I can barely believe it’s been a week tomorrow since my last post. Usually there are two or three each week, but lately my head has been all over the place. I spend too much time fretting over whether my thoughts are worthy enough to interest people.
It’s a bit ironic, while millions of things flash through my mind every day, there is not a lot to write about. Low self-esteem says, ‘People won’t want to read about that nonsense….’.
Writing is about the only activity that actually centres me in the present moment. The incessant chatter in my head is something I am becoming more aware of since starting this blog. On the one hand, I believe awareness is a step towards healing. On the other hand, the heightened awareness is driving me up the wall.
Anyone who reads this blog will know I’m doing a therapy writing class. There are only about three sessions left. My end of course project, which is a focus on our recovery using writing or art, doesn’t even have a foundation. This piece of writing will go forward for publishing in the college’s second book of testimonies about recovery from mental illness. There were a couple of ideas in my head, but without more research, they amount to little. Once again, there is an internal battle saying I’m not good enough.
I was thinking of writing about the importance of seeking a diagnosis. The more I researched, my opinion started to waver. Of course, an accurate diagnosis means that we can access the appropriate treatment. However, in the long process, I now understand more about the dangers of stigmatisation, sometimes by the health professionals who are there to work with us. There is a lot of value in treating the patient and not the diagnosis. I’m not even sure if the thirteen-year wait provided my comorbid issues with an accurate diagnosis, anyway.
Perhaps I should forget about research. Maybe I hide behind research. Writing about things that are already widely known is probably a barrier to writing/talking about my own testimony. What will happen if I write just about me? The trouble is, knowing where to start. How can I fit fifty years of a very mental – an extremely tragic – existence into about 2,000 words? Would people really want to read that sort of stuff about me?
I guess you could say, I think too much. Eckhart Tolle, in his book, “A New Earth”, would say I am in the grip of ego. I’ll finish this with a paragraph from his book that stands out to me
“What you may be aware of as a voice in your head that never stops speaking is the stream of incessant and compulsive thinking. When every thought absorbs your attention completely, when you are so identified with the voice in your head and the emotions that accompany it that you lose yourself in every thought and every emotion, then you are totally identified with form and therefore in the grip of ego”
This is the boss, Missy. 14yrs old
I think we could’ve been twins separated at birth. Oh hang on, I forget, that’s Keith Richards … my twin that is. Except I’m probably marginally less haggard and can’t play a note on a guitar. 😉
Lol….I can play guitar!
So good to have you back.
Thank you Vic
Well hello to Missy… she has pretty markings…
Cat you are doing so well, I know it is hard to silence the constant chatter. Especially when it is telling you how worthless and insignificant you are. Perhaps learning yoga or meditation could help to quiet them and calm the inner seas that get so turbulent some days. I find that breathing helps. Big slow deliberate breaths, while I ’empty’ myself. Some days it works amazingly well, others it is only takes the edge off. But that’s OK.
And hey I need you to hear this: People do care, we want to hear how you are doing, we don’t think it’s nonsense! Really, really…
Thank you, Andrea, I do appreciate you saying that
I’m so sorry you are going through this. You know I’ve been struggling with writing as well. Share what you’re feeling. As long as you’re being real and truthful, the readers will come.
Hi Bradley, oddly enough, your recent post about struggling to write has been constantly at the back of my mind.
I’m interested in what you have to say.
I agree that your best bet for the course is to concentrate on your own story, rather than research. There is a lot written already about research, while your own story still needs telling. And you can’t tell the whole thing in 2000 words, so I’d stick to snapshots – just a few things you’ve experienced that show something of you and your struggles and victories.
There’s a good book about writing called Bird by Bird by Ann Lamott, where she talks about how to ease into writing and write about what you know. Do you know it? I found it inspiring. My two cents here.
Good luck. The course seems like a great thing.
Hi Ellen, what you say makes a lot of sense. Following on from last night and also my writing class today, I do have a better idea where I’m going with this.
I haven’t heard of that book, but will be on the look out
Thank you so much for dropping by and commenting, it really does mean a great deal
Cat, you can get 27 pieces of advice from 27 different people; in the end, you have to do what’s in your heart and write honestly about your own journey.
I do agree with 2 things that have been said here: 1) Ellen mentioned Bird by Bird, by Anne Lamotte. Fabulous book and an easy and entertaining read. I have it in my own collection and have reread it at least half a dozen times. 2) We do care; that’s why we’re here.
So, whether you write about diagnosis, the trauma even, your recovery process, or just your frustration with the diagnosis process…write it honestly, authentically, and just the way you have been with us – all the feelings laid out on the table. Because, truly, that’s how you get clarity, that’s how you grow, that’s how you move forward. Just as you have been.
Love and prayers…
Awe, thank you so much, Susan. I’m a little clearer where I’m going with the project and I will definately look out for that book
your kitties are so cute! and i think it’s normal to get carried away in thought sometimes. often helps to get busy doing something and let over-thinking sort of flow through rather than hang around and fester. 🙂
I am truly grateful for your feedback, thank you!
Blogging is very much like group, without direction. Still supportive though. Often the posts made, when we have nothing really to say, can have the most depth, you just let your fingers start… and a few thousand words later.. a masterpiece. I would encourage you to just let go, on those days you think no one would read that… I bet you would be surprised.
Thank you, I probably would be surprised! I do intend to let my fingers go and see where it takes me. I am so appreciative of your encouraging words.
Sorry to see youre struggling with writing, Cat. As I think you know, am having issues writing mine, too just now and have taken a bit of a hiatus.
Oh, and your cat is so cute 🙂
Thinking of you.
Thank you. I know you are also struggling writing. I hope things improve soon
It is mysterious how writing can flow easily sometimes and not other times. I agree with what others have written especially Ellen. I love the way she has insight and can write it so succinctly. The other thing is that it comes through in your writing, what is in your heart and that is what people want to hear…and you story. I think people understand the value of us just sharing bits of our story from the heart. The researched stuff is valuable too, but on these personal blogs its the more personal process that we want to engage in together.
I’m enjoying seeing more of your photos. Love the cats.
Thank you, Gel, I really appreciate and agree with what you are saying. Unfortunately, Oscar had to be put to sleep yesterday. Very sad. I am just writing a post about it now
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