…Lie in the mud and howl…

“Poorly writers with time on their hands are, I suspect, rather a bore…they plead their case; they become their own subject” (Sarah Perry, in the Guardian Review, 29th September, 2018)
(“Writer”, here, meaning somebody who writes, not someone who’s published)

My pre-dawn moods have settled down to a sense of morose fretfulness. I suppose it’s an improvement, although they still occur every damn morning. Sometimes I fret about overshooting my target weight; not deserving to be here; splitting up with Jo; having no structure or aims to my life; fitting back into my family and home. Most of the time, though, I’m just mardy. Something in my subconscious, released by sleep, spends the night fermenting frustration and gloom. I suppose it could be caffeine withdrawal. The moods evaporate suspiciously quickly when I get up and have coffee.

More evidence for the stimulant theory can be found in my general agitation. It often occurs sometime after the caffeine hit. On the other hand, maybe I’m just more aware of a natural, underlying nervousness. We are prone to navel-gazing over-sensitivity, in here. It’s a side-effect of the therapeutic process. We are taught to be aware of, and to analyse, our own internal states, which are no longer drowned out by the concerns of work and day-to-day life. My diary is full of entries that read, “It’s 6pm. I’ve been strangely agitated today. More so than usual, I think. I’m not sure why.” It can be a persistent and intense feeling, but I’m unable to make explicit links between my mood and my circumstances. I’m emotionally inarticulate, which makes it difficult to implement one of the mindful, CBT strategies we learn in our workshops. I try to stand back and identify my feelings, values and habits of thought, but I can’t establish an internal dialogue. Anything I say to myself seems like a bald statement of fact, a dull thud resounding in my head, its muzzy echoes unanswered, unanswerable. Do other people find this?

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