After suffering through Monday and yesterday, I’ve grudgingly accepted my wife’s diagnosis that the stomach cramps and overwhelming sense of bleak, pervading dread isn’t a bug, but rather the first signs that I’m seriously flaming out.
I’ve been living in “a structure of obligation and dread,” as I just said on the podcast and liked so much I’m looping back around to type it here.
Which isn’t a surprise, really — looking back at the arc of this project it’s been peaks and valleys of taking things on and letting things go, but the overall trendline has been toward a need to simplify, step back, take stock.
I’m also aware that this is pretty classic midlife crisis territory, which for a dude in his mid-40s is riiiiiiiiight on schedule, I’d say, but at least this seems like a healthy kind of midlife crisis as opposed to the “buy a corvette and have an affair” variety.
Again, the track of this thing is a constant running up to “I need to simplify and get back to things that are valuable to me,” then backing away from that and, frankly, distracting myself with garbage. I’m not saying that life has to be all grim all the time, but having a couple of days of being flat on my back, burnt out and more or less staring at the ceiling, does lead your brain places.
Where I’m at today:
- Get a therapist! This is good and all but I’m making a lot of assumptions and decisions about my mental health that I probably should get somebody, like, good to check in with about.
- Deleting video games off the computer and phone. They’re the soda pop of brain activity: I like them when they’re happening, but afterwards I never feel good about having done it.
- Ditto podcasts. Not goodbye forever here, but I need to reconnect to quality music instead of meandering conversations for a while.
- Quitting the radio show, maybe? It’s not bringing me joy, as the new old saying goes.
Anyway — I’ve been promising myself change for a while, and I think I really hit a wall earlier this week, so it’s fish or cut bait time about making some changes.