The Memoir Process – Exhausting Emotional Archeology

The difficulty with writing a memoir about recovering from a mental illness that causes your crazy intense emotions is that you have to revisit all of the maddening experiences and emotions that brought you to the wisdom of this moment, while simultaneously facing the current experiences and emotions you’re processing, which stem from your old patterns that you see more acutely as you learn more about yourself through revisiting your past. It’s as confusing as it sounds, f*cking heavy, and some days it feels like I’m trying to move through sludge to find inspiration and motivation.

This process isn’t just about sitting down to turn words into sentences into paragraphs into a coherent story. I am literally piecing myself together brick by brick, analyzing my identity and how I came to be this April today. I am trying to understand who I am now by telling the story of who I was and how I built the bridges that connect the old me to the now me. Sometimes it’s inspiring and sometimes it’s agonizing.

I am also trying to figure out how to move forward as successful professional, writer, and co-parent with a mind that works differently than “the norm.” I have three conditions that impact my mind – BPD, PCOS, and Fibromyalgia. They all create differences in my brain. BPD is the culprit behind my challenges with identity and emotional regulation. PCOS is the snake that bites my loved ones when hormones take control of my behavior. And Fibro causes continuous exhaustion and fogginess, so that I no longer work at the same brain capacity I did 5 or more years ago. All of these things are impacting my ability to function now as an engaged full-time worker, productive writer, and fully present family member. Our society doesn’t take kindly to the differently minded so my mission for belonging – for myself and others – is deepening as I recognize what sets me apart.

What inspired this note today is that I am struggling. Sundays are really the only day I have to myself to focus on this project. But I am tired because I woke up every two hours last night and don’t feel well rested in body or mind. The heat is oppressive, making me want to lay around and do nothing. And my heart is heavy with recent revelations about the impact of my behavior and choices on my self and loved ones.

I’m just not feeling up to deep diving today. As much as I desire to transition out of office jobbing and know that the book is the first big step that direction, this is simply not a process I can rush under the current circumstances. I wish this was just about making time to research and write, but it’s bigger than that. I have to respect and trust the timing of my own unfolding.

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