I decided over the weekend to do a series on here (and maybe in a newsletter if I ever start one…) about being a debut author in the hopes that even a tiny bit of it might help authors in the future who also suffer from a lovely little head troll named ANXIETY.
ANXIETY is a bitch. It’s this floating, invisible THING that can land on pretty much anything in your life and make it shit. It LOVES when you have nothing concrete to think about / worry about because then it can pick something really ridiculous (like, say Goodreads TBR shelf numbers) and point to it and say LOOK AT THIS LOOK AT EVERYONE ELSE’S LET’S COMPARE THE TWO WHAT DO YOU THINK I THINK YOU SHOULD PROBABLY BE WORRIEEEEEEEEEEEED and then it starts screaming in your head about how you are lacking. It loves the negative spaces. The empty spaces. It feeeeeeeeds off of them. It gives them life.
But guess what? (And trust me, this is something I know but am still trying to remind myself to practice in daily life.) Those empty spaces are just that — empty. They aren’t actually filled with the Things Other People Have But You Don’t. They aren’t filled with anything until ANXIETY puts a bunch of worry in them and tries to convince you that it’s rational to worry about it. Worry about worrying. Ha.
I talked to my therapist (yes, like any good writer who’s able to afford one, I go to a therapist. I’d like to dedicate my book to her but I think my husband might leave me if I do) about this for a long time the other day. I told her about all these swirling feelings - this free floating anxiety. And you know what she said? She said I needed to take responsibility for it. For myself. For my own mental health. If something (goodreads/twitter/WHATEVER) is causing me stress — I need to step back.
Keep my eyes on my own page.
Looking at these negative spaces is a choice.
And not a mentally healthy one. Not even a little bit.
So even thought I normally scoff at New Years resolutions because I am a contrary bitch who likes to scoff at popular things — here is my resolution:
I will practice gratitude
I will see what I do have
The positive spaces, if you will
It’s the only thing that’s going to get me through this year in one piece.
I’M the only one who can get me through this year in one piece.
Which is annoying (because honestly, I’d love for somebody else do it for me) but true.
Anxiety is a troll.