Its been one of those weeks.
Murphy's Law seems to be in full effect, Mercury is in retrograde, and all of the little things that keep going wrong start to stack up and feel like formidable walls that are closing in. My jaw is just a little bit clenched all the time, my abs held taught with a tension I don't even realize I'm carrying until I remember to take a deep breath, and my face is suffering from a persistent case of RBF (resting-bitch-face). I find myself compulsively checking my phone screen for confirmation that another minute has passed and I still haven't received that email/text/phonecall/facebook-message since the last time I checked all of 60 seconds ago. I'm not even 100% sