I Realized I Was Beginning to Spiral

My plans for the weekend include writing project plans, outlining the next several books, and watching the train wreck that will be Wrestlemania 36. The latter warrants its own post next week, after it’s over. On Friday I realized I was beginning to spiral. It was a mixture of anxiety and executive dysfunction. I need to drop back, center myself, and refocus.

The other day I talked about how having a stocked pantry makes me feel safe. When my executive dysfunction kicks into gear, cooking becomes “base”. Anxiety makes it difficult for me to organize my thoughts. I need to land, write things down in my bullet journal, and follow lists and routines. Otherwise, I will walk in circles, bouncing from one task to another, and not get much of anything done.

Cooking, and more recently baking, force me to focus. Follow the recipe. Carry out the step-by-step instructions. Pay attention so I don’t burn the place down. It calms me. I’m back in control. This is why I feel like I’ve gotten very little writing done, and I haven’t released anything this week, but I’ve got sandwich bread, banana muffins, chocolate cupcakes, kim chi, sauerkraut, cole slaw, and four jars of sourdough starter.

Writing this blog has had a similar effect. It’s allowed me to collect all of the random data and news stories about the pandemic and put them in some sort of order. As I see patterns, I can share what I see. I’ve been able to express my feelings about what’s happening in the world. That’s net good.

I Realized I Was Beginning to Spiral

I need to be working, though. I’m not beating myself up for taking time for self-care, because that’s what this is. We’re eating, I’m sharing. Somehow I need to mitigate this, and redirect my energies into doing the things that pay the rent. The New York Times ran an article encouraging people to stop trying to be productive with the newfound downtime. Some of us still have to work. What’s going on inside of our flats remains the same. It’s the world outside that’s changed.

That’s the part that I need to keep in mind. We don’t need to go out. There’s enough food to last us a good month or more, even if it gets down to eating lentils and rice. While the pandemic has affected us and will inevitably do so for months and years to come, right now, in this moment, I’m okay. I need to just worry about hitting my deadlines, and carry on as if nothing apocalyptic is happening.



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2 Replies to “I Realized I Was Beginning to Spiral

  1. That reminds me, I should make rice for burritos! For me, it’s the act of setting reminders on my phone. Even if I deviate from the plan, it helps me to know there is a plan, that my deviations have reasons, and the plan will remain. I’ve blocked things into 2 and 4 hour blocks from 7a to 6p with a 1 hour break for lunch. Sometimes I use both of the four hour blocks for the same thing, and that’s OK. It works for me. With the addition of work before the sheltering I found a journal super helpful. I found the sweet spot between planner and bullets in an undated blank weekly formatted planner with alternating journal pages. With the sheltering and the absence of work I’ve fallen out of using it, but I don’t feel it the lack of it like I would if I was juggling work, school, and me. Now, it’s just me and school and that’s a level of difficulty I can manage. Apparently.

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