Ugh, you guys, I am having the worst shame hangover after all that putting myself out there. Tuesday was awesome: I conquered my fear and asked an important person for an interview for my book, AND I set myself up as a product on Facebook to start really publicizing myself and regularly having more readers than I can count on my available digits. It was major progress, and I was so proud that I told everyone who would listen how great I was doing, which I should so know better than to do because…
…then I froze.
Fortunately I was scheduled to see my therapist that day (which I totally forgot about in the midst of my panic attack and wound up being fifteen minutes late for) and so I got to ask why I get all fuzzy-headed and spacey when it’s time to start getting into this business for realz. He made me do all that head-trippy stuff I always have to do with him: clear a space, see what comes up between me and feeling fine, blah, blah, blah, BORING. Why do I even pay this guy when he makes ME do all the work? He’s like a mechanic for crazy – isn’t HE supposed to fix me?
But I was there & the session was paid for, so I figured what the hell.
I focused on my breathing – which is actually kind of hard and sometimes it makes my hyper-ventilate to focus on it too much, unless I pretend that I’m the ocean and my breath is like waves full of giant, man-eating squids rising and falling, and I can’t believe I just told you something that airy-fairy (is it? it’s about water, so shouldn’t it be watery-fatery? No. actually it shouldn’t. Forget I ever said that). But so I cleared a space in my mind and tried to connect with the part of me that goes all foggy when it’s time to write. I was rewarded with a great fuzzy cloud of bzzzzz and the urge to curl up in the chair and take a nap, which began to look like an excellent use of over a hundred bucks. But I sat with that feeling, which is what I’m supposed to do, trying to be present to it like I’m being supportive of a friend having a little freak-out and not watching a crazy imaginary drama happening inside my own head.
What happened next was like….okay, did you ever play with binoculars when you were a kid? Where you turn that little dial on the nose-bridge back and forth really fast and it would go in and out of focus? My brain did that. Inside my own head. Without my permission. What the hell, brain? The weirdest part was that evidently that was good news, because it meant that my fuzzy part (the part that makes my head go out of focus, not my vagina, which would have been really inappropriate) was responding to me.
Without boring you with psychobabble details, we (well, technically he, but if I’m going to have to do all this work I’m taking some of the damn credit) figured out was that this part is trying to protect me from shame and judgment. So going all fuzzy headed means I can’t write because I can’t think through what to say or manage delayed punchlines or anything like that. Which means that you don’t have to read and I don’t have to be vulnerable and everyone wins, except for the part of me that actually wants to be a successful (and dare I hope, someday paid) writer, and you if you came here looking for something new to read. Which sounds a lot like “nobody wins,” come to think of it. Especially when the shame and judgment comes from the inside as much as the outside, so it’s not like I’m escaping anything and the longer I go without posting anything the more I beat myself up.
On the other hand, in the past week I have: installed Ikea shelves in the attic and started organizing them, stowed all the holiday crap, balanced the household budget (precariously), helped a friend work on marketing his music, volunteered extra hours, made cupcakes, had quality time with my teen during her two half-days last week, gone to the gym four times, read all of Pinterest and Facebook, and let my friend try out her new body wrap business thing on me (which is sort of like having a piece of paper covered in vapo-rub saran wrapped to your middle for 45 minutes, but it made my tattoo darker again and my stretch marks kinda disappear, so that’s nice, but now there’s the awkward part where I don’t want to get one every week because I don’t get a manicure or shave my legs every week either). So I can say this for avoiding writing: it sure does make me productive.
You know, unless you count writing.
So in the interest of not going a-whole-nother week without posting anything, and shutting my internal Judge Judy’s pie-hole, here is yet another post about how fucking hard it is to write. Engineering, man. It’s looking better all the time.