Mental Blocks and Ticking Clocks

Is is time for my neuropsych eval yet? ‘Cause I’m kinda floundering here, and nothing much seems to be helping.

Yeah, I have a pending neuropsychology evaluation in a month and a half. A month and a half of wonder what, if anything, is truly wrong with me, or if I’m just a spacehead.

I’m not looking forward to the almost-inevitable change or increase in meds. I mean, if I’m having true “memory problems” and not just spacing from some benign, innocent reason, that’s disturbing. Don’t really want to find out I’ve got some serious neurological deficits going on here.

At the same time, I almost do want it to be something serious. A reason for why I can’t remember basic things, or why I can’t focus on tasks that I need to do. Slap a diagnosis on it, tell me what to do to treat it, and get on with life. Right? Or maybe it won’t be that simple. Maybe even with a codable ICD-10 diagnosis I’ll still be a flake.

One thing that won’t be “fixed” by the eval: my current writer’s block frustrations. I have deadlines, and a whole book due to upload February 5th. Seems like plenty of time, but that’s not taking into account time to finish, send off to the editor, receive the edits, and fix the problems the editor finds. That needs to be done before the upload, so my actual deadline is a few weeks prior to the upload deadline. Fun.

Then, of course, while the book’s at the editor, I’ve gotta get cracking on the sequel, which is due for upload March 12th. Yeah, I set myself up for this. I wanted to play around with Kindle Direct Publishing’s new series feature, so of course I set the release dates for my Hell on Earth trilogy back-to-back. I didn’t leave myself much wiggle room for getting stuck, so I’ve gotta break out of this funk fast, or I’ll be screwed. I’m 33% into what I’m planning on being a 70k word book, with two more to write right after. Yeah. Fuck.

Because of my troubles with memory and focus lately, I’ve backed out of several anthologies I had previously signed up for, which is a bummer. I wanted to get those stories written, but for now I’ll have to pick and choose which ones I sit down and write and which ones I shelve for possible later consideration. I just can’t churn out at the rate I’d been hoping for, and it would be career suicide to even try at this point.

That’s right, I said “career.” I don’t want to spend the rest of my life in the medical field. I don’t even necessarily want to spend the rest of my life in a “day job.” I want to write, to use an app on my phone to log my hours and set a writing schedule and be productive and successful. I’m a long, long, long, long way off from that, though, mental blocks or no, so I guess it’s a nonissue right now. I’m stuck where I’m at, and I can’t get out any time soon.

Not that I’m necessarily treated badly at the day job. For the most part, my coworkers are great, and I know I’m valued. Still, it’s not what I want to do for a living.

I have to quit sucking at marketing my books and bust past these blocks if I’m gonna achieve what I want before retirement, though. I might just have to end up writing in spurts, here and there, until I hit the golden 65 (or, more realistically, whatever age my body just fucking gives up) and can pull from my 401K while I dream up new worlds.

That reality there scares me. The inevitable slow decay of my sanity as I toil away in a dull, uncreative job that doesn’t allow me the time and dedication to give to my writing that I so desperately want to give it. I have to survive, I have a husband and a home and a car and bills that have to be paid, and none of that will be funded by my writing as it currently stands. I have to get better at it, or I have to leave it as a pipe dream, a bucket list item to pursue when a day job no longer is feasible.

The truly sad thing about all this? I’ve almost lost my ability to cry about it. I’ve just grown so numb to my situation that I just can’t even have a good cry, not even when I’m feeling my lowest. It almost seems like I can only cry when directly confronted with my failures as a human being by someone else. Me? I know myself. I know I’ve failed time and time again. Confronting myself doesn’t evoke anything other than disgust. No tears. Bone dry.

I’m trying to look up. To see hope in the future. I mean, I’ve got plans for creating my own swag/merchandise. I’ve got plans for this current trilogy, plus a few novellas in the same universe, plus another series down the line, plus the Abnormalverse is still very much a thing, even if it’s kind of set to the side while production on Book 2 is still halted. Lots of pluses, but my brain sees only negatives.

Time alone with my thoughts just makes it worse. When I can’t focus to write, I end up falling down a rabbit hole of introspection, which is a dangerous thing. Thinking can lead to feeling, which can lead to any number of tragedies. Depends on what the feels are, and sadly, I can’t predict what they will be.

It’s times like these–times when my mental health wavers–that I remember my great-grandfather. I’ve seen his death certificate. “Exhaustion in the progression of psychosis.” In that era, he could’ve had any of a number of mental illnesses, including the same bipolar disorder that plagues me. Is that all that’s wrong? Am I just bipolar, or is there something else lurking beneath? Will the bipolar disorder lead to an exhausting psychosis, or will it just swing back up to “semi-normal” for a while, teetering on the edge of insanity?

Maybe in a month and a half I’ll find out.


If I last that long.