at risk of full disclosure

It’s rare that I get personal, specifically on here. There’s a fear that links vulnerability and inhibition, and the divide between personal and professional – an anxiety that occurs when we let people see too much of ourselves. At the risk of full disclosure, I’m about to get a bit personal, not not too much.

Unless you know me – really know me, I generally come across as a “full speed ahead” kind of person. I’ve always tried to fit a lot in to my schedule.  One of the great things about certain types of anxiety is that in order to process, negotiate, and handle it, you use every technique in the book to avoid the symptoms – which means you keep yourself busy, every moment of every day. I’m really, really, really, really, really good at that.  I’m positive that many of our world’s greatest accomplishments have resulted from similar circumstances. Consequently, once in a while you seemingly hit a wall and can go no further.

No, I’m not at that point, though when I do get there, my walls tend to be fairly thin. That is, it doesn’t take long for me to bounce back.  It happens maybe every other year, and lasts 2-3 weeks or so. I am, however, veering toward a need to tap on the breaks a bit – perhaps to paint the wall a different color or add some texture. I’m acknowledging the potential for that wall to get thicker.

It’s early Wednesday afternoon, and I’m sitting in my home office. I can hear hawks outside my window, which is open. Breeze is flowing in, which is good.  My beautiful dogs are laying at my feet. Above them on my desk, there are stacks of around 400 papers and quizzes to grade, not including those submitted online which adds another couple hundred. My teuxdeux list is racking up bullets. Each day the overflow seems to add 10-15 new items, so today my list is at about 60 items, which of course are mostly big items with several steps that are only noted on my list as “do such and such.”

I’m approximately two weeks behind in a very important class – which means about 400 pages of reading there plus a few assignments. In the others, I’m staying afloat by gliding into each session having just finished the work for the day. However I’m also behind in readings for those, too.  This isn’t how I normally do things. Prior to recent weeks, I generally had things done 2-3 weeks ahead of time. Grading typically takes a few days.  I like to work ahead.  Not anymore.  Not to mention, I have two large exams looming: both tomorrow and Friday.

Let’s dig a bit deeper – not too much. I’ve been feeling symptoms akin to a resurgence of mono. I had it last year for a few months, and this week feels very much like that. I’m waiting on blood test results to see if I’m having metabolic, insulin, or others issues concerning my physical anxiety: I’ve been shaking quite a bit. I’ll leave it at that.  Both of my long-term relationships are on the verge of nonexistence, which of course is effecting everything in the sentences above. One of them already seems to be in disrepair (and yes, for the sake of disclosure again, they’re both very much aware of each other and quite close themselves) and I’m avoiding, at all costs, the mere thought of that for the moment.  Additionally, I keep seeing metaphorical shadows of my ex as I glimpse around unexpected corners. Those are whole other posts, which I’ll spare you. My house smells like a dead cow (which will be explained in a later post), financial stress continues to increase, and anxiety seems to be taking over for logic in a very big way.

Spring break is just around the corner, but I’ll be in New Orleans – for Mardi Gras – not exactly relaxing. Not to mention, it’s fieldwork. Yes, Mardi Gras as fieldwork.  A good thing, however I’ll be so drained by the time I get there, I’m anticipating being a bit irked. It also means that instead of relaxing, I need to stay quite focused.  I’m very irritable lately, which is also unlike me. I typically just take each day as it comes. I never “anticipate” a bad day coming up – normally according to my logic, that would just be unproductive and silly. If I expect it to be that way, it will be. Yet, this is happening more and more.

So – that’s where I stand. Now that I’ve written this down, I’m heading off to the land of paper grading. I have four specific posts on my teuxdeux that I want to add here. I’ll get to them soon. They aren’t a way for me to procrastinate. Quite contrarily, they’re a way for me to intersperse my productivity in various segments and media. That’s all for now –

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4 comments

  1. Wait … you mean you’re human?

    Seriously, though, I remember when you had mono last year and I know a little bit about those walls. Even at the risk of full disclosure, there is something to be said for being open with your readers. I hope you can at least get the medical stuff worked out soon. That alone will help your productivity and hopefully lessen some of the stress of worrying what could be going on.

    Thinking of you chica,
    Ailey

  2. I found you because you happened onto my blog when WordPress ‘Freshly Pressed’ me. I read one of your amazing blog posts which included wonderful video clips of street musicians in NOLA. I’m a music/jazz lover. I’m also a communications professional. You are one of the most interesting and insightful writers I’ve had the pleasure to encounter in a long time. I look forward to your posts and I know very little about you – except for the little personal info that you post. I respect that, but at the same time feel that I’d like to know such a talented human being better. You are doing a wise thing by reaching out on a more emotional level to those who value you. I can relate to your various sources of anxiety. But as a semi-anonymous person who appreciates your writings — and therefore for your humanity — I will offer a piece of well-meant advice. Be good to yourself. Give yorself a rest. You are insightful about the nature of your overscheduling. As the lifelong partner of a very talented psychotherapist I can’t help but think that you’d benefit from speaking to someone. You seem skilled at coping, but it also seems that you could be more joyful at living. Especially given your passion for music and humankind.

    Hope you don’t perceive this comment as a reason for less personal sharing. What you posted took courage and you have my deep respect.

    Ellie

    1. Hi Ellie –
      First, thanks for reading. Getting semi-anonymous messages usually makes my day. Also, thank you for the kind, compassionate note here. It came at a perfect moment – I’m planning on scheduling a few appointments after next week, counselor included. After Katrina I went quite frequently (that’s when the anxiety started) – then I felt I had a handle on it, and stopped. We’ll see where it takes me now – I’m ever-optimistic!

      Regards,
      Dani

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