Routines Are Just More Things You Have To Do

I do my best to get into routines. Meditation, exercise, waking at 6, drinking tea, stretching before bed, and making sure to always cross everything off my to-do list. This usually lasts about 5-8 days before the routine itself starts to feel like more things I have to do. At which time I lose motivation to perform any of the tasks, even if they are the ones that I rely on for my well-being.

Of all the years I’ve been writing I continue to come back to central themes. One of them being that I am a lazy, depressed kid trapped inside an over-achiever’s body. That on my best day I am still questioning every decision and feeling the pressure of a 1000 pound self-judgment hammer.

Alexis left this afternoon for Buffalo. A flutter of excitement. Something new. A sense of freedom. Maybe I’ll watch porn. Stay up late. Eat at Whole Foods. Or maybe the flutter will slowly leave my body and I’ll be left with the realization that I am still the same person, with the echo of loneliness kicking back a little louder.

I get little knocks up and down. Happiness and sorrow. Moving back and forth trying with aggressive precision to find that line where I can hover. A bit of peace. A moment where all is well. But that line isn’t straight either. It’s jagged, composed of sharp edges breathing drops of anxiety into my blood. A coffee elixir into my jugular. But like Leo in The Departed, my hands never shake. The outside cage never rattles.

I texted Alexis today that I was stressed. Something that is becoming more frequent. I don’t know why. Money and work seem to trigger it. But it doesn’t make sense because work is great and I have more money than I ever have. When anxiety mixes with stress it’s like a gas bomb with the lid loose enough to leak into your body until you are taken over and left in a ball rocking just hoping it will pass or you will die or anything other than this.

When I think about anxiety my old friend punches me in the heart. A zing. And a blow. Both dense enough to shake me and sharp enough to cut me. And the more I think of ways to beat it the deeper it roots itself into my existence. At this point I can’t remember what life is like without it. Maybe for moments during sex or after a good laugh, but otherwise it presses constantly. What does normal feel like?  A massage won’t do. Meditation isn’t working. The entire world I’m standing on is unstable.

So I routine. To build bridges and places of salvation. To escape what it feels like to feel like me. So many routines that I could write 100 years of courses on motivation and discipline. But what I can’t write about is the softness. The sweetness that comes from being in the place you know you belong. From not doing anything. Looking around and seeing the loving eyes that are going to be there no matter what. Hands held out ready to take mine. To be together. To be safe. At the moment I’m working too hard to see those eyes even if they are there already.

Certain things can’t be beat. There’s comfort in that too.

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    2 Comments

    1. Hillary
      August 8, 2018

      “You stir man to take pleasure in praising You, because You have made us for Yourself, and our heart is restless until it rests in You.” – Saint Augustine

      Reply
    2. Christine
      August 15, 2018

      God, you echo my thoughts. I’ve been extremely anxious lately and it’s nothing I can really pinpoint.

      Reply