I have to admit that this year’s been a fairly rough one for me. Strangely, I think a lot of it has to deal with pushing myself further in my fiction writing. This year, I’ve gotten a short story published with the local library, I’ve got another short story submitted to a paying magazine, and I’ve got a third one waiting for reading periods to open next year. While work on my science fiction dystopia has practically stalled, I refuse to give up on it, and the improvements I’ve made to it this year are ones I’m happy with.
Anxiety seems to be the bigger kicker this past year.
Most of my recent life has been spent in fear of depression. It’s strange acknowledging the underlying contributor to it all, a predisposition to be afraid of things I can’t control. If ignoring depression for most of my life was a problem, I’m not liking the perspective this puts on anxiety.
Any measure of personal success appears to trigger it. In some ways, I feel like I’m applying for jobs after law school. It’s hard to convince people to believe in you when you don’t believe in yourself, when irrational terror subverts your desire to survive. Remembering those bad old days isn’t doing me any favors right now. Well, except that on occasion I do recognize I’m handling it better than I used to. But that bar is set really low, so it’s easy to fall over it.
On the plus side, I’ve developed some healthier coping strategies.
Primarily, they involve doing research and learning new things to improve my writing. Some of it also includes writing horror (which is why I’ve produced two stories so far). I’m trying to include more of myself in what I do in the hopes that it will take those irrational parts of me and do something productive with them.
This month, I’ve also written a lot more blog posts. My interactions with people have been mostly positive. It’s hard to remember that when the very few toxic interactions are so disappointing. I think that even with the toxic ones, I’m handling them better, although I want to improve on that in the future.
Overall, I’d say that progress is painful.
Sometimes rotten flesh has to be burned away. The same might go for mental rot – metaphorically speaking. I’m not going to improve my position by doing nothing.
Thus, for this year, I’m willing to acknowledge progress where I’ve made it. My hope is that I’ll continue this trend into 2018.