TA Barnhart
a progressive voice from the Pacific Northwest

carpe bucko

disruptions & flexibility & gentleness

Last week, after a great visit with my mental health counselor, I came up with a new process for setting priorities and for moving forward towards my goals. That week went pretty well with me putting this process into practice and learning how promising it appeared to be.

This week, it all blew up.

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The good news is that the problem wasn’t me ditching the new process, something I’ve done too much in the past. Life happened, and it happened with a sledgehammer. Nothing I could do about events, and I had to respond in ways that meant my new process has been shelved for this entire week.

As I said, life happened. Life is always going to happen. The best laid plans, etc. In my head, I know the only healthy response to life throwing a spanner in the works is to go with the flow. And that’s what I’ve done, but, given that I’m also dealing with my depression and other mental health issues at the same time, just because “going with the flow” is the healthy response does not mean my mind is going to be happy with that or let me off the hook.

I did nothing wrong this week, but I cannot shut off the voice that says, “Man you are a world-class fuckup, dude.” Just because I know I have a process that will support and develop my mental health to better places does not mean the negative, unhealthy shit blows away on happy breezes.

Deep inside, I know that I’m a terminal failure. My brain has been hard-wired by years of experience to create this reality. Until I unravel that wiring and rewire my brain, everything I do and think and experience will be tainted with the darkness of my mental unhealthiness.

One great part of how my week has gone is that I’m housesitting for my friend at his place outside of Tualatin. Right now, I’m sitting on his deck, surrounded by high gorgeous trees, birds of all kinds coming to the feeders. The sky is blue, the air is still cool, and I do not have to go anywhere today. In a few minutes, I’m going to go lay down and rest, maybe nap. I am exhausted from the past few days. I need a nap, so dammit, I’m going to nap.

And I’m not going to beat myself up over it. I’m going to enjoy the hell out of it. Later, I’ll try to catch up my Japanese studies that have fallen aside this week. I’m going to invite a few more people to participate in my podcast. I’ll also start planning for next week; I should be free all week to get back to the new process and get shit done.

Of course, it could all blow up again. Or it could be a wonderfully productive week. Both would be disruptive. But I think by remaining flexible and reminding myself that I’m doing my best under the circumstances of the day, the rewiring towards better mental health will continue. It will take time. But I know what to do.

Blow up the past by flowing with the needs of today.

T.A. Barnhart