H.A.L.T.


This post was written on the eighth and I’ve been holding on to it since then. I’ve been scared to put it out, mainly because it was written in anger. A positive, transformative anger, but it didn’t start that way. This was one of those posts where I found myself writing to the beginning; I started in a place, specific and angry—if I would have posted what was on the page then, I would have faced a blow back. But there’s some good in here, something that I needed to remind myself of.

The Fat Dog blog allows me to take thoughts from my head and put them into the world. Recording the podcast puts it into my mouth for the first time and editing cycles it back into my head. It’s like the filter that I wish I had in my real life. Posting it all is just the cathartic release of those thoughts and emotions, I can barley remember what I write in my blogs, or what I say in the beginning of the episodes. It’s become like a TV show I’ve seen a million times. The titles may not stir a memory, but as soon as I’m a few seconds in, it all comes flooding back.

This post was written all stressed out in middle of the night. I’ve taken out the mania of it all and left just the truthful bits, and the things that I needed to say. There’s a lot that I’ve been scared of saying, for various reasons, but it’s easiest to just read it and extrapolate from there.


I haven’t been myself. I keep having conversations with people who aren’t there—I’ve spent the last ten minutes just staring into space, whisper-ranting to the figments in my head. This isn’t me—these are shades of the worst of me, and I’m trying to figure out how to avoid falling back in. I cried last night for no reason, something I haven’t done in months; the intrusive thoughts are back. These are the ups and downs that can be expected, but I didn’t think the floor would just drop out from under me. Why is everything so heavy for me?

I took a class once that taught people to H.A.L.T. In those moments that you feeling like you’re sinking, or you’re about to tear someone’s head off, you have to stop and think to yourself, am I Hungry? Am I Angry? Am I Lonely? Am I Tired?

Lately, I’ve been all of these things. I’ve been in denial about the pair in the middle, but I seem to always be hungry and tired. I’ve made a point of eating protein in the mornings to give myself strength for the day. I’ve been more aware of how I fuel myself through a day—but when I come home at night, it seems like most days I’ll skip dinner. It’s easy not to eat when you’re addicted to coffee and cigarettes, and when I backslide like this, I become my father, sustaining only on the two C’s—and very little sleep.

It’s only been a few days with the anger. Any time I’ve gotten angry lately, I’ve been able to source it to a small problem and handle it, resolving the issue until the next came around. This feeling is different though, it’s like it changed from a light switch to a dimmer that doesn’t quite work. No matter how dim, it’s still there, glowing in the background until you turn it up. In that class, we were taught to stay self-aware by asking ourselves why we feel these things, and for the life of me, I can put the anger on anything but stress.

Loneliness what I’ve been in denial about. Though I’m constantly with another human in the house, I feel adrift. It’s like my body has a quota for physical contact that hasn’t been met in months. Sometimes I wake up at night, still expecting a sleeping body beside me, or breathing coming from a hound on the floor, but there’s nothing. I wake up to the street lights floating through my window and fall back to sleep on the sound of my own breathing, waking up alone to a dim sunrise a few hours later.

This drives me to think about dating, and it’s both exciting and terrifying. I don’t want to date for the shallow reasons of needing a body to cling to, because I have friends that satisfy my need for socialization and commonality, but I feel a drive for something else. I don’t know if it’s sex or curiosity, but there’s a fountain of knowledge contained in the bodies of other humans, and I’m drawn to it stronger than ever right now. I just don’t know how to get there again, it’s almost been a decade since I’d had to even think about this.

When I step back and realize that I’m living all the things that make for a dangerous headspace, I can acknowledge that this exacerbation isn’t entirely without input from myself. I most certainly have magnified the source problem in my current headspace, but the thing about these headspaces is that I get a lot of work done—both personally and professionally. I go into attack mode, and I’ve turned that inward to that source problem. Now I just worry that I’m letting the rest of the problem influence the solutions for me.

I have enough good in my life that it’s still possible for me to find reprieve, but the walk to the oasis is getting longer and longer. It’s National Novel Writing Month and I’m thousands of words behind where I should be, I can’t seem to lock into anything. I get lucky every few days and get a few thousand out, but for the most part, I end up staring into space more than writing.

I feel like this has been a missing piece too. It’s been a while since I’ve felt able to be this frank with my feelings. There was a moment where this blog came back at me through what I call “real life,” and it’s subconsciously held me back from talking about things as I feel them. That’s over, I know what not to do, and what I can do, so I’m not worried. I’ve been putting a lot into my fiction lately, but it doesn’t give me the space and honesty that this blog does. I’ve got to take it back.

See you tomorrow.

I wore a fantastic navy sweater yesterday and came out a winner—the sweat subsided within 20 minutes. I am a god.

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