Meal Plan and Creativity

Okay. So, I am following a new meal plan. Loosely following it. I am supposed to eat three meals and two to three snacks. The idea is that I will get my nutrition in and I will be more effective in my creative life. It hasn’t quite worked out that way yet, but still, I persist.

My biggest problem is snacks. I cannot explain why it is, but snacks are the most difficult thing for me to talk myself into eating.

fullsizeoutput_1bcI imagine that snacks are kind of this unnecessary evil and my anorexia brain tells me they will just put on the pounds. My dog, as you can see, feels the same way about snacks. We hit dinner time and we both think, “Eek! I never had snack. What can I do to fix it now?” I can’t fix it, but I can eat an evening snack and try again the next day.

Following this meal plan is difficult, especially when I am struggling with body image and the fact that my body is totally different from what it was when I hit recovery point two years ago. I have a myriad of health problems and medications that affect my weight and adding snacks… Well, it’s difficult.

So, in regards to the creativity: I am trying. I am also failing. I spent this week creating a fresh space in my bedroom and really like the new look, but ultimately, I have to get started on my creative life. I cannot write a book merely by thinking about writing a book. I have to DO IT. JUST DO IT!! I have every intention of writing a book and doing something with my life beyond fighting my illnesses. I just can’t get started.

I am reading a book about jump starting one’s creativity (The Artist’s Way) and trying to follow the plan. If it all works out, I should be on my way to full development in 12 weeks or so. I am not saying that all will be great in 12 weeks, but that I will have started the process. For now, I am just starting the process and trying to eat right.

As I wrap up this week, my mind and body wiped from so much effort into getting my room just the way I want it, I am hoping that I can move forward creatively and that my spirit will get all that it needs this weekend to start the next week with my creative juices flowing. I imagine the next week will be easier physically, but I plan on attacking my writing and really pushing myself to get some work done. That story, poem, essay, book, or article (or blog post) won’t write itself.

Thanks for reading.

Future

Just when you think you found your calling, the world drags you away on a merry chase elsewhere.

I am sure that I am meant to be a writer. I’ve been pondering doing this very thing since I was eleven years old and threw a book across the room, declaring that I could do a better job. (Even back then, I suffered from a lack of humility and the grammar nazi syndrome.) I am sure that I am supposed to be writing though. I only ever feel truly alive when I am putting words together in sentences to share with others.

However, for right now, since the writing is not coming quite so easily as I should like, I am planning to redecorate my room. New paint, curtains, arrangement (probably not), whatever way to get my mind off the fact that I am not putting pen to paper, or fingers to keys, will suffice to keep me from falling into despair.

As a result of this motion, I am re-evaluating my books and personal items. What do I really need with books that are not my favorite and that are not serving any real purpose? So, I am selling them. I aim to take them to a local bookstore and exchange them for used book credit.

You may be asking: What proper bibliophile would just exchange books?

The kind who has limited space and is depressed by not being totally into all of the books she has in her room. The kind who collected all of these books for a writing project that she has since abandoned completely and their presence just reminds her of that project and the frustrations it wrought.

Anyway, I am taking another path (the road less taken) and trying to find purpose in the newer reaches of my creativity. I am plotting new worlds and perhaps, my life goal of taking over the world will be realized in my writing.

I imagine that my life will take some interesting turns over the course of this new path, but it will take some time to make it my own and to feel right about it. I keep imagining that something magical will happen and the path will be made comfortable to me within moments, but that is not how life works. Each new undertaking we approach requires hard work and generous time. One cannot be proficient immediately, it takes time.

So, here is to time passing and a future of hope.

Old Behaviors

Hello and sorry for the delay.

I have been a bit out of sorts, trying to arrange a new schedule–any schedule–and have been trying to figure out goals. Nothing has been easy these past few weeks.

I think my biggest frustration is this in-between space that I am in. I am still struggling with maladaptive behaviors and part of me thinks they work, while a more rational part of me argues that they have not helped me achieve any goals thus far. So, why do I continue to bother with them?

The one goal they helped me achieve was getting thinner and I am stuck still wanting that. I put myself down for my body on a regular basis. I am frequently disgusted by how I look and the lack of control that I have over my body.

In 2016, as I was finishing up recovery, my body started its own counterattack to my feelings of control. My reproductive system went into overdrive and I had surgery and gained and kept gaining and no matter what I did, my body was no longer something that I was proud of.

After years of seeing myself as looking in control and the constant barrage of compliments that I looked good and so well put together, I was no longer in that category. Now, I take the time to look nice and look put together, but my body is outside of my control and the compliments have stopped. I feel as though I no longer have any self-control and it hurts.

So, my new goals include doing things that make me feel as though I have some semblance of control over my life. One thing is writing. Another thing is getting engaged with the world again via structure.

So, I am trying to figure out structure. I know I told you all this last week, but it really is a struggle for me to figure out during what parts of the day I work and think best. Since I am struggling, I find myself wishing I could go back to old behaviors because there is no gray area and there seems to have been a push to do things and (in some small ways) some modicum of progress.

It is a lie.

Yes, I managed to make it through college and grad school on those behaviors, but I also ended up in the hospital a lot and nearly killed myself. Also, let it be known that my best writing was not my best and was formulaic and was structured during periods of mania.

I am unsure as to when I am my best and what I need physically and structurally to get there, but I know that old behaviors and what those in the business call “stinking thinking” will not get me there.

As a result, I am still figuring things out.

 

Be Strong and Courageous

I feel suffocated by all of the heartache in the world. I watch women, broken by a broken system, struggle to put their lives right, only to have them ripped apart again. I watch children broken by a system that was supposed to protect them. I watch the media cover what it considers newsworthy as it ignores other items of a more pressing nature.

