My beard bears my bare bearings.

Now that I’ve discovered these extra 2 hours in my day during my commute, I feel like I’ve found one of life’s cheat codes. IDKFA straight up in this bitch. I now have something to do that doesn’t involve refusing to pick up a Metro paper, then craning my neck to read one over someone’s shoulder. Godawful paper, it’s like advertising and clickbait had an ugly baby who keeps eating all of your fancy soaps. Don’t ask me where that metaphor went, it’s the morning. I’m not used to having to be functional for another hour. If course I see the irony in giving Metro shit for lazy writing when I’m throwing out worthless wordplay myself. Then again, they’re a professional outlet and I’ve never professed to be anything of the sort.

Can we talk about something? How about the karmic justice of gloating about my conflict free existence, then having an intense stress attack brought on by a lack of sleep and deadlines. As it’d be easy to see, I’ve had a bit to do over the past few days. This week has a pretty heavy work load of gigs, having had We Were Promised Jetpacks on Sunday, some observational research at Oasis on Monday (observational research he says…) and Angus & Julia Stone on Tuesday. It doesn’t let up much, with Glitch Mob Friday, the Dream Serenade benefit (which hilariously finds me gaining free access to an expensive charity gig) in Saturday, then We Will Destroy You on Tuesday. Lots of stuff on and it’s great that I’m busy. I might have overloaded myself, but in the end they’re just reviews that I’m doing for experience, not pay. My editor’s pretty good about letting me push out deadlines if need be and it’s nice that he’s got my back. Still, making sure that I get everything done without having time to blow off steam really dug me into a hole. I started getting this weird muscle contraction in my arm, rapid heartbeat and got uncharacteristically emotional. Thoughts receded to dark places, negative outlook throwing a pall over everything. All because I had a few things to write?

Of course it was more than that. It always is. They say that when someone is drowning, it never looks like how we imagine drowning to be. We expect to see frantically waving arms, to hear them loudly yelling for help. In reality people just kind of quietly bob up and down while inside they’re screaming. Okay, that’s how you do a metaphor. When I get stressed, I pointedly act overly cheerful and falsely energetic to compensate. The last thing I want is someone catching on. The thought that I was trying to push my burden onto someone else would only send me into a deeper spiral of negativity and self-loathing.

So what brought it on? The usual suspects: self-defeating attitudes about irresponsible consumption habits, lack of physical activity, consistent failure to rein in fleeting desires in favour of being accountable to myself, a general lack of willpower and personal respect, relationship issues and not taking time to rest. I’ve been disappointed in myself, which has led to repeated bludgeoning of my self confidence, curbstomping my belief in my own abilities. If you stop believing in what you’re capable of, it’s rare that you’ll go on to achieve it.

So I guess the take away is that even when times seem to press down and crush your spirits, it’s pretty important to stop, take a breath and survey your surroundings. With perspective comes understanding and understanding allows you to take things apart, piece by piece and make them manageable. Sometimes managing is just enough to get you over that last big hill where things level out, where you can at least relax and find equilibrium. I can’t really do stress right now. I have facial hair, I’m not looking for that to go grey.

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