. And I could devote an entire post to how awful it’s been and will continue to be. My family is trash. (And I’ve developed many questionable behaviors as a means of surviving with them, including an irrational fear of approaching footsteps and open windows. Bleaugh.)

The rock I’m stuck under is currently Father’s, Mother angrily trying to guilt me into hiding under her equally, if not worse rock. I’ve started to favor this rock because Father isn’t home for most of the day, helping me relax in what little solitude I can. (I cannot put into words how much I can’t wait until I’m in a place of my own.) However, it’s hard for me to really go anywhere, this home being in the middle of a market district full mostly of bars and car dealerships. So I spend most of my day at my desk, or in my loft, or under the sheets on bad days. I know, it’s not exactly healthy for someone who barley sees the sun anyway, but anxiety and a really gross body makes it hard for me to get outside. I’m trying to whip myself up into shape, but it’s not easy. Hopefully upcoming classes in community college will help with all that, if not make it even harder to wake up in the morning…

So, domestic life isn’t exactly ideal. I’m not in a happy place where focusing is easy and it’s possible to engage in healthy behaviors. The day where I can have a space fully to myself for over a day can’t come soon enough.

The Effects of All This Junk-

I honestly feel like I could have gone into more detail about these Things™, but that’s why the last few drafts of this have ended in headache and far too much angst. It’s probably not in best interest for my shaky psyche to really introspect and openly describe these issues that plague me, so I hope these brief explanations are enough for you to at least have some rudimentary understanding of how my broken mind hobbles by each day.

So, how does this all affect my work (or, tragically, the seeming lack of it)?

Well, primarily, I’m terrified of coming across as a failure or giving disappointing results. School with these issues of mine made it frequent that I’d get punished for doing the “bare minimum” to pass, or stressing out over work, or the severe punishment and fear from unsatisfactory grades. It’s hard for me to look at a piece and be satisfied with it, as a piece of me is always screaming that I’m not good enough, that I’ll just end up disappointing everyone even if it’s out of the question. So I’ll fret and I’ll fuss over an empty canvas for an entire day before just giving up, feeling like I would have done worse if I had tried. And either way, I feel like I fulfilled this intrusive thought, heavily disappointing with myself for wasting yet another day, or looking at the result and thinking the exact same thing. You can look at any of my more recent pieces and know I’m not satisfied with any of them deep down. And I’m sorry.

I really want to impress my friends, since I never really had anyone to call that until recently. So the fear that I’ll come off wrong somehow and ruin this thing I’ve grown attached to, that I’ve never had until now, will just vanish. I know deep down that that’s a ridiculous way of reasoning, but it persists all the time. I’m terrified of disappointing others, and even more afraid of doing it to myself. So many of my pieces end up scrapped.

Anxiety makes it hard to feel like I’m set on a decision of what to make, and Depression makes it hard just to get from the bed to the desk for weeks at a time. And my hostile family and environment constantly remind me/make me feel like I made the wrongest choice deciding to focus on artistic things. Shame, failure, fear, it all piles on top of me, worried that I’ll just make a mess of everything even though it’s just a drawing. The only part of “me” I enjoy is like a ghost staring at all the rest, trying to push it towards something but to no avail.

It’s awful.

It feels awful.

And I’m terrified of how this may carry into the future.

But most of all, I don’t want to be like this.

The Good News (Always a Silver Lining)-

*Cue Inspirational, Upbeat Tunes*

Now, I’m not here to cry over you all about how broken and messed up I am (I do that enough on Twitter, *nervous laugh*), no. No, I’m here to both explain why it’s hard for me to put the pen to the paper and move, and hopefully tell everyone that I can do better than this. It’s just going to take some time.

In regards to my illnesses and handicaps, I’m doing better every day to understand and work with these demons, and soon maybe even take appropriate measures and medication to manage them much more effectively than I have before. I’m doing what I can with what little is available to be thanks to my under-a-rock status, and hopefully in a few years time I’ll be able to enter an environment where I’m understood, can properly take care of myself, and really grow into the person I want (hormone blockers ahoy!).

In the meantime, I’m trying very hard to whip myself into at least some recognizable shape that can get things done more frequently (and get out of bed on time), as well as handling my episodes better. I’d like to say I’m doing better than before (it’s been a while since I last contemplated my frail mortality!) and I’m doing better at managing my unreasonable anxieties.

I also have a plan (of sorts) for writing more things here, since it feels like this place is a bit barren at the moment. I need to start filling it with thoughts and memories I can look back on so I can see how far I’ve come. So you’ll have that to look forward too, yippee. 😀

I’m sort of losing steam now (and starting to worry that this post isn’t exactly the best I could do (again, argh)), but I know I can do this, and I can improve. I hope this provides some comfortable and decently comprehensive explanation to why things are a bit rough right now. But in just a few years, things are going to be a lot better. I can do this!

So, stay tuned for more happier posts in the near future!

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