Been going through a bout of seasonal affective disorder...the clocks just changed last night but I've been feeling it. The weather is cooler and for some reason I just want to curl up and do nothing but feel bad when I do that. I've got myself in one of my damned-if-I-do-damned-if-I-don't modes.
Yesterday though, I got on the road to visit a friends and the fall colors were lovely. Yes, it was cool but it was beautiful. I had to remind myself that when things aren't so great, there is still beauty there. I have to remember to practice gratitude more.
Plus, having a cute Jeep is great for that. And with country music and open road, it was kind of nice. It's fun to like driving again (for the most part) after dreading it for soo many years. More good stuff there, too. Just gotta remind myself of it:)
How are you handling the shift in seasons? Does it get to you?
Dropped mom off at Newark Airport today. I went in, forced myself to. I am well enough to cope, but it wasn't easy. Some panic came over me. And yes, horrible thoughts about terrorists that went into that building. How it affects me...still.
I wasn't able to go far--a good thing because if I'd lost sight of an exist, I'd be more frantic--but got her to the security gate. Hard to say goodbye to her on top of all my anxiety but she's off on a trip with her best friend to see her brother. Happy for her.
I left and cried because of it all. And because of where I am as a result. Better, but still wounded.
I felt like stress was going to eat me alive the other day. I had to drive about an hour away for a meeting with a new client, and all my "old" anxiety feelings came up. It's hard to distinguish old from new. I think it's important, though.
The old fear was happening to me in real time, so it felt new, but the feelings were based on old fears. (My favorite (not): Being trapped.)
I had to go into a corporate building with a ton of security...and ride an elevator. I hate elevators as is, but the last thing you want a prospective client to see if you panicking in an elevator. I didn't. I talked and made conversation in a lighthearted way. I guess tha'ts a coping mechanism. Who cares...whatever works.
I also managed to sit through a meeting and I'm not sure how. It wasn't easy. But I was in a better place than I used to be.
When I was sick, it's not that I could have done these things and just pushed through (well, I could have and probably had negative results.) I had to wait until I did some healing. Set myself up for success, if you will.
Really, I had to give myself permission to not do things that were out of my league for a while. Maybe sitting in the foyer of this monster buildingwould have been possible when I was acutely sick, but not the whole going in an elevator to the second floor and sitting through a meeting. That's okay, though. I guess that's what I am trying to say.
It was hard to purposefully not strive to do hard things...I thought that by doing them I'd get better. You don't really overcome those hard things/fears unless you set yourself up for success.
Take baby steps. Even if every voice in your head tells you you're weak for not being able to just jump into that hard thing.
The sun is out. Why am I inside if the sun is out? It's been cloudy/raining for about a week here at the Jersey Shore. I was just working a bit and headed out to take a walk so I can chase the sun.
Things have been kind of rough here. You know when you're going through a hard time and you're at the stage where you know you're coming out of it, you have faith you will, it's just like...when? And every time you think you're out it's like, no? Yeah, that's been me. For two months. With work.
Work has been really slow and I guess for some people who cares, but self-employment is so different. Thank God (seriously, thank you, God) that my finances didn't suffer, but I definitely went into the mindset of when I was younger and broke and conserving every dime. (And then splurging on Starbucks as an indulgence. Hey, I get a free drink every now and then with my rewards!)
Anyway, it just brought me back to this old mindset place. And while I wasn't like, totally depressed, (awesome to see how much I've grown since the days when I would be devastated by something) I was very down. It's not easy to just do nothing or work on other projects when you're not working and perfectly capable of it.
Today the sun came out, and I had a call about a new gig and things are coming in. Slowly, surely. The sun has come out in many ways. But sometimes, it's just nice to actually see it, too.
This week, it seemed like everyone was talking about 9/11. Why not? It was such a dark day for our nation, and those who paid the ultimate price deserve to be remembered.
Instead of giving you a "here's where I was story," I'm sharing the following news. It's about the far-reaching effects of 9/11. I wish I realized this after that horrible Tuesday. I endured so much self-inflicted pain--and panic, of course--because I couldn't cope with that event at the time. (I was working in news, which made it 110% worse.)
Now, I realize how much that event traumatized me. I was lucky enough to work with my therapist to help me process most of it.
In case you're interested...
9/11 caused mental illness far beyond US borders
This is the conclusion of a recent population-wide study from Denmark, which demonstrates a "significant and immediate" spike in the diagnoses of trauma and stressor related disorders (e.g. adjustment disorders or post-traumatic stress disorder) in Denmark in the weeks and months after the traumatic events of September 11, 2001, even though the Nordic country was not directly impacted by the attacks.
The study, which was financed by the Carlsberg Foundation, was carried out by political scientists and medical researchers from Aarhus University, University of Copenhagen and Stanford University. It has just been published online ahead of print in the American Journal of Epidemiology.
In the article, the authors argue that their finding "sadly confirms that one of the alleged purposes of (certain types of) terrorism - to generate mass-scale attention and intimidation - is in fact achieved".
Specifically, the Danish study documents a 16 percent increase in trauma and stressor related disorders recorded by psychiatric services in the week right after the September 11 attacks. Remarkably, the effect persisted for an extended period after the initial shock, and half a year after the 9/11 attacks, the incidence of trauma and stressor related disorders remained elevated about 5 percent above the normal level. It did not return to normal until about a year after the attacks.
In the article, the authors also speculate about the role of mass media in generating the observed effect: "The extra-national character of the post-9/11 deterioration of mental health observed in this study also highlights the pronounced importance of mass media in transmitting stress-inducing information to populations in countries far removed from the target of the attack."
Based on this observation, the authors argue that the effect of more recent and future terrorist attacks could be even stronger given the highly visual and real-time nature of today's internet-based mass media.
It's not hard to get frustrated as a writer. In fact, many times a day I become upset. Still, I love what I do.
Most of the upset comes with the journalism aspect--to be specific, the rejection aspect of writing. It's not that the writing or idea for an article isn't good in many cases, which is so frustrating. It's all about who you know.
I've worked with some awesome editors but I've also, honestly, encountered some flakes. And I'll probably take heat for saying it but let's be real. Promising a contract and then not following up, or just not responding...it's exhausting.
My latest frustration comes from a copywriting client who won't hire me because I haven't passed a child through my vagina. Yep. They won't hire me because I haven't had a kid. I've never had that happen (usually clients love my child-free lifestyle--no interruptions!)
For each article I publish, there's a process to get there. That article's probably been rejected at least a handful of times.
Then there are other writers. Don't get me started. Most are awesome, but again, every once in a while you encounter the "holier than thou" one.
I guess this is a venting post. I mean, I'm all about being professional but I like to be honest. Keep things real. The reality is that writing is not always this glamorous lifestyle, especially if you are not part of the New York City publishing machine.
So today I'm frustrated. Not anxious. Just tired of playing the game of getting work. So it's time to rest and recharge. And attack it again tomorrow. Eh, maybe the day after.