So, I haven’t been posting much the past couple of weeks. I have old sketches and poems I could be posting, that I had earmarked to post, and I haven’t because I’m fighting that old voice of doubt again.
When I finally was able to play the piano last week, I felt so at peace, but immediately after, all this self-negativity started rearing up. Probably everything I had bottled inside in recent months began making its way out. In the past, I would sometimes get hung up on the nasty things my mind would come up with, berating myself for being less than perfect at anything I do, and then obsessing over my physical or mental flaws because when I feel bad about myself inside, I feel so ugly outside (which I suppose is better than the opposite, maybe?). This past November, when I was going through massive growing pains and dealing with some mental anguish, I had to fight against myself to stop from deleting all of my Facebook photos from my personal site because I just hated the sight of myself. I’ve mentioned before that I feel intensely, right? :-p
Anyway, this time, when I started going on about all of my supposed flaws to my husband, who rolled his eyes slightly but listened nonetheless (he’s used to having to go through this every few months, and he’s learned that other than listening, he can’t really do much for me because I have to get through the feelings myself, hence the “here we go again” eye roll), I had to start laughing in the midst of my complaining because I sounded so ridiculous. I think the moment was after I went through how I couldn’t do anything professionally enough and was moving on to a catalog of my physical flaws and how I’m not really attractive, and even if people DO find me attractive, it’s only because I’m fooling them with the force of my personality – but duh, personality is part of attraction anyway – that was the moment I burst out laughing at myself. And laughing broke the cycle that usually grips me. I’ve still been fighting the negativity for the past week and 1/2, but I’m letting the thoughts pass freely rather than clinging to them and allowing them to freeze me up. Which is a huge improvement. But still, I’m left feeling a little bit fragile at the moment, so posting old work is difficult for me at the moment.
The other thing that has helped me immensely this week is that I am so insanely busy right now. I took on that extra project, which has pushed back some of the work I’m doing for that shop, so I probably won’t be caught up until the middle of next week, and then I have to start immediately prepping for the Small Press Book Fair in Buffalo, and my son’s birthday party still needs planning, and I’m still waiting on my final tax sheets from my retirement fund to get our taxes sent out to our accountant, and there’s still a list of personal projects a mile high, and our house needs cleaning, and… I’m exhausted, but I’m thriving on the chaos. Keeping busy makes me get out of my own head and lets me not trip myself up. And I was SO happy to have taken on the extra project, to work with someone who has spent time out in Los Angeles too so we could talk about our old favorite haunts, to be getting my hands in doing the work that I used to do, some of it dirty and annoying, but it felt good nonetheless. I’ve made a new friend and some extra money of it too, always a good thing.
So anyway, why am I posting this here? Because I know a lot of other creative people fight self-doubt. The inner critic is the worst one there is, at times, because that critic knows all of our weakest spots. Laughing at how ridiculous the critic was helped me last week. Maybe it can help you?