The first step is usually the same, “set a goal”, so it’s no wonder I don’t move forward.
For years I’ve just been flailing without anything to work toward, without a real reason to get out of bed. Y’all know I have all sorts of issues that cause me to be tired as hell all the time, so when I don’t have something that I “have to” get out of bed for, I don’t.
So why don’t I just set a goal? Well, because that is fucking terrifying. You see, my inner monologue is kind of an ass-hole and I don’t just doubt myself when it comes to most things I’m SURE I’ll fuck up. I can hold the mask of an accomplished, decorated Marine all day long, but that’s not how I see myself. Everywhere I look around my life and every time I get lost in thought of how I should contributing, I see myself as one thing – a failure. So I have myself convinced that that’s what I am, why try toward a goal if I’m only going to waste my time and embarrass myself? So I don’t set goals and I don’t have anything to work toward and I lay around and do nothing and that makes me feel like more of a failure. One of many vicious cycles I feel trapped in.
I realize that all of that is absurd, but that’s the thing about anxiety – realizing that a feeling is completely illogical doesn’t stop you from feeling it and no amount of people telling me that I’m not a failure is going to make me stop feeling it.
I don’t even care all that much that I feel like a failure, like…how I feel about myself isn’t that important to me, what I hate is that feeling that way is keeping me from doing things that I want to do, is keeping me from being part of so much.
To make matters worse, it’s not just my thought process that’s failing me, it’s my body. Volunteering is something that helped me immensely, but I’ve stopped because of pain and exhaustion. I also feel like I’m close to losing the biggest source of joy in my life (not counting my niece of course).
This picture of me and Tim was a pretty emotional moment for me. Earp-a-Palooza was the second Con in a row where I pretty much felt like shit the whole time. My pain was up, my energy was nonexistent, and I was light-headed more often than not. It made a day that I’ve been dreading seem a lot closer, the day when I can’t travel and attend Cons anymore. That’s what I told Tim before this was taken. I know everyone loves Cons, but I really feel like I need them (my shrink agrees). I don’t have a job or a partner or other hobbies, aside from Cons I basically only leave my house for medical appointments. I don’t say any of that for pity, just to illustrate that traveling to see Earpers and be in that environment is one of the only things I have to look forward to.
Shortly before Earp-a-Palooza I was FINALLY, officially diagnosed with Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS). POTS is a shitty thing to deal with, but finally knowing what has been wrong with me for so long it a huge weight off my shoulders. Now that I know what’s wrong (as far as my heart stuff goes) I’ve been able to do research and find things that might help me manage my symptoms better (yay, no more fainting on cast members…hopefully). I’ve also been referred to Physical Therapy (again) and to Occupational Therapy and for the first time in a long time I feel like there is a chance that I may be able get a little better.
I even have a goal in the form of tickets to several Cons in 2019, including two in Europe. When these Cons were announced I was sure that I wouldn’t be healthy enough to attend them all. I’m still not sure I will, but it gives me something to work toward. I say a lot that “Earpers are my happy place” and now they are my motivation to commit to therapy and to doing the things on a daily basis to make myself feel better.
It’s a pretty small, seemingly trivial goal for now, but it’s something. Maybe before too long I’ll actually admit that I kind of want to make something of my writing or that I find myself dreaming of using my life experience and skills to work on a tv set.
*I didn’t even proof-read this shit, it’s just rambling, please don’t judge me.