Welcome back to love yo self Saturdays where I’ll be rambling about some shame and weird restless feelings, and hopefully, offer some solace for those of you who can relate.
Lately I’ve been feeling real weird about…well, everything. I’ve been stuck in a loop of wanting to do things that make me happy, but not having the energy, then feeling grumpy, rinse and repeat. And I’ve noticed it making me grumpy and restless, constantly sighing and just thinking some angry thoughts at myself. And, as expected, I was also in a bit of a reading slump last year because of it! But seeing as my reading habits this month have been on the up and up, I’m hoping the self-talk has shifted direction a bit, so if you’re still here, bear with me as we talk it out together. And thank you ahead of time. And also I hope this helps.
Recognizing my “funk”
I say funk because it’s fun, but I don’t think it’s the good kind. I can usually recognize the beginnings of a funk when I no longer enjoy doing things I normally love, or when I find that I’m particularly antsy or restless even while doing them. Let’s call this the five stages of funk: restlessness, frustration, numbness, fear, realization. The frustration is usually at myself, followed quickly by numbness and fear; a loss of self if you will. I don’t know who I am if I don’t enjoy things, and that scares the
shit out of me. Then, day by day, I slowly come to realize that there’s a reason I feel this way. (And that folks, is because I’m not in therapy).
Keep in mind, these are all just my inner ramblings for you to read and relate to (or not). They have little to no merit in your own life. I support and see, and this is just my way of showing you you’re not alone, in however you may be feeling (or not feeling).
Now, these “stages” are in no way linear, nor do they exist anywhere other than my brain for all I know. However, I think it’s fair to say that the pandemic has been exhausting, and that doesn’t even cover any personal events. I think a lot of my funk comes from constantly being overstimulated, on edge, and prepared for chaos. And while I live for chaotic characters in books, they’re not so fun in the outside world. So when I get the time to sit and not deal with anyone else’s chaos, I don’t know what to do with myself, which leads me to wonder: does this mean I have no identity that exists outside of chaos? Does something bad always have to be happening for me to have a purpose?
Defeating the funk bubble…for now
If you watch Spongebob, I imagine my so-called funk bubble to look like the Dirty Bubble. It feels like I’m suspended in a bubble with every single trash thought in my brain floating around. Now I don’t know how effective trash is at transmitting sound, but in my bubble, everything sounds distorted. My thoughts are blurry and too loud, and they make it hard to focus on anything, much less reading. However, I find that almost forcing myself to read helps to kind of just…push me over the hump.
I read four books in January, which I mean is saying something for me. Part of it may have to do with being around so many books at work, and other readers. It might also be due to the amount of books I have on my tbr shelf, most of which were sequels. As cliche as it sounds, I also started journaling recently, which I think has helped slow the thoughts down and quiet them a bit for sleep. Anything I could do that helped me be excited to read something. Now when it comes to my unhealthy habit of thinking I need chaos to have purpose, that’s where reading comes in.
Reading literally forces my brain to slow down. Especially in fantasy, I have to conceptualize where characters are, what obstacles they’re facing in magic or in life, or what the heck happened in the last book. Recognizing that is one of my main motivations for reading when I’m in the bubble. For just a moment, their chaos replaces mine and sometimes it gets mixed in, but it also provides a sense of solace and comfort. Someone, somewhere, knows what this feels like.
tldr: brain funks suck, and sometimes distractions help, and there are people who want to hear you
If you’re still here, thank you for listening to my nonsense. At this point it’s just me rambling, but I appreciate you nonetheless. This very well could’ve been a journal entry for myself, but I think there’s always something about other people being vulnerable that resonates with me. And I hope my vulnerability offers you the permission or inspiration you may need.
Sending love to all my bubble buddies out there. We’re ready. (For what idk but we’ll figure it out.)