Writing keeps me sane.
Many people have remarked that I am prolific, a machine, that I seem to write almost obsessively, and it is true. This is the way I prevent my brain from dwelling on the things I know will eventually warp me out of shape. It is the equivalent of why some people run, or others draw: it is not simply a creative outlet but something far deeper and significant. Only when I write am I able to find genuine peace, and I have discovered this after many years of fighting demons. I can hide my fears and disquiet in other places, I can choose to ignore them if I so desire, but they never leave me. However, there are days when the writing fails me and I can’t use it as a way to keep myself in check.
Today is one of those days.
Part of me wants to scream and cry and throw things at the World, repeatedly, because sometimes it doesn’t always have to be an agenda or a cause, it just has to be about enjoying something just for what it is. It shouldn’t need to be over-thought or minutely dissected, it just needs to be, like a good piece of chocolate or a handful of savoury snacks at exactly the right moment. I get angry when the exact opposite reaction would be the correct one, because at that moment I see every single possibility to an issue manifest itself in my head virtually simultaneously and it becomes completely impossible to separate them all. The writing has become the means by which all those options can be sorted and divided before the world gets attacked or I open my mouth. Except, on days like today I just can’t do it. I’m afraid to say anything at all because inevitably, when I do, things just go horribly wrong. The very things that I rely on to keep me focussed inevitably fail me, and I am left only with how I feel. Shame, anger, disbelief, fear and hatred.
Hatred that this is what I can become when I don’t step back first.
That is why, right now, I’m forcing each word out of my brain and onto a screen in an attempt to stop myself from exploding. The thing is, my ire isn’t directed at a person, or an object, or an agenda. It has nothing to do with gaming, or my family, or current events. Every single atom of dissapointment is directed purely and simply at myself, because I cannot cope. I can’t grasp why some people seem to need constant conflict as a means to be happy. I don’t understand why anyone would think that smoking in front of their child is a good thing. I wonder why evolution decided that we became the dominant species. I grasp just how insignificant I am in the scheme of things, and that I matter simultaneously to those who rely on me. There is just too much noise, and not enough calm. There’s no cake. I’ve been sweating constantly for two days and its nothing to do with the heat.
I am everything at once, and nothing of consequence.
I am also surprisingly calm in a portion of my brain because I can step back from myself and see what I should and shouldn’t do. I won’t write that Blog post on the fickle nature of people, what defines happiness, the agenda worth losing friends over. I won’t tell the woman in the playground to shut the fuck up about how UKIP is the future for this country. I’ll not respond to that Tweet that implies that because I’m a woman, my gaming opinion has less merit. Sometimes it is not the words I use that define me, but the ones I don’t. The moments I choose to walk away from the fight, or refuse to agree with the contention. I am more dangerous silent, because I understand just how potent the words can be wielded in the correct fashion. This isn’t because I have an audience either, that fact has become abundantly apparent in the last few months. I do my best work when I forget anyone is listening. I am at my most potent when there is no pressure, when it is just me and the keyboard or a pencil on paper. Those are the moments that truly define what I am capable of becoming, and it is those occasions which truly set me free.
My problem comes now in believing that what I can write like this is worthwhile.
I could cite any number of things that has caused this explosion of anger and fear today. It might well be a hormone imbalance as the Menopause is a very real possibility as a contributory factor. It could just be I came back after an absence from the Internets to a world that seems to have moved backwards rather than forwards in so many things. It could be depression related, it could simply be a shit day. The thing is, sometimes you only need a reason to make the immediate pain understandable. Therapy is a wonderful thing if you don’t have a clue why things are happening to you. When you are well aware of just about every possibility you could apportion blame to, this becomes less important. The issue then is what you do to stop the noise and return to calm. In this case, writing things down has most certainly helped. Not because it has made any of the things go away, but because the actual process of sharing them with you means they’re no longer in my head. They’re here.
So, actually, writing as therapy has a fair bit going for it.
It becomes quite hard in all the noise and responsibility to separate what matters. Being true to what you are and what you stand for is quite significant amongst my personal set of priorities. I care about equality, but as yet I am still unsure I’d use it as a criteria for the games I choose to play. I’m not about to make a huge dramatic exit from anything any time soon because I think if you’re going to leave, the last thing you should ever do is make a noise on the way out. If you have a reason to leave, wait until you’re out of the room before you start bad-mouthing others. Remember that people have very long memories, and that the Internet never forgets, even if you can. Don’t expect people to treat you with respect if you don’t do the same in return, however righteous you may believe your cause is, because ultimately you will do more damage than good. Most importantly of all, remember you’re not the only person here. This one is absolutely crucial. Consider the possibilities, what it would feel like to be belittled, and dismissed, and ignored. Not because you’re a woman, or a bisexual, or any other label someone else wants to use on you. Because you are a HUMAN BEING, in the end, and this matters more than anything else. You live and breathe, and are special and this should matter more.
Except it hardly ever does.
You should think more. You should worry less. You should consider the long term consequences of your actions. You should live for the moment. All these positions are valid, and pretty much happening at once. One by one, let us put them away and simply return to the basics. Be decent. Be Happy.
Some days, just remember to breathe.
For those of you who want the TL;DR version of my life, it is wonderfully simple: just be grateful you’re not me.