Today was my 10th day writing on WordPress. I didn’t get a badge, and I’m feeling a kind of way about it. I’m not saying that things like pictures of badges or streaks motivate me. I am saying that today was my 1025 day on Timehop and I just so happen to be a member of the red-ribboned 2-year club. I wrote for 4 unrecognized days. No notification of any streaks or any pictures of any ribbons. I kind of feel like I showed up, and WordPress bailed. And that’s okay. I’ll just write about it so everyone else knows what I know.
I’m pleased to report, from my new west coast life, that the NV pajama game is KILLING it compared to the PA pajama game. I’ve seen so many far saner looking folks than I rocking the jam’s and the slips. Even feeling alone either in my head or because I basically don’t know anyone, there’s something about knowing there are others in jammie jams just like me. I’m talking about the afternoon pickup pajama game too – not just morning. 3:15 PM in your slippers is a true proclamation of insanity, no fucks to give, missed alarm clocks, broken dreams, or some combination thereof. I can’t speak for anyone but myself, but it’s all that and a bag of
chips coping with anxiety.
My obsession with writing, streaks, and pajamas actually share a very similar (cotton?) thread. OCD is an anxiety disorder, and it is one of my greatest strengths and weaknesses. The anxiety that makes me miserable is the part of the same plant that makes me write any of the words I write. My brain sounds like Carrie’s mom.
I started wearing pajamas to help myself be comfortable because – especially since I had psychosis – everywhere is generally uncomfortable. Psychosis, like OCD, has become a strength and a weakness. It has been 3 years since the break and I think it is really time I start accepting that I have no idea what happened, I will never be able to describe how terrifying it was, and to this day, I am terrified because of it.
The only way I’ve found to “combat” all this crap is to accept it.
Since my first hospitalization for anxiety to now, it would be an understatement to say I am quite aware of how uncomfortable it is to be inside of my skin. All of it comes down to fear and rejecting myself. Whatever ingredients make me – positive or negative – I constantly think I’m crap, so naturally, the inside of me feels like my very being is 2 sizes wrong. So, I figure let outside of my being at least have softness and some elasticity while I learn to be Pajamas for the Soul on the inside (move over chicken soup…)
Whether I’m afraid of people judging me or some pissed off deity slaying my children for me writing on a blog – my life and my clothing just aren’t the same since I’ve realized how deeply afraid I am of things I can’t even actually pinpoint. It’s just all stories in my mind that I either write into something else or project into my reality and suffer from my own fear. (because let’s be honest, does the inside ever actually not match the outside?)
It really doesn’t matter what words are used to describe fear, does it? It can come under so many names – suffering, psychosis, anxiety, not writing… While my mind likes to isolate me and tell me how alone I am, everyone suffers from so many different degrees. Maybe some didn’t have a psychotic break and promise God they would never write again.
But is it that much different from all the times any one of us says “I can’t do this?”
Pajamas, while not just being comfortable, helped me see the stories of my mind. People aren’t laughing at me, they don’t notice me. The only person afraid of me and rejecting me is me. Writing became the outlet for the stories. It gives me a clothesline for my dirty crazy underwear. And I say crazy emphatically – I have allowed Carrie’s mom/literally anyone else’s imagined opinion/fears to keep me uncomfortable, scared, and locked inside a prison of my own mind. What could be crazier?
So what can be done when everything is lose/lose? I lose my mind by not writing, or I lose everything by writing (in my mind). Fear and rejection always create lose/lose scenarios.
My difficulty leaving the house, etc. it only gets worse if I reject it. Like pajamas, everything gets better when I accept what is by getting comfortable being uncomfortable. (#pajamasforthesoul) I can absolutely write and be scared to write – it’s no different than before. Who doesn’t put some piece of themselves out there and feel scared? I can go out in pajamas and be scared too. What I can’t do is continue to just be scared.
I think the only way is to rise above. Acceptance and transcendence happen at the same time. I think that’s why it is called a higher power. Higher power and God can be synonyms, but I think God is in literally everything – it’s what the psychosis helped to teach me.
Sometimes, putting yourself in pajamas so you aren’t afraid to leave your house is a bigger step than you were able to take before. How, then, are pajamas not a higher power? Sometimes, writing 10 days in a row when you’ve gone months without writing is 1000% more than all the times you told yourself you couldn’t or shouldn’t. Sometimes, a missing badge from WordPress can be the calling to get you to write and piss and moan about your lack of streak awards. How then, is a picture of a badge not a higher power? Anything can push us down or pull us up, depending on how we’re looking.
When fear isn’t the filter, literally anything in this life can inspire, motivate, help, challenge, and teach you.
Higher Power/God/Life/Pajamas can mean anything. A God or combination of mental illness (or both!) that’s going to kill you or your kids if you write becomes the inspiration to keep working so you understand what made you that sick in the first place. It can be grace to put pajamas on and leave when all you want to do is stay. It can be strength and transcendence to accept yourself at your most broken or most afraid.
Sometimes, it’s easy to forget the battles we’ve already won to erase the ‘t after can. Whatever the eraser was and whatever helped write it in the first place are all part of the magic of life. Being broken is a part of life. It’s the point where the healing begins. It’s the point where strength begins. A seed breaks to start life, and change happens when everything is lost. And life, God, pajamas – they all have a way of being there for you when you need it most, showing you you have everything you need to do it. You’ve already done it so many times before.
Now, where’s my goddamn badge?!
What a great post! Thanks so much for being willing to share your struggles and how you deal with them. “The only way I’ve found to “combat” all this crap is to accept it.” Yes! It can be a difficult concept for people to grasp, but I have found the exact same thing. Whether depression or anxiety or the overwhelming urge to drink a pint of whiskey in one sitting… It’s not easy! You know that. But it works. Most of the time. 🙂
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Thank you so much!
I have consistently had a hard time talking too much about it all – poetry helps put it into words but I had a strong feeling I needed to write this, so I have spent over a week working on it.
Yep – it’s all the same root, right? Pain and fear grow some pretty ugly flowers lol. “What you resist persists” (Jung) really helped me see my own self destruction. The more I’ve looked and tried to understand, the less I suffer. It’s not to say depression or anxiety or anything doesn’t happen anymore. I just don’t get so upset about it. Sometimes depression really helps me. It makes me slow down and hear myself feel all the things I don’t want to.
Thank you for reading. I’m glad you get it, but I am sorry for the pain that was the teacher. ❤️
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