The other day, I was going about my business, doing the usual picking up of the house and I became suddenly overwhelmed. In every single room, there was noise. Loud noise. Sometimes a few different types of noise. Music or videos or a TV show or all of it all at once and I. couldn’t. handle it. I demanded–quite forcefully–that everyone turn it down or off, I’d prefer off. Everyone did, either putting in earphones or turning things off, but still there was noise.
Too much noise.
It didn’t matter that the noise makers were off or quiet. There was still noise. Even just the little bit left over in the house combined with the noise of life outside the walls as trucks and cars passed on the highway and birds chirped in the trees was too much. I couldn’t think straight. My head was a pinwheel in 60 mph wind.
But it wasn’t the noise outside that was the problem. It was the noise in my head.
I’ve been dealing with a lot of stress lately. We’re having a garage conversion done and dealing with contractors that maybe we shouldn’t have hired. There are phone calls to make and work to do and appointments to keep and appointments to reschedule and and and…
I have a hard time dealing with stress on a normal day, you add stress when I’m trying to work my way back out of a bad bout of depression and it’s a million fold. I couldn’t deal with the noise, the constant refrain of thoughts of things that had to get done and had to get done a week ago. I couldn’t deal with the stress of contractors who would ask for their next payment and then not show up for a week and a half or more. I couldn’t deal with the stress of having so many people to call and HATING talking on the phone and my new fibro meds making my brain float 3ft above my head so I constantly forgot on accident on purpose.
And and and…
Too much noise.
Then there’s the added writer’s guilt. The constant “I should be writing” winds through the other thoughts like tape threaded through a cassette on an infinite loop. I should be writing. A blog post. A chapter. A letter. I should already have this book finished. I should start that next book in my series. I should have started it already. It should be finished. I should be writing.
Which is directly followed by imposter syndrome. And then a further drop down the fragile construct of my mental health.
I don’t remember what ended up happening that day the noise got to me. I don’t really remember much that’s happened over the last few months. I had to refer to Facebook photos to remember what day the contractors started. But I do remember understanding. I realized what was happening. I understood that my demand for things to be turned down or turned off was really demanding it of myself. I had reached a point where the constant chitter in my mind of and and and needed to stop.
So, I turned it off or I turned it down.
I rescheduled things. I had my husband make a couple calls. I got out a book that I started forever ago and hadn’t read in a while and I finished it. Then I started and finished another. And I slept. And I relaxed. And I watched TV with the family. And I piddle farted around on the computer.
And the constant refrain of and and and became yes yes yes.
Yes, you can take a break. Yes, everything will be okay. Yes, YOU are okay.
You. Are. Okay.
This post was for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. You can find out more information on the blog or Facebook group.