Having trouble getting started? Welcome to my life.
I was really excited about this whole blog thing. I created a half-ass page, wrote one half-ass blog and then poof! My dream of blogging slipped quietly into the abyss of unfinished business – where my other 352 dreams sit patiently waiting to be reclaimed.
This, like many of the other “Oh yes, I am going to do that and it’s going to be great!” moments, came to a screeching halt because of the two things that always stop me: an attention disorder and something that I’ve appropriately named “unfounded fears anxiety”. These two problems would be cumbersome enough by themselves, but when combined, become a giant obstacle for me to overcome. Daily. Most days I am scattered and riddled with anxiety, so if I am lucky enough to get my thoughts together on a day that I am feeling brave, I need to seize the moment. This only leaves me with tiny windows of time to do great things – while the rest of my time is spent in an eternal loop of wishing and wanting. And worrying.
Citing ADD is self-explanatory: sometimes I can’t concentrate long enough to produce anything longer than a Facebook status. Ironically enough, I felt my status updates were becoming too long (and too frequent) and that’s what led me to the idea of blogging. I have always loved to write, but I let my anxiety take over and seemed to develop some sort of writer’s (and reader’s) block that left me in literary silence for the past few years.
When it comes to writing, if I can get into the zone, then half the battle is over. The easy half. I still have to get past the fear part. Not just with writing, but with most things. And let me tell you, I worry about some of the dumbest shit imaginable.
For example, I wanted to write about some of my experiences with people and alcohol (or drunkenness in general) and publish them as “The Vodka Diaries”. The ideas were flowing. I was ready. And then it started – I call them the what-ifs. What if I offend people? What if I am judged by people who don’t drink at all? What if I am glorifying the opinions of others who already think I drink too much? What if real vodka lovers send me hate mail? And if I can get past those, then I still have to deal with the smaller (and more ridiculous) fears that spawn from my obsessive-grammatical disorder. (Like how I name my own disorders?) What if I misspell something? What if I use the wrong word – like past instead of passed? (I may have just done that). What if I use too many parentheses? (I always do that. In fact, I’m doing it right now.) And most importantly, what if no one reads what I write?
On and on it goes, and where it stops…oh wait, it doesn’t.
I guess the best news I have to share in all my ramblings is that after a lifetime of coping with these issues, I’ve started to circle back around with the intent to turn the what-ifs into why-nots. I start by tell myself it’s total bullshit to feel this way. I remind myself of all the things I’ve already missed out on in life because of the what-ifs. I don’t need to figure out WHY I am this way – I just need to learn how to work around it. I need to push past the faulty brain wiring and just do things without over-analyzing them. I need to stop focusing on the possible (and totally improbable) outcomes and worrying about everything that could go wrong. Fear really is the thief of dreams.
So, I’m going to start writing because it makes me happy. I consider this to be my introductory post (even though it’s the second one) and a general disclaimer for the written episodes that follow. I will write a lot about the things I know – anxiety and bad decisions – and it wont always be pretty. And if no one reads what I write, sobeit. It will still feel a thousand times better than wondering if I should and wishing that I could. It makes me a little better. It deflates my anxiety a bit. It builds my confidence. It keeps me going. The fear will dissipate. The thoughts will keep coming, and I will keep writing them. I have always been my own worst critic – now it’s time for me to be my own biggest fan.