I get distressed by normal things sometimes:
- Thinking about how I’m going to get from my house to school the fastest way possible
- Planning out when I will have the opportunity to eat lunch, because I have meetings from 11:00-1:30
- What days I will do strength training and what days I will do cardio
- How many days next week I have to cook lunch for
- Organizing the weekend so that I have time to do the family commitments, house chores and schedule time for relaxation
All these things appear to haunt me and not just this morning. The degree to which they distress me increases based on my fatigue or when I’m less fed than I should be, but I still don’t want to get distressed by these things. It is the same sort of feeling I got before (ok, sometimes still now) when reading food websites or fitness books, getting distressed by thinking about these things, things that shouldn’t be a source of distress. There is a trap here of obsessive thinking, actual over-thinking about a situation (such as mentally spinning around about portion sizes or work ideas, but those can be combated by writing them down and being able to put them away mentally). But this is different, because even thinking about it once causes this distress. It is also different than the “sitting-down shaming,” which the blackness uses to keep me exhausted. This is more an anxiety around thinking, distress around having to think. Perhaps it’s a case of being so fucking tired, that even thinking causes anxiety. That’s what I believe this to be: high-strung, hyper-vigilance, anxiety.
There are some things about the blackness that targeting the cause will be the remedy. For example, reducing overall stress by taking breaks during the day, looking at things to make me happy periodically or listening to affirmations from my wife, each of which will reduce stress = what gives the blackness strength. However, I don’t believe that there is any logic to reducing the cause of this kind of distress; I don’t want to get distressed by thinking about the mundane and I don’t want to reduce the mundane just to reduce the distress. This isn’t a matter of doing that. It isn’t a matter of combating the cause, because the cause will always be there – I will always have to think about these things throughout my day, I just don’t want to get fucking anxious about them.
This is why Family Doctor feels that medication would work; it would take this specific type of edge off – the distress felt by the world itself. I don’t agree, just in the same way that I don’t agree medicating with alcohol or weed would be the best situation for me. There is a falsity in that for me, I have demonstrated that when life-stress is less than it is currently and has been for the past few years. It doesn’t fall into the no right or wrong, just us category for us, but it is useful for other people. Instead, hmm….
There has to be an instead, at least for now. Calm breathing or distracting myself doesn’t help. The blackness (or the fact that the blackness piggy-backs my brain) moves too quickly and is too powerful in these circumstances; it recognizes that I’m using these tools to manoeuvre around it and gets louder, more distressful as it recognizes these tools being implemented. I need to attack the blackness (in this case, the distress) head on, balls out, full speed ahead, taking away its power by breaking through its shield and attacking the thing behind it. The instead in this case is self-talk. Yes, reducing overall stress and fatigue and exhaustion will prevent me from being susceptible to the blackness using this weapon of distress against me (mother fucker). However, let’s be real – life can be stressful. And if it’s the case that my head (or at least, the blackness inside me) attacks me with distress about normal things when I am susceptible, finding my calm during these moments is key. Telling myself that it is ok to think about these things for a moment longer than I feel I should, because at that moment, my feelings are skewed (better term = polluted or tainted; even better term = sullied or besmirched; best term = perverted – having too much fun with the thesaurus right now) by the blackness. I need to self-talk my way out of the distress, naming it and recognizing it as one more arm of the blackness – distress/anxiety – and that I have some tips/strategies/tools in my toolbox to fight back.