And what they have to do with my writing practice and this newsletter.
“We’ll that’s girl power for ya” lol loveeee
Mikayla, I 100% relate to the "I work better under a rapidly approaching deadline" mentality, and this is particularly true for writing! When I was in school I would wait until the day before I had an essay or research paper due to start and finish the whole thing. It was exhausting and stressful but I never let a deadline pass me without having completed my work.
This was really interesting, Mikala, thanks for sharing so much of yourself and what you've been dealing with. Sharing of difficult or "ugly" thoughts/feelings about things can be important, as we realise we're not alone in sitting here thinking or worrying we're secretly nasty or judgemental or avoidant. Your thoughts on your historical skepticism about labels/diagnoses mirror mine, and I do sometimes worry about the real reasoning behind why I feel that way.
A lot of it feels v familiar, and I'm conscious how lacking my way of dealing is when kind of the only way I deal is trying to teach myself to just be kinder to myself about it all - that not everyone has to function the same way as each other. But I'm also aware that that doesn't feel helpful enough of the time, esp when, actually, the way the world and esp that of work is set up really does lean towards a certain presumption of the right way of functioning/performing/producing. Like, someone can't ring their boss and be like: sorry I repeatedly don't meet deadlines, I'm trying to be kinder to myself about how I function.
Also, the problem isn't necessarily not functioning the same as others, but not functioning in ways that are conducive to doing things you actually do want to do. It's about putting things on the long finger, for no good or conscious reason, things that really are for your own good, and out of your own interest and passion, rather than things you're under any obligation from anyone else to perform. It's about a hindrance to achieving what you'd like to achieve, and then trying to kid yourself you don't really want to achieve it, in order to take the sting out the "lack of discipline". So I'm v aware that being kinder to myself doesn't really change anything in terms of productivity or sticking to tasks etc. It just means I'm maybe berating myself less when I realise I’ve "wasted" time again or whatever- but I do also have the thought that that's another way to "get away" with not doing things in a more consistent or healthy way lol.
I have no answers, of course. I just admired your willingness to break with the regular programming with something personal and important.
I seems to me that we all struggle at times with distractions, especially when we have projects or work that needs to get done. I recognized some of the same patterns you described so well, in myself, both in the past and in the present. Whether it was grading stacks of term papers for my students, preparing lesson plans, managing other responsibilities at home or at my job, or any number of things that required my attention, it all takes a toll on us and others when we put things off with distractions and try to do too much at the end under time constraints.
From my experience, we all take on more than we should at times, it’s hard to say no when we could, and we try to be everything for every one we care for. I believe women have the most difficulty with that, for a multitude of reasons. As I have aged, I finally am recognizing the stress I created for myself by trying to do too much, and how it affected my physical and mental health long term. I now try to live in the moment more, and rush around less when I can. You are smart to have investigated the health impacts you have been experiencing, so you can head off future consequences that could occur if you did not seek professional medical help. Sleep apnea can especially impact heart and brain health. Many fail to do that, and seek other less healthy ways to deal with the pressure, causing havoc in their personal lives.
We all need to slow down when we can, take time to care for ourselves and our loved ones, and live in the moment. I wish I had started sooner, but it’s never too late to start. Thank you for your honesty and candor in discussing something we all have difficulty with at different times in our complex lives and make us think about it candidly.
I'm excited to spend more time with this piece. It resonates with many of my experiences. But I realized I was reading it at my desk and I'm clocked in. :)
“Now that I work from home full-time, my task-switching, distractibility, and obligation paralysis has bloomed and thrived like a black mold.”
Oh my goodness this resonates soooo much!!! I always did really well in school and at my jobs due to high levels of overcompensating and masking behaviors. It all started to unravel when I decided to stay at home with my first baby. The above quote describes my experience to a T. Thanks for sharing. And the journal entry was just precious!!! What a little sweetie pie!!!! ❤️❤️❤️❤️