Okay people. I’m about to get really real with y’all. So be prepared for that, I guess.
It’s been a month since I wrote my Crazy Town Update post. Since this post is slightly related, let me tell you what ended up happening on the medication front. Basically, I switched meds. So far, I have not had a bad reaction, but I never fully stopped taking anything. I replaced citalopram with escitalopram. I know, I know. But they don’t do the same thing. The citalopram was treating something I no longer deal with and the escitalopram is basically the citalopram equivalent for what I am dealing with. It’s like if your cold turned into bronchitis. You would start out taking whatever to treat cold symptoms, but eventually you’d have to switch to something that could treat bronchitis symptoms.
Anyway, I wanted to write about why I’m not writing. This isn’t entirely true, since obviously I can still write some stuff. The thing is that I never seem to be able to finish anything beyond poetry and blog posts – this has been happening for years. Lately, however, I’m having a hard time doing writing of any kind. I’m really forcing myself to do this because sometimes that’s what you have to do.
It has taken me a long time to discover why this has been happening for so long.
Back in July, I wrote a post about failing. You can read it here if you so desire. I talk a lot about discovery writing and how I was using it as an excuse. I talk about how afraid I am that whatever I write is going to be awful.
I still feel that way and I doubt I will ever stop feeling that way. I’ve also recently discovered that I’m just as afraid of success as I am of failure. Yeah, I’m a mess.
These things might be good explanations for why I’m stuck, but there’s more to it than just these surface fears.
The real question is why?
To overcome fear, you have to face it. In this case, it sounds like I need to just write and that will be facing my fear. Not so. What I need to do is go inside, to my inner feelings mausoleum where I bury all the junk I don’t want to think about, open the tomb, take everything out, and hold it in my hands, my heart, and my mind.
Why are you afraid?
Why do you believe you aren’t good enough?
Why do you think you’re unworthy?
I think these questions plague many people. And the truth about creativity is that it is fueled by emotion. If you’re like me and you bury feelings away, you’ll soon find that you bury all of the feelings. And when all your feelings are buried or chained up or hidden or lost – you can’t call on them for creativity.
And that’s why I can’t write. This is why I haven’t been able to truly put all I have into my writing. I don’t allow myself access to all I have. I allow myself access to just enough to get through my days.
The reality of life is that while our society generally prefers people to “put on a happy face”, that advice is total bullshit. You’ll be miserable forever if you pretend that you’re not miserable.
What is the true key to happiness? It’s two fold. The first part is realizing that it’s actually impossible to be happy all the time. That’s not how life works. By living, by putting yourself out there, you are committing yourself to both happiness and pain. That’s what risk is. If you never take a risk, you will never experience either of those things. They come together. The second part is acceptance. You can’t just take the happiness and leave the pain. Embrace the truth of how you feel. Do you feel sad? Worried? Angry? Upset? You want to cry? Eat all the chocolate? Stuff it down with alcohol? No. Don’t stuff it down. Let it out. Talk about it. Be honest with yourself. Say, yes I’m hurting. And it’s okay!
It is okay to feel ANY feeling. Sadness, anger, defeat, failure, depression, frustration, fear, lonliness. IT IS OKAY.
Never let anyone tell you your feelings don’t matter. Never let anyone tell you to “suck it up”. Never let anyone tell you that you need to hide your emotions.
If you do that, you will never be able to set those feelings free. Instead they’ll sit inside you and fester. They will mutate into monsters. And then you’ll have a lot more shit to deal with.
If you can’t talk to someone – at least be honest about your feelings with yourself. And be gentle with yourself. You are doing the best that you can, even if it feels like you aren’t.
I would like to say here that I am learning a lot of these ideas from Brene Brown and I highly recommend her books Rising Strong and Daring Greatly.
In conclusion, I’m learning how to be honest with myself about my feelings. I’m learning how to access them again. And while it’s rough going sometimes, it’s also a relief to finally let them out. I have a feeling it won’t be long before I’m writing again.
I’m learning to say: I am enough.
And so are you. Know that you are loved and know that no matter what you are enough.