#WriteWithMe Reflection: Week 9

This week, writing was tough. Not because of the prompts, I weirdly appreciated the prompts. But, right now, this time of year, it is hard to stay in the rhythm and routine. There’s so much upheaval, preparation, and chaos, that it is hard to think. For me, this translates into ridiculous amounts of time staring at a page and hoping I can catch a thought or two to put down on paper before the time is up.

If you’ve followed me for long you already know that my ADHD and CPTSD make capturing and expressing thoughts quite interesting. The amount of energy I expend on preparing to speak in public or facilitate groups is kind of ridiculous. Because I can’t count on my brain to cooperate with my mouth on a regular basis I have to spend a lot of time telling my brain what to do before I present. Writing is a little different, most of the time, because there isn’t a pressure to pick the word right away and my brain can kind of wander a bit. But, or and, there are times when the environment around me impacts my ability to convey anything in writing to the point where I will stare at a blank page for what seems like hours before I even write one word.

I know, I know. How does this even make sense? I essentially speak and write for a living!! If you’ve heard me speak you know I have all the words. So many of them. I literally talk for hours at a time.

That’s actually why I am pointing this out right now. I see the words running around in my brain, they are there… I cant always grab onto the ones that I want, to make them come out. And when there’s pressure to speak within a timeframe, the energy I have to expend in order to do so is frustrating and exhausting. So exhausting. Sometimes the panic over searching for a specific word can impact my emotional state, and trigger system responses that I wasn’t expecting. This is especially difficult when I am trying to navigate through a situation with a small child who needs a response and I cant get the words to come out of my mouth…

Aaaaanyway, this week the prompts and reflection were about inner change, tuning into what that feels like for us, what is coming out of the inner change, and what makes the work worth it. This is something I have been digging around with for a bit. It is December and I spend most of the month reviewing the year and preparing for the next one, and I always take quite a bit of that time to make sure I’m still value-aligned with what I have been spending my billable time on. Which requires me to do a lot of inner reflecting and confronting where I stepped outside of alignment.

In my reflecting there has been a couple things that have stood out to me.

The first being my awareness of how much effort it takes me to actually get words on paper. Before I really started to work on this as a practice, it felt like I had no control over whether or not a musing would be capturable. It seemed like some mythical being would either grant me words, or snatch them from me. There were days when the words would just pour out and it felt like I could barely stop them, and others where no matter what I did I could hardly write “I can’t write today.” Once I began to write as a practice, it became more and more evident that it wasn’t just that sometimes words are difficult and other times they were easy, and that I could actually control it more readily. The only thing is, the energy expended. I had always been exhausted (why write then?? Another story for another day), but I had never taken the time to pinpoint where my exhaustion was coming from or what might be causing it. I honestly…didn’t even think about it. Noticing, they say, is the first step.

The other thing I want to share with you about the writing this week is that the process of inner change and growth is much more messy than we typically talk about. I don’t mean that it is all bad, the mess, just that what is often shared is… Clean. Packaged. As if it is ready to go on the display. But change isn’t crisp or pretty. The end result can be stunning, but the process itself? Honestly, I don’t even think that messy is the right word to use. There is beauty in the process, in marking progress and the things that were unnoticed. The deconstruction and rebuilding can be breathtaking. And yet, the process is hard, it is often really uncomfortable, and sometimes it breaks us down to dust and grime.

I can’t help but reflect a day years ago when someone looked at me and challenged me to think about my own experiences from a different lens. Labeled those experiences and asked me whether I had known my experiences in this way. I hadn’t, and I began a process of shifting and changing that I wasn’t sure I would make it out of. It set off a chain reaction that continues to this day. Sifting through and calling things what they really are, identifying the damage done, noticing how survival skills can be adjusted and rebirthed as growth skills… Examining my experiences and seeing them for what they really were, noticing the impact on myself and those around me, these things are ongoing. The transformation is continuing. And it has been the most difficult rewarding thing I have ever done. It has also been the grossest, most real, and most beautiful thing I have ever experienced.