It’s been months since I’ve written a blog post, which is somewhat surprising given that I published a post daily for the first eight months or so of 2018. When I stopped updating my blog, I was diverting that energy and effort into other projects, desperately feeling like I needed a change. Although it baffles me that I didn’t realize with the obviousness that I should have that stopping or changing my “routine” or habit of blogging daily was fully in my control and under my volition as an unassigned, unpaid hobby, it did seem like I felt a duty to continue it when my interests and needs were shifted elsewhere. In hindsight, I imagine my regimented, programmed nature to stick to my routines and stay the course I’ve charted (a daily writing piece), is to blame for dragging my own self my the collar to continue the practice beyond the expiration of my interest level and feel flooded with guilt when I finally let myself off the hook.
I’ve engaged in a myriad of alternative projects since ceasing posting daily blog entries, some of which still have included writing something every day. However, the nature and form of what I write is looser, more varied, and often more private or what I consider less applicable to others (and thus, would offer little benefit to readers beyond a clearer window into the intimate details of my own life, heart, and mind should it be available online). For this reason, among my desire to branch out in how I spend my “leisure” time, I’ve allowed myself to value the benefits of stopping and honor my desires and go other things. That said, I’ve long touted the personal benefits of introspective writing in helping me quell my alixthymia (such that when it’s effective, I can actually identify my emotions), understand my anxieties and try to diffuse them, make and set goals for mental health and daily executive functioning, identify fixable problems, etc. Therefore, continuing to cultivate a daily (or nearly daily) practice of writing is sort of a chore I expect of myself; fortunately, I enjoy it in some ways and palpably or practically reap the benefits most times, so holding myself accountable to maintaining the “work” is not horribly taskmastery.
Other than writing, I’ve found alternative activities and ways to fill that part of my day and mind space. It’s been several months of hopping from this “interest” (sometimes true special interest/obsession and sometimes reluctant engagement (re: uninterest), hence the quotes). As should be standard knowledge but still seems to surprise me, my interest level or ability to feel passionately drawn to something (or honestly even enjoy it for what it is!) depends heavily on my mood and where I am sitting on the depression continuum. I try to increase the “appeal” of the activity (more play, less work) the more depressed I am or the more I’m struggling with pain in some form. For example, while it’s true that I enjoy writing most of the time, fun crafts or getting wrapped up in a great, breezy book can be a better choice to keep me engaged and distracted from my troubles than something requiring more mental effort.
I’m really looking forward to getting through winter and on to spring. For a multitude of reasons, this winter has been much tougher for me than last in terms of keeping my Seasonal Affective Disorder and depression at bay. Many seem too personal to explicitly enumerate here, but the implication is important in my life and bears meaning in the context of the vulnerability and openness with which I share challenges of life as an autistic adult with a plethora of other mental and physical health comorbidities. I’m not sure of the future direction or continuation of my blog; I’m thinking I’ll start updating it more with actual anecdotes and musings from my life and mind again, but I’m also nearly equally interested in extending this hiatus. My goal is to let whatever happens occur organically and not feel like I “can’t” write or “have to” write either way.