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distressful endings

November 29, 2014

It’s Day 2 of not attending the thing I thought I would be doing this weekend. Yesterday’s migraine has settled into the back of my head; I’m nauseated; and my bowels are not happy. If I were to go anyway — something I did briefly consider — I would have to fight my body the entire way.

  1. How likely am I to have a good time, under those conditions?
  2. How likely is it that, under those conditions, my body is going to deal well with any social or other stress I encounter?
  3. Why would I disregard what my body wants to such a degree?

That’s the $64,000 question right there.

It’s not the money I spent; $55 is trivial in the larger scheme of things. It’s not the stuff I was hoping to learn, or the people I thought I might meet.

What’s at stake is . . . my Writing as Project period has, definitively, ended. Which means I need to not be doing it.

And this time, that entails withdrawing from 4 things I volunteered myself for.

There is no way around how awkward and uncomfortable I am, realizing these implications. I’m a P in a world of J’s. Will people still respect me if I have to withdraw? Or am I (inadvertently) burning bridges, yet again? Will I seem flaky?

So, I have ADD brain. And part of what that means is, if I don’t want be doing something — and certainly if every fiber of my being shrinks from doing it — I . . . cannot do a good job at it. I might be able to do a “decent” job at it (for some value of “decent”), but even that is iffy.

People who have seen my very best efforts, for stuff I really really wanted to do, seem mystified that I can’t turn my motivation and Top Quality Brain Energy on and off. But I can’t: I either have it (because I really really want to do something), therefore It’s On; or, if I’m indifferent or resistant, It’s Off. It’s in no way under my voluntary control.

So I could force myself to go to the thing. And I’d have a terrible time. And if I met anybody, I’d probably make an awful impression on them. And I’d be pissed anyway since I wouldn’t be learning anything, because Top Quality Brain Energy wouldn’t be there with me.

There’s not much at stake with that one.

The second and third things are trickier. Reviews of things.

I could lament getting myself into this situation, but the truth is . . . I need to learn how to successfully withdraw from things. It’s an essential Life Skill that I have so far botched learning. By the time I realize just how much my body doesn’t want to do whatever the thing is, I’m so desperate to get away, I’ll say anything. That circumstance inevitably haunts me later.

I think I’ve learned from reading Captain Awkward how to gracefully withdraw without giving reasons, and I would happily do that, just sending the book back. Except that I need a large mailing envelope, and all of our stuff is still packed. And I definitely do not want to have to go to the supermarket or post office to obtain a large mailing envelope, then write some kind of note, then mail it . . . today. All that stress would destroy my entire day. So I have to punt until at least Monday.

The third one is harder still. Someone whose work I generally love, whom I greatly respect, asked me to comment on their story. I’ve read it several times. It . . . doesn’t work for me. I don’t even know how to critique it.

And the last time I had a mismatch to this extent, I lost a friend over it. I don’t want that to happen again.

The fourth thing is the hardest of all. I have a poem under consideration! I should be over the moon. I’m not. It’s a cento, so . . . only the title is my own words. These people are the 3rd set of people to like it, but feel it’s not quite right. They asked me to add more to it. I worked on a revision, adding 2 stanzas, that I sent off a week ago. I’ve not heard back.

I think the revised version comes closer to something that really works, but… it’s not there yet. And I don’t want that feeling to taint the excitement of “my first published poem”.

Also, I really want “my first published poem” to be my own words. It’s really hurt my heart that (so far) no one likes my own words.

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