Vocabulary Vixen

August 11, 2009

The good, the bad, and the in-between

I’ve been taking it easy, trying to slow down, relax, and figure out what makes me tick, vs. what turns me into a bomb.

Right now, I am positively bored out of my skull and my brain is actively gnawing on itself to keep occupied. This is an odd sensation, but one that I must confront and deal with, because life isn’t all about “The Next Thing.” It’s about living now. If I spend the rest of my life shooting for these goals of making X dollars per year, buying a house, having 2.3 children and a white picket fence, sure, that’s grand and all, but it’s not going to make me happy in the long run. Why am I so pessimistic on this one? I am 1.5 years post-grad in a college town that’s saturated with BA’s, and though I work damn near a 40 hour work week, it’s not in my career field, and, and, and, I guess that I just assumed when I got out of college, life would be better. I would make more money being a degreed individual, and I would make ends meet on a regular basis.

Hello, Reality.

Reality is something different. It’s been something that I’ve had to come face-to-face with over this past year and a half, and I’ve narrowed things down to a few basic ideas: Living for the future is great, but now is what’s important. It’s okay to have goals and strive for them, but losing myself in the process deflates these highs of achievement pretty quickly. I’ll achieve a large goal, say finish college or get promoted, and once the high of getting what I shot for wears off, I’m left with a gnawing, empty void. A gnawing, empty void that I’ve filled desperately in the past with 100 extracurricular activities, all in the name of “When I get X, I’ll have life on Easy Street, and I’ll be able to relax and have fun!” The truth of the matter is, I don’t relax. I haven’t “just relaxed” for awhile, unless my brain has forced me to do so in the form of a screaming, crying mess. I don’t know how to just relax, and the sad part is that I don’t know how to “just relax” and be happy while doing so. Hell, I don’t even know how to be happy at this point, but I sure as hell am trying!

I’ve really had to force my efforts inward, and what I’ve found is kind of disturbing. I’ve had to deal with these issues, behaviors, thoughts, and patterns and face them head-on. I am trying to figure out how to manage my illnesses and come out on top. I am taking an active stand against these crappy patterns and behaviors, and standing up for my right to be a happy, healthy, and functional individual.

Last night, I had to physically force my obsessions out of my head. I imagined a bulldozer clearing away the imaginary dirt, germs, bugs, and cat hair in order to give my brain a clean slate to work with. It took quite a bit of physical and mental effort to do this. But y’know what? It’s me taking a stand against these relentless obsessions and negativity in my life in the name of something better. It is a Herculean battle that I wage, but I’m stepping it up. I’m winning.

Part of winning is recognizing how bored my brain actually gets, and what the hell to do about it. What I’m going to do about it is something that I’m actively working on, day in and day out. I’m really trying to find the balance of what’s too much activity and what’s not enough. Obviously, I can’t constantly be burning the candle on both ends. That never works, and it always leads to a breakdown. I’m pretty well working full-time at the coffee shop, and that suits me just fine for the moment. I would prefer a little more income, but using that as my overriding motivation for EVERYTHING doesn’t really work, either.

When I do finally find the balance of mental health and wellness, I’ll be sure to let the world know. That will be the day that David kicks the shit out of Goliath.



  1. I’ve really had an unfocued summer…so I could relate to the part where you try to kick certain thoughts out of your mind.

    Comment by Lori — August 11, 2009 @ 2:23 PM | Reply

  2. Unfocused is a good word. Can I be simultaneously very focused and incredibly unfocused?

    Comment by VocabularyV — August 11, 2009 @ 9:11 PM | Reply

  3. Wow, it’s very brave of you to give your insides that much time to be heard. I’m OK during the day, but at night is when my demons come out: fear of mortality is the big one, followed by fear that I’m wasting all that “promise” teachers and family were always talking about on a piddly little unambitious life. Followed by agonizing over debt and savings, past embarrassing moments and stupid things I’ve done, etc., etc., etc.

    I’ve discovered the cure, and I kind of feel silly saying it, but we have a DVD player on a timer, set to go off an hour later. I put on “Columbo” episodes when I get into bed and it knocks me out within half an hour. Other things work OK, like reading, watching TV; anything that distracts my brain enough from going into its downward spiral, but Columbo is so self-assured and good, he makes me relax sooner than anything else. He will figure things out and make sure justice happens, so I can go to sleep.

    Comment by teambaby — August 12, 2009 @ 9:04 AM | Reply

  4. It’s taken over a year of therapy to get to this point, but thank you! Before therapy, I had 100 activities going on at any given time, just to keep my mind off of this stuff. That would work rather well, until I’d have a breakdown in exhaustion. I’m tired of that cycle, and I’m tired of running on a hamster wheel all day every day.

    My mind has a tendency to race pretty hard at night, asleep or not. I used to not have so much trouble falling asleep-mainly because I was exhausted from working so damn much, sleep was a welcome retreat. Now that I’m not working insanely, (or insanely working), my brain ate its own OFF switch. And yes, my mind goes in the same places yours does. Time ten. Geesh. Once I start dreaming about my obsessions, it’s time to cut that shit out. That’s what I’m doing.

    TV used to work rather well for me. It would knock me out in 30 seconds, whatever I was watching. My brain is just TOO AWAKE AT ANYTHING I DO for that to work anymore. I needed another solution. The mind-clearing is working rather well for me. I’m doing it now every time I go to sleep, and it’s GREAT! I CAN SLEEP! SOLIDLY! And feel rested. What? Yeah, that was interesting. If I don’t “clear my brain”, my mind doesn’t rest. I have bright, vivid, and NOISY dreams. I wake up exhausted. Now I can feel solid on a few hours of sleep, or eight hours of sleep. It’s G.R.E.A.T.!!!

    Comment by VocabularyV — August 12, 2009 @ 8:09 PM | Reply

  5. Thank you for your honesty! I’m am in the same boat and it isn’t often we find someone who is willing to talk about such things.

    Comment by wanderingmind7 — September 12, 2009 @ 9:36 PM | Reply

  6. And that, my dear, is why I am here.

    Comment by VocabularyV — September 28, 2009 @ 6:11 PM | Reply

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