When Self-Care Gets in the Way of Duty

May 25th, 2018 | By | Category: Articles, Rev Kess

Image result for prescription bottlesHey, everyone! It has been WAY too long since I last checked in on this blog. For that I apologize. Life has taken some interesting twists and turns that have been in the way of getting things done. Most of it doing with mental health issues. As you may recall from an earlier posting of mine, I have been dealing with an unknown allergy. Between the medications and associated depression, I have not been near as productive as I would like.

I’m thrilled to not be covered in hives, but I would also like to have the energy and the where with all to be able to function on a creative level more often than I have been of late. I sit down at the computer with a cup of hot java and plans to write, write, write. It just doesn’t happen. At least not as quickly as I would like. I’m not just talking about my writing for this wonderful collective blog, either. I’ve got multiple projects that have taken a back burner over the last few months.

I’ve got a stack of music reviews over due to for the community radio I volunteer at; an over due division of responsibilities for an anthology; a short story due in less than a week; way behind on my chapter-a-month scifi novel; and so much more. I know that I need to pull myself up and get to work on these projects. But every time I attempt to prioritize and schedule time to work on them, the meds kick in and throw me down.

Finding that happy medium between the wonderful effects of the medication (no itchy hives!) and the lousy side effects (all I want to do is sleep), has not been an easy task. It is something that I am still struggling with, even after months on the current routine. I muddle through the start of my work day at the bills-paying-job and find the energy to get it done, but keeping that going at home has not been easy.Related image

You’ll find me writing often, either here or on other blog sites and social media, about my struggle with medication side effects and my fight with depression. I’m not seeking attention for what I am going through personally. Rather I am wanting to share with others that the struggle is real and that they are not the only ones going through it. Society has put this stigma on people with depression that is unwarranted. Those of us who fight it, either seasonally or our entire lives, are often relegated to the heap of “undesirables”.

As someone who practices a marginalized religion and spirituality, I am used to be relegated to that heap. Combine that with being a homosexual, and there is no doubt that many might consider me to be “undesirable”. I usually scoff at that and move on, but it does have an effect on how I see myself. No matter how strong I think I am and how much I say that others’ opinions of me do not matter, it still hurts. When I find myself alone and thinking about it, the hurt grows. It turns to anger and then to action. Not always the healthiest way to gain that action level, but it is there.

As you may recall, I am a huge proponent of self-care. It is possible to spend too much time on self-care. Sounds like an oxymoron? It isn’t.

When you escape into your self-care as a means to avoid what needs to be done, what should be done, what you want to do, then you are spending too much time on self-care. I’ve found myself at that point. I have been relying too much on the excuse of taking care of myself, of needing that extra sleep or to avoid being around people that I find draining. To be honest, I find being around people in general to be draining. I’m much more of an introvert than I ever thought I was. Going to work is draining. Being around friends and family is draining. Being around people in general is draining. Is it an aspect of the depression? It could be, but that is no excuse to avoid my responsibilities.

Yes, I am coming to a realization as I write this. The realization that I have been neglecting my duties to the Gods, to my friends, to my family, and to the seekers who come my way wanting to learn more about the religion, spirituality, and craft of the path they have found themselves on.

I feel called, compelled, to teach in one manner or another. Most of what I do is through podcasting. My podcast series has been going for nearly nine years. I’ve also be involved in radio broadcast for a little more than nine years. My teaching used to take the form of one on one with students. After a short period of burnout, due to many circumstances, I returned to teaching through the auspices of internet radio. I also write, but that is the avenue of teaching and creativity that has been lacking for the last several months.

Image result for imposter syndromeI have to pull myself out of the funk. Not something easy to do. The funk, the depression, is caused by a combination of things. Some of it caused by the meds – that is mostly the drowsy or lazy aspect. The rest of it is the sense of defeat that I have felt. My creativity is well received by those who take it in. The number who take it in has been disappointing. But when I seem to be on the way to success with the creativity, I shoot myself in the foot. I allow the impostor syndrome to get in the way of everything and down I go.

Many of the greatest minds in the world, from authors to actors, from politicians to spiritual leaders, suffer from impostor syndrome. Don’t get me wrong, I am not claiming that I am a great mind. I am just saying that I, and every other person with IS, are in good company. Should make me feel better, right? It doesn’t. Why? Those individuals have over come the IS. I’ve not.

Over coming the impostor syndrome is a goal I am setting for myself tonight as I write this. I am going to fight my way out of the doldrums and back into action. I am going to do what I am called to do, what I am compelled by the Gods to do. I will be the best me  I can be.

To the keyboard! To write! To dream! To Be Me!

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