As a society, we fall prey to the lies of people more powerful than we are. We are stuck, trying to catch up to what the world denies us. We are encouraged to look out for ourselves, while being suckled by the powers that want to keep us imprisoned to their limited ways of thinking.

How do we fight this? How do we overcome the limitations placed upon us by forces greater than ourselves? How do we begin to identify resources and reasons to keep us going in these dark times?

My first instinct is to say, “We don’t.” I am ready to give up most days. I feel overwhelmed by my ignorance and my inability to fight against the world that says I am less. However, giving up is not an honest option. Deep down, I know I have to keep going. I know that giving up only allows more people to live in ignorance and suppresses the idea that there is value in each of us.

So, I encourage you to seek out information and strive to be more than what the world says you are. There is value in the least of us and it is the least of us that have a stake in what the world is doing. Be strong and courageous, for that is how God made you.

 

The Plan (part 2)

Okay. Sticking to the plan. The plan. The plan. Have I mentioned that I usually live by pantsing? I live by the seat of my pants. I love the idea of a plan, but it seems so esoteric, so unavailable to the masses. Yet, here I am, trying to live according to a plan.

Yesterday, the plan went splendidly. Today, I took a nap when writing failed me this morning. I don’t handle failure well. It’s like telling me that I won’t pass ever and I just want to give up. So, I take a nap (preferably for eternity) and wake up in a somewhat better mood, but still upset that my brain failed me during a critical point of the plan.

Ye Gads!!! What is wrong with my brain?

Ultimately, it is probably my motivation. See, I don’t really want to follow a plan. I want to live all wild and unkempt and just pants things, but life doesn’t work like that. Not many people get their starts by just happening to one day write an entire book in one sitting. For some reason, I think that is unlikely. Violinists do not became virtuoso performers when they’re four. Although, that could happen. Prodigies still need some practice time and effort and a plan to do those things.

My plan is simple right now: develop a regular sleep/wake cycle, limit naps, write, and do other normal human things like eat and clean up around the house. I would say that all of this is simple, except for the writing part. I want to write books and stories and poetry… Except, my brain is not wanting to follow through on that part of the plan. My muse escapes me as I sit to write in the mornings. (Yes, I know today was just the second day, but…)

I agreed to follow the plan for a month. What was I thinking? A month? Of failing at this plan? (Yes, I know today was just the second day, but…)

So, tomorrow is day 3 and I am unsure what measure of success I will have. Writing this has been helpful. I apologize for my rambling and hope you stayed with me, despite the madness.

Plans are a good thing and really help one to accomplish things and ordinarily, I love plans, but right now, I feel overwhelmed by this plan, because I fear that every morning the keyboard will sit untouched whilst I stare at a blank Word document, as I did this morning. I can only hope that the days will get easier and my energy levels will improve and I will feel less like a failure for not achieving the simplest of things.

The Plan

I know I have been MIA for a while. I have been trying to sort things out and be more productive and be more of who I want to be. I have not succeeded. I have barely been holding on. I have slept a lot and wondered if there was any end to this suffocating feeling that I will never be doing what I want to do.

Even now, writing this, has me feeling that I will fail at achieving making a point, or even being interesting.

Let’s start with some positives: I have started doing yoga. Last week, I met with the dietitian and agreed to try a new meal plan. I have started focusing on life goals, instead of on what is missing from my life. Also, I went on a date (it went nowhere, but I went).

I have spent so long focusing on the disorders that it has seemed impossible to separate myself from them and realize that they are not the be-all of my existence. So, now, I am starting to focus on my life goals: writing books and feeling strong in my own body and mind.

Starting today, I am trying to get up early, eat breakfast, follow the plan, and write in the mornings. I agreed to try it for a month. To be honest, I am not so hopeful. I have made plans to do this in the past and have failed miserably, but I had no accountability, other than my own sense of shame and guilt at not following the simplest of plans.

So, here begins the week in which I make a point to follow the plan. Wish me luck!

Get It Together

I have been bumbling along in my life. I’m floating. I feel that I am without purpose.

On Monday, I recommitted to treatment. This may seem silly, but I have been struggling with eating and restricting. I go in these cycles of binge, restrict, binge… I know I need to stop, but I don’t view myself as sick; my vitals say that I am overweight.

I am depressed and hormonal and making decisions based on how I feel. The truth is that I don’t want to feel anything anymore. I’m tired of fighting mental illness. I’m tired of fighting against years of my brain telling me one thing and my body telling me another, while other people try to guide me to the right choice. It’s exhausting.

I look at people who are capable of doing things that I struggle to do and I loathe myself even more. The cycle continues. What do I do?

I want more to my life. I hear people tell me that they also want more for me. The problem is that I am in charge and my methods aren’t working. So, I recommitted to allowing my team to help me come up with a plan.

However, I want to start working on my own plan and start planning out my days. I want to have goals that I actually fulfill. I want to put forth effort in my life, instead of just floating.

Believe it or not, I was highly motivated for most of my life. Career, personal goals, education, daily goals that I met, personal expectations… I was performance driven and I did a lot in my life.

Now, my main goals include survival and eating regularly. I want more. I want to walk my dog every day. I want to be physically active. I want to be mentally acute again.

I was asked to join a writing group and my fear is that I will join, but ultimately be unable to fulfill the expectations of bringing work to be critiqued because I don’t have the concentration to write regularly.

I keep saying that I want more, but I’ve taken no action. It’s time to get it together. It’s time to pursue my yearnings for more than survival.