Tuesday, December 2, 2008

In limbo, with stats (Bonus feature: Conversation with a demon!)

I expected to be on a meditation retreat today. I'm not, and I'm sitting here in my bathrobe. I haven't done anything of any real use for days. My largest interest is "When will the phone ring?" I've left messages and spoken to receptionists at doctor's offices. Won't anyone call me back in a timely manner? I suspect that the answer is "no". After all, it took four months to find out that one doctor would not take me on as a new patient. More on suspicions about why that was so will be forthcoming.

Yeah, I feel guilty for doing practically nothing. I've watched a lot of excellent documentaries, but they all run together in my mind, for I've fallen asleep during every single one of them.

Feeling unwell seems to destroy most of my control over neuroses I've thought I had gotten rid of. Guilt, for one. I seem to feel guilty about nearly everything. Not working. Not being able to concentrate on schoolwork. "Is that really true or are you just lazy?" asks my inner critic. Not making the bed. Oh wait, I didn't sleep in my bed. I slept on the sofa. Never mind that one.

Other shades of something like guilt: feeling like an lazy idiot. Didn't I mention that already? Yes, I have, calling myself lazy. And I am, at the moment. Two weeks ago, a stranger asked me if I ever slept, for I was being so productive. The inner critic sneers at me and tries to scare me with lines like "You'll never feel decent again!" and "You've wasted your life!" The inner critic taunts me, "People with life threatening illnesses have more energy than you do. What's wrong with you?!" Yes, some people with life threatening illness do indeed have more energy than I do. What can I say? People are different. The inner demon (I mean critic) says, "So you say people are different, do you?" and I cower a little. I mean, I'm talking to myself, and should be able to hold a decent conversation, but I'm intimidated by my inner bully, who reminds me that, "Yes, people are different, but you, well, you're a loser. Always were and always will be."

I had thought I'd conquered this miserable demon, but whenever I'm sick, he (yes, he) shows up and throws a party.

Comparing myself to others is a futile way to fight these messages. Comparisons are hopeless. They're traps. We use them when we don't have a solid inner gauge of what's right. I thought "Well, that's what you think!" Of course it is! I wrote it, didn't I?

Take the simple scenario of feeling sick and wanting to stay in bed, nap and read. Some people would say that's a good idea, some people would say "get to work" and others would say it depends on too many factors to give an opinion or "what's the big deal?!" I feel guilty so I'm trying to figure out what others might do or think. That's quite unusual for me. I usually don't care what others think. I know how I feel and where I stand, and that's that. End of story.

But when I get sick (and as I write this, beads of sweat are dripping down my face, so I really am ill), I lose all my grounding. I am suddenly an insecure 10 year old kid (with a slightly bigger vocabulary). Why I can write halfway coherently is beyond me, but I can (albeit more verbosely and tangentially than usual). I'm doing it because. . .I might need to.

What is this post about? Oh, look above. What's the deal with the stats? I totally forgot! Here's the "win statistics" for National Novel Writing Month:
2001: 14%
2002: 15.6%
2003: 13.7%
2004: 14.3%
2005: 16.6%
2006: 16.2%
2007: 15.1%
2008: 18.2%
Yep, I'm one of the 18.2% I wonder how many of these "novels" will be edited. Will even one be published by a major publisher?

Okay, the ramble is over. Will I post it? Maybe I will, and take it down later. Ah, life. It's interesting.

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