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Posts tagged ‘anxiety’

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: Exit Strategy

Today’ Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt is ‘ex-‘. And we have internet this time! Woohoo! They actually sent someone out on Saturday to fix it last week. I was afraid we’d be internet-less until at least Monday. Which would have made me an antsy mess. But, it’s fixed. Something on the pole at the end of the driveway broke and had to be replaced. All better now, though. Not everything is better, though. One of the guys from the motorcycle club we ride with was involved in a hit and run accident Monday and passed away early Thursday morning. So, we have his funeral today, as well as a family reunion and my daughter’s birthday party tomorrow. Needless to say, my mind is kind of all over the place(which…isn’t all that different from any other time. Anxiety is *so* much fun).

Anyway, fiction helps me deal with all the craziness in my head. So, going back to visiting with Piers and Xavier from Defending the Heart. I’ve been working on Xavier’s back story this week and learning a lot more about him. And, damn, am I mean to my characters, especially during their back stories. Anyway…


“You always have an exit strategy, don’t you?”

Xavier glanced over at Piers, who was already setting up at his computer at the table they’d selected. “That’s what they taught us, isn’t it? Twelve years is hard to just shut away, now that we’re out.” He went back to cataloguing all the doors and the routes they could take to them. But, he kept Piers in sight from the corner of his eye. Part of him worried the man would disappear again if he lost sight of him.

His nickname of Ghost fit for more than oneĀ  reason.

“There’s more to it than that, isn’t there?” He was tapping away at the keyboard now. “I noticed it all those years ago, too. When we first met at Basic. That was before they taught us anything but getting up at the crack of dawn.”

Xavier let out a soft snort of laughter at that and turned fully to Piers, even though he was still aware of what was going on around him. “You didn’t grow up in a farming community. I was already used to waking up then.”

“You’re changing the subject. You’re good at that, too.”

Xavier knew Piers was shifting the subject as well. This wasn’t just about knowing where doors were if they needed to make an escape. It was about them. “I never had a plan for exit, Piers. Things just…they happen.”

“You made me a promise and didn’t keep it. You had to know what would happen, X. Was that just easier than telling me you didn’t want to be with me?”

“That’s not the way it was,” he said, dropping his voice before people started looking at them. A cup hit against a table not far from them, and his heart jumped. His shoulders hunched up until he got his breathing under control again.

Piers’ gaze shifted to the noise then back to him. “You okay, X?”

“Fine,” he bit out. But, he couldn’t filter out any of the input from the room. It all crammed into his head until there wasn’t any room for his own thoughts. Piers’ large, warm hand covered his, and he jumped even higher. “Don’t.”

Piers withdrew his hand, but he just sat quietly for a moment. Then, he asked, “What’s wrong? You usually aren’t so jumpy.”

Xavier almost laughed at that. If only he knew. If only any of them knew. he couldn’t believe how well he’d hid it from his friends for so many years, not that all five of them had been together all that time. They each got out of the Marines at different times, except him and Piers. And it had always been him and Piers. Until he’d screwed things up. But, Piers was the one person who tore away all his defenses.

“I’m not jumpy,” he said, taking a deep breath and trying to force his nerves to settle. It was nothing he couldn’t deal with. he was always better when he was on a job and had something to funnel this into. “Let’s just get to work.” And he didn’t want Piers to know what he’d been before he’d learned to fight back.

Piers studied him for a moment then nodded and turned back to his computer. Xavier hated that he’d put that shuttered look in the other man’s eyes…yet again. But, it was better this way. He’d trusted someone with everything he was once before, and they’d used it to hurt him. He couldn’t risk becoming that victim again.

JusJoJan: Day 14 – Motivation

Welcome back for day 14 of Just Jot It January. I kind of skipped yesterday. I still wrote a post. About snow dumping on us, a snippet from one of my work in progresses, and my RoW80 update. You can check it out if you want. Or not.

Today’s theme is motivation. This is something I was definitely struggling with yesterday morning. I could barely drag myself out of bed. When I did get up, my five-year-old son was already awake. I try to get up early so I can get some writing in before either kid is up. Did I mention it was only 5 a.m.?

I just couldn’t quite find the motivation to write. But, I sat down anyway after I got my coffee. Still I only managed a little over 100 words in almost half an hour. Usually I can get close to 500 words in that time, sometimes over that. I decided to go out and try to blow the snow out of the driveway and in front of the garage. After all, my husband said the snowblower should start right up. He was up in the city plowing snow, and I wanted to get it done before the kids left for school(which ended up being delayed 2 hours anyway).

Needless to say, I couldn’t get it started. Finally gave up, grabbed the shovel, and cleared out in front of the garage door and a path along the sidewalk up to our front door.

Came back inside, got the kids breakfast, and started to lose it a bit. Between being frustrated, the pup whining because I wasn’t holding him, and the sounds of the kids chewing/slurping milk(I can usually handle these things apart, but together it was too much), I could feel my anxiety levels ratcheting up. Definitely not a motivation-builder.

I tried again to go out and start the snowblower. Got it to barely start only for it to shut off again. And I lost it even more. I know it was a stupid thing, but my brain often turns those into major catastrophes. Quickly slipped from “I can’t start the snowblower” to “I can’t do anything. Why bother.” It’s been quite a while since those thoughts have gotten so bad. After about half an hour of crying/cuddling the pup(which did make me feel better…until he kept trying to gnaw on my thumb).

Finally went out to try again. Mostly because I was really going to feel like an idiot if my husband got home and started it right up. I always have trouble with pull-start motors because I don’t have a lot of upper body strength. For some reason, it did start right up that time. It took probably 45 minutes or so to clear out the driveway and area in front of the garage.

And it seemed to have loosen up the words. By the time the bus did come, I was almost to my goal for the day. Taking so long to get there, did put me a bit behind for the rest of the day, but eventually I made it there.

I have people ask me all the time how I can find the motivation to get up so early, but that’s why really. When I write first thing in the morning, I feel better. When I don’t, things seem to get to me a lot more. So, it’s a coping mechanism, really.

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