The Truth Is…

I’ve been going through a period of high stress and anxiety. This often leads to a sort of recurring loop of introspection, dissatisfaction and writing.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

Sometimes the pattern is cathartic and the cycle breaks about the same time as the stress eases. This makes it difficult to determine cause and effect, or if the two conditions are even related. But my analytical mind says that even if not causally linked, the correlation is strong enough to warrant special attention.

So, lately, I’ve been trying hard to keep a part of my mind open and detached as I view the various aspects of my life and immediate circumstances. I’ve tried to simply catalog the stress, the events, the anomalies and my reactions to them. Tried to be objective and non-judgmental as I view what’s happening.

But the truth is that I can’t be objective about myself. I think that’s the very definition of subjectivity. No matter how good I may be at compartmentalizing different parts of my day, my thoughts, my responses, I am still the ultimate insider to these events and fundamentally subject to the emotions and physical responses to the stresses and occurrences.

The frustrating thing about that is that I don’t have a solution. If I can’t objectively respond to the stress, examine my circumstances or design a plan to cope with it myself, then the obvious answer is to get outside help. Yet, that would require a whole lot of vulnerability and trust. And let’s face it, that’s just another load of stress.

Again, the truth is that I have no unique, Earth-shattering, monumental problems. I have mundane, run-of-the-mill, everyone-has-them type of stresses and anxieties. I’ve got a huge responsibility at work in a high-pressure environment. I have a loving family, who nevertheless have very high expectations of me and who rely heavily on me in many ways. The love of my life lives 9,000 miles and 17 hours (currently) away from me. I’m a non-binary, gender nonconforming person who is, apparently, an enigma to many of the people I work with, causing their confusion and fear to sometimes translate into pressure and strife on top of the already high demands of my job. And I constantly labor under people’s false assumptions about me, my personality, my attitude and potential for violence, due to the strange synergy of my ethnicity, gender presentation and size.

All these are problems that thousands of people deal with every day and none are insurmountable or irresolvable. They’re nothing in comparison to the tragedies and sorrows that queer people in other countries have to deal with. They’re nothing like as horrible as freedom fighters and activists are facing in Ferguson, in the Middle East, in Uganda, in Russia and other countries. I at least am free, reasonably safe in my home city, comfortable in my home, and blessed with home and family and plenty.

So what am I belly aching about? Why should my little troubles cause so much bother?

The truth? Because I can’t think my way out of them. That’s what’s really sticking in my throat.

These are ordinary situations that should be susceptible to logic and reason. Those are tools I’ve prided myself on developing and using well. Yet here I am, stymied.

So why am I even writing about it? Back to the cycle: I’ve looked into myself and am dissatisfied with the inability to be objective and fix it, so I write, chasing that elusive catharsis and, possibly, an epiphany. I’m hoping that the process of writing out the futility will unlock some line of thought or reasoning that will lead to a solution.

So far, I got nothing.

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