Wednesday, July 16, 2008

notes for my therapist, or a variation on a short story I once wrote, also known as the opposite of life-hacking

"See, here's how it works," I start.

"Here's how what works?" you ask.

"It. The whole kit and kaboodle. See, I'm really into compound descriptions right now—higgledy-piggledy and sixes and sevens. All of it," I say. "It's kind of a spiral that works like this: something dredges up a bunch of emotions or anxieties I thought I had put away—say, residual stuff from the shooting, feelings about divorce, you name it—and those feelings seed fears and anxieties and sometimes anger that I thought had gone away. My answer then is to distract myself in whatever way I can until all that's left for me to do is to pass out for a few fitful hours at night. Because I'm avoiding my own physical (and emotional) space, however, the random detritus of life piles up, and I'm left with a physical space that is as disorganized as my mental space. That, in turn, feeds my other anxieties and makes me angry with myself so that it's that much harder to pull things back into order."

"You're overwhelmed, in other words."

"Kind of. I do it to myself. It's what I've done for most of the past year or so, and I thought I was through with it."

"And you're not."

"Apparently not."