It’s been nearly a month since I posted here, and I can defend this lapse through what did happen while I did not post. I moved house, which was the usual relentless never-ending shifting of boxes and bags of stuff. And which took the best part of 3 weeks. Anyway that’s the main reason for the not posting and apart from that, Christmas, which normally would not be a reason valid enough to include here, but this year we can add covid, no visits to family, nowhere for kids to go, and trying to keep aforementioned kids amused and stimulated to some degree etc. I am depleted and anxious now, and feeling back to square one in my practise. When observed at times of vulnerability, It doesn’t take much to kick over a one woman practice 🙂
Just before before Christmas I experienced a period of anxiety and yes depression I suppose is the most accurate word. I am careful in the application of this word as I have experienced depression before and don’t like to throw it, the word about for that reason. But we do live in a time where we are very fortunate to be able to talk openly about depression. In December I’d applied for a few things and had not been successful. Normally, this is ok with me and I can take into consideration the many variables that are at play when you get rejected for something. That there are a limited number of opportunities that have been advertised and always, always, many many fish biting for the same crumbs. And that basically other submissions fitted the profile of what the panel of adjudicators were looking for more than the submission that I would have made. And that obviously, the very act of putting oneself into the application process means that you have to be fully prepared and expecting the rejection.
But this time, woah! I was deeply affected by the rejection. I felt it physically, in my stomach. I felt a drop in the pit of my guts and a slow spread of heat through my body, a literal flush of humiliation. I literally had to stop for a bit and catch myself. I felt embarrassed, naive to have had any expectation of success, not good enough. I was surprised by the intensity of my feelings, and I tried to reason with myself as to why this particular set of rejections was affecting me so much, and to suppress the said feelings, as after all, life still had to be gotten on with. I realised that it was almost funny how powerful, how strong these negative feelings were, and if only I could have channelled some of this very successful sadness I was manifesting into my unsuccessful submissions, then they might have not been unsuccessful!
Even trying to write this sounds trite and silly, but I have learned that suppressing these feelings of intense anxiety and general crapness, when they manifest themselves, is not a good idea. Like sewage flowing into the open sea they will show up elsewhere if not addressed, confronted, looked in the eye. I knew that the notifications I had gotten telling me my submissions had been unsuccessful were not the reason why I was in such a bad place, they were merely the catalyst. The extra drop that caused the cup to run over. I had been treading water for the few weeks before, metaphorically speaking. Basically just about managing to keep it all together, not enough sleep, managing the macros and micros of moving house and suppressing all the worries about having less space in the new house and being more isolated and was it the right thing to do for the kids, etc etbloodycetera.
And all these thoughts taking up space like too much air in a balloon. It should not have been that much of a surprise that the balloon burst on the exhale of disappointment upon getting the rejection emails. Now I can see that the intense despair, uselessness and disappointment buried in my ribcage and bubbling up my thorax was like a flu, a flu that had been caught from being under the weather in general. It, the flu, lasted for 3 days, and during this time I felt sad, tired, unsuccessful, middle aged (unfair, as technically I am, but true nonetheless) hopeless, (the drama of the words is even more embarrassing now but I will doggedly continue) and then basically I forgot.
The urgency of making Christmas happen meant that my self centred feelings had to be put aside. And a good thing too. With covid, staying at home, observing the fact that I have a great life and am very privileged etc etc, and general post seasonal hangover-itis and wanting to forget about the whole self indulgent-ness of the whole thing I find myself, as usual, playing it down, until the next time of course.