NOTEBOOK: EXHAUSTION

NOTEBOOK: EXHAUSTION

I visited my psychologist yesterday and told her I had a curious problem. On one hand everything was going fantastically well. I was functioning every day at a very high, even unprecedentedly high level, with terrific clarity of thought, and it did not appear to be a manic phase, or even hypomania. I appeared to be healthy. I was also losing lots of weight. Among other things, I’d finished the first draft of my illness memoir, and was well into revisions and rewrites for the second draft, and was 20K into a new novel as well. Plus my Korean lessons were going well, too. No trouble concentrating. I’ve never known a time in my life like this. It’s amazing.

But put that aside for a moment. Because on Wednesday afternoon I went to the local swimming pool to slog out some laps, and the noise of kids screaming, squealing, playing up, and generally being kids really triggered all my misophonic responses. Which is to say, those specific sounds made me feel like I was under direct, life-or-death, physical attack. Made me feel like someone had just spat on my saintly mum. The thing about misophonia is it fills you with violent, murderous rage. You find yourself with a head full of the worst thoughts in the world. It’s the most awful experience. And it’s taking me days to get over it. I left that day feeling like I never wanted to come back.

And I remember when I loved going there. When all the noise was exciting. When it was a fun place. But my noise sensitivity only developed last year, right around the time my doctors in the hospital started switching my medication around. Everything stems from that. Now when I hear those sounds, it feels like an attack, like a vicious punishment.

And it’s worse when I’m tired.

Because there are days at the pool when the noise does not bother me that much, when I can cope with it pretty much fine. So what was different on Wednesday? Well, behold! Check out the rest of this website. Note that I’m producing material every single day. I’m working every day, learning Korean every day, losing weight hard, and I’ve been on this intense program of activity, without a day off, for more than two months now. In that time I’ve also lost more than ten kilograms.

It might be a little bit unsustainable.

It might be exhausting. Because I’m not eating much, either. That’s one of the key things. My metabolism is so dead, anything more than one reasonable meal a day makes me start to gain weight, so I have to fast much of the rest of the time. It’s gruelling.

My psychologist listened to me explain these two things, the incredible productivity and the terrible day at the pool, and she saw a connection. She says that I’m putting myself under a certain amount of stress and pressure to achieve all these things. I like doing them, and I feel good when I can do them, but there is pressure and stress involved. And even though you can call it “good” stress, it’s still stress. So I’m wearing myself out. I have no time off. I’m exhausted.

I do like working on my writing every day, so I’m going to keep doing something there. This weekend I’m going to focus on revision of memoir pieces for the book, but I’m not going to do anything new on the novel until next week. I may also do another Notebook piece tomorrow, but that’s it. I won’t be working my arse off producing 3-4000 words of writing every day over the weekend as I had been doing.

I’ll relax the other requirements, too, though I have already done a Korean lesson (I can now introduce my mum and dad, tell you I’d like to buy you something, ask if your boyfriend has a job, and much else).

I’ll also look at going to the pool at a different time, when there are no kids. Because as things stand I hate the happy little buggers. 🙁

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