I’ve found myself in a bog of self-doubt for the past year at times rising above the surface and at others drowning in a mire so thick it could be a bowl of oatmeal and superglue combined. Recently, I was talking with a fellow traveler in the world of the internet, one who was having their own crisis of faith and creativity. It wasn’t until last night when I had a vicious nightmare it became clear just how deep and thick this psychological bog was.
Like many people I have a tendency to have two faces; the public face and then the private face.
For me the public face is one of strength and self-confidence, a smile, a sense of humor, and a way of laughing off things that might upset others. I project that face with an utter strength that fools the world (or at least the majority) into believing I’m stronger than I really am.
The private face is one only a mere few have saw, usually in my darkest moments. Internalizing everything has become my way of dealing and let’s be honest–that’s not really dealing with it.
My private life is a bloody mess and it has seeped through into my creative life destroying everything in its path that I once held dear. I’ve allowed people to walk all over me and continued to smile even when I felt like I was dying inside. In nearly the past decade I have been laid off from two jobs, my entire savings depleted, filed bankruptcy, lost my mother, lost an aunt who was like a second mother, and had a few “friends” turn out not so friendly. I’ve realized I’ve allowed myself to become free counseling for those around me and the weight of their “problems” has buried and taken precedence over my own issues. A part of myself believed I was being a good friend, but at what cost?
My biggest issue–FEAR.
Okay, I said it aloud. Congratulations, subconscious for delivering a swift kick in the posterior with a nightmare that left me sweating bullets at 3 am and wondering what the fuck was going on in my head. The nightmare in question had me trapped beneath three stories of rubble when the apartment complex I manage blew up. Trapped in the dark, dust clogging my lungs, and my throat dry as the fucking Sahara. Around me I could hear the voices of my tenants (now all dead) screaming at me and wondering why I hadn’t saved them from the destruction of their homes. Over and over they screamed “Why didn’t you stop it? Why didn’t you save us?” Then I woke sobbing and sweating, nearly scaring my beloved cat Sheba to death. She ended up curling up next to me, purring in my ear, and easing me back into a troubled sleep.
If this is what it’s like for the President every night you’ll never catch me running for office.
The point is I’m afraid. Afraid with each passing day my writing career is over before it even began. Afraid I will lose one or the other of my jobs when I can’t afford to do so. Afraid I will die alone in a fucking ditch somewhere or perhaps in my apartment not found until I’m doing a damn good job of Tutankhamen, mummified and being gawked at in a museum.
Fear has taken over my life and that is simply unacceptable. It is slowly eroding away my love of writing, my desire to even open my eyes in the morning. Perhaps, the fear is why I’m adamant about discovering some movie, any movie, that will send me crawling under my bed to hide from the Boogy man for a week. It would be easier I think to deal with that type of fear than the fears I’m choking on now.
It has gotten so bad I found myself crying when I spoke to the maintenance guy this morning after a discussion with my boss and wondering why (after over 6 years) she still doesn’t want to give me the trust I’ve earned. I can take care of myself, I have for 25 years, and yet she insists on treating me as if I’m a small child. Normally her concern (trust me it’s concern) doesn’t upset me to this extent. I hate fucking crying and yet here I am writing this, tears in my eyes, again.
The need to find my way back from the bog (and this time stay treading water) is a desperate need if I am ever going to get anywhere. Lately though I’m drowning more than usual. Somehow I know I’ll get through it–I always do–but at what cost to my creative soul. At what point is it too damn late to save the writer who is a huge part of who I am? Maybe it’s time to blow my gasket and simply lay down the way I feel to those who claim to care about me.
Yeah, I know we all have issues, but when do we say enough is enough? I have some serious thinking to do before I end up a headline on the local evening news. Don’t I deserve a little support as well? Because I need it after years of holding the hands of everyone else.
Until later…Blessed Be