Rain, Rain, Go Away

I’m stuck in a creative block. I haven’t drawn or painted anything since December. I have no motivation to play the piano. Writing has been particularly difficult. I have little to say, my thoughts a jumbled mess. The Critic steals my words. I’ve taken a few photos, but even photography isn’t bringing me the pleasure it once did. Creatively, I feel uninspired to create and disconnected from the parts of myself who express themselves in these ways. They’re distracted, with what? I don’t know.

Exhaustion is kicking my ass. I’m sleeping far more hours than I need to be, waking up much later in the afternoon than I mean to, often after sleeping 10 hours. I’m struggling to make myself get out of bed at a reasonable hour. Mentally, I feel blank. When I Googled “feeling blank,” it brought up “emptiness.” That’s not right. I don’t feel empty — except of energy.

I mean literally blank, like looking at a blank sheet of paper, nothing going on upstairs kind of blank. Maybe I’m dissociative. I’ve experienced this type of detachment plenty of times throughout my life, but I usually don’t recognize it while I’m in it. Usually, it’s afterward that I look back and think, “Oh, I spaced out for a while there, didn’t I?” These days, it’s measured more in moments or hours. Years ago, I could survive that way for weeks or months at a time, functioning at minimum capacity through a foggy, dreamlike state.

Why now, though?

There’s nothing particularly horrible going on. In fact, things between KR and me have been pretty good. He’s been in good spirits and much more relaxed lately. So have I. I’m still sober — on day 54 this time around. I can’t think of any trigger dates in the month of February that would warrant this level of detachment and emotional numbness. My son’s birthday is coming up. That’s not for another week or so, and I’ve been feeling this way off and on for more than a couple of months.

I keep wondering will these episodes of whatever this is never end? Maybe it’s just hormones. Maybe it’s just who I am. Maybe it’s the usual depression I fall into every winter. Maybe it’s this nasty weather — cold weather, grey skies, rain, snow, more rain, torrential rain, drizzly rain — when will this rain stop?! I anxiously await spring’s arrival. This really does feel like a never-ending cycle. Maybe that’s all the explanation for it I’ll ever get.

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2 thoughts on “Rain, Rain, Go Away

  1. I know we’re all different in how our bodies and minds respond to removing alcohol, but your day 54 sounds a lot like how my day 54 (and many days after that) felt. My out-of-body feelings and zoning out happened a little earlier for me, but i remember the blankness. As a fellow writer and musician, I kept forcing myself to show up and the page and at the keys. Not every day, mind you, but consistently. When you’re dry, the craft is still there, waiting for you. It’s practice. It’s churning out what Anne Lamott calls “shitty first drafts.”

    Like all things, my dry spell and the blankness past. If I feel that way, I remind myself of a Pema Chodron quote I love: “You are the sky. Everything else- it’s just the weather.”

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