1. Justin Attas

    Justin Attas Active Member

    Jun 14, 2019
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    Progress Inside Comes First... Right?

    Discussion in 'Progress Journals' started by Justin Attas, Jun 27, 2020.

    Since my wife and I moved to Virginia, away from friends and family, I've been struggling with depression. She has a new job (her dream job) which eats up all of her time. I'm working from home, pursuing my dream of being a truly professional writer. I thought it would be different, but slow internet sometimes cripples my workflow and you all know how it goes with the reception of new authors...

    I noticed I was getting a very short temper. I would never yell at anyone, but when I was alone, I would lose it over the tiniest things. I'd go outside and split logs just to feel like I was hitting something. I'd scream into pillows and punch my leg until it got bruised. So I started going to counseling.

    Then, all of a sudden, I noticed. I noticed how absolutely obsessed I had become over my goals. Even the tiny ones, related to writing, would crush me if I didn't hit them. I couldn't control if people read my book or watched my writing help videos, so I latched onto something I could control, which was accomplishing my own tiny goals for a day. I recognized this was unhealthy and started going to counseling.

    Oh boy. Now I opened the box. Turns out I, like many well-adapted humans, have been cramming things in that box for way too long. Now all my adaptations don't work in this new environment and I unraveled at the seams. The process of re-spinning myself into someone new (once I took a good look at myself, I realized I didn't want to be that man anymore) has been... something else.

    I've been trying to reinvigorate my sense of wonder. I'm a writer, damnit! I used to have such respect and awe for the natural world. For religion (of all kinds) and spirituality. I lost it all in search of "success" which I myself set such a high bar for.

    So I guess my progress is slowing down. Taking a beat. "Being gentle with myself" as my counselor says. I am trying my darnedest (yes I see the irony) to learn to let things go. To breathe out when something is beyond my control, and struggle against my every "fix it" impulse to accept it.

    I guess I'm just writing this to let anyone know, who's going through something similar, it's okay. It's okay to get angry. It's okay to break and snap and explode. It hurts, but the only way some people can rebuild themselves is to first be reduced to pieces. I'm doing my best, and I'm learning to say "that's all I can do. That's okay."

    I water the garden. I drink some tea. I take a moment to breathe a little deeper outside and say "hey, you did everything you could, you deserve a second of peace." If I deserve it, so do you. Take that breath. When you let it out, everything will be alright again, but only if you let it.

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