Learning to Breathe

"Snapped" is finished.
I made a movie.
My first film, my first tangible outpour of creativity is d o n e.
Something that started as an formless idea in my head is now a real thing. It can be burned onto a DVD and shown to an audience. I put it all out there. We put it all out there.

It seems a little insane at times that now that I have created something tangible I'm turning my attention to something wispy and unreal again. Something that's just in my head. It's not just something formless though but also something that I get to form. It's something that wants to be molded and pushed and pounded on like a piece of dough while it slowly, slowly turns into something real as well.
It's a process the prospect of which exhilarates and scares me at the same time. And it's also something that'll have to wait. Because I have to take a deep breath. Because I need to learn to enjoy the lull.

I don't know if that's the ADHD but slowing down always meant stopping to me. Once I got off the carousel there was no chance in hell I was going to get on it again while it spun. And it always kept spinning. So I simply never stopped spinning with it.
I'm a master at procrastination because it means slowing down without stopping but it's not actually the same thing. It doesn't have the same benefits because there's always something looming. The carousel keeps turning. And to keep with the imagery: I need to get off the carousel or I'm going to hurl. (Sorry.)

Lesson 1: What does (or doesn't) relaxing mean
After last weeks therapy session I think I now know where I went wrong. I kept equating "relaxing" with "doing nothing" and that is something I am completely incapable of doing. How odd that I never noticed that it's an oxymoron but figured it was some higher form of common man's meditation I simply had not mastered yet. So I came to the conclusion that I can't actually  do  nothing  and I don't have to.

Relaxing ≠ doing nothing

Lesson 2: Eat your damn cake
I understood something important last week (again, therapy FTW!): I made something. I baked a gods-damned frakkin' cake and it's a fantastic, lovely, yummy cake and maybe there's even a cup of coffee standing next to it.
And what was I going to do? I was going to start baking some damn donuts next and not even try the cake! Who knows what I was keeping it for because we all know it's going to spoil at some point. And the coffee's going to get cold. No use letting it stand there. So I better enjoy it while it lasts.

Relaxing = enjoying

Enjoying the fact that I made a movie. Resting on those fucking laurels for at least a couple of moments. Doing other things in the amusement park. The carousel is not going away.

Lesson 3: Ignore the people on the carousel
It seems minor but this is actually vital because it's the one I struggle with most. It's the thing that keeps yanking me out of the happy place. When I see what other people are doing, creating, achieving - thank you very much, interwebs - I immediately run to the carousel and try to clamber on so I don't get left behind.
"I have stuff to say too," I yell at the people currently on the carousel, "I have things to create! I can be amazing!" There's no way I can catch up again, I think frantically as I hang on to the carousel with tired arms.
I need to finally understand that the carousel will eventually stop and there will be an opportune moment for getting on again instead of falling on my face while I try to grasp the spinning platform. It's funny because I know this in my head but not in my heart. I know that the carousel will let me get on again and that getting off does not mean getting off it forever but the thing is I don't believe it. I need to trust because having one foot on and one foot off the carousel is not relaxing at all.

Relaxing ≠ stopping
Relaxing = taking a break

I'm looking to prove to myself that this is true. It's a simple empirical thing: I'm going to stay off the damn carousel and enjoy myself. And when the carousel stops I will get back on it, refreshed.
Not if, but when it stops.
And then I will have proven that it works exactly like this and need not worry anymore.

----- Do you have issues with relaxing as well? Weigh in in the comments while you listen to this:

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