Notwithstanding inasmuch as which my reputation as an editor at Your Favorite Weekly Professional Science Magazine Beginning With N, I’m just a girl who cain’t say ‘no’. I’m in a terrible fix. I always say ‘come on, let’s go,’ just when I oughtta say ‘nix’.
You’ll both recall that I’ve been waging pharmacological war against my demons for some time now. After a year or more in which I’ve been on a psychedelic odyssey, trying practically everything in the psychiatric gander bag, I’ve lately been on some bongo juice which in the lab is called (RS)-1-[2-ditheylamino-1-(4-methoxyphenyl)-ethyl]cyclohexanol, or, on the street, The Embalmer. A slug of 225 mgs of this a day usually does the job.
Except that, just lately, it hasn’t.
So it was that Mrs Crox sent me off to the psychiatrist yesterday with a long list of symptoms including sleep disturbance, going around in tears, irritability, paranoia and general feelings of guilt.
The shrink cut to the chase even before I’d sat down. I’ve been working too hard, he said. Doing too many things, he said. Being, as many of us are, an overachiever, I’ve been and gone and overachieved. Constitutionally unable to do anything other than fill each goddamn minute with sixty Kiplingesque seconds’ distance run, I find it almost impossible to relax. Relaxing is very hard.
I am, however, under medical orders to cut down my general activities by a third.
This will be bloody difficult.
It means that I’ll have to learn to say ‘no’. Well, saying ‘no’ while handling manuscripts is not hard. It’s what I do during
waking working hours anyway. It’s all the other stuff. What follows is therefore a generic apology, which you shouldn’t take personally.
I am very sorry, but apart from already existing commitments, I shall no longer be able to
* write or review a book;
* contribute an article, introduction, preface or story;
* give a lecture or seminar;
* chair a meeting.
I’ll probably not be disporting myself quite so frequently on this blog or on social media for a while, too, which I am sure some of you will regard as a relief. For the forseeable future, I’ll be restricting myself to my job; my regular column in BBC Focus magazine; and playing with my beat combo at weekends.
Please understand that I hate saying no. But at the moment it’s either that or my sanity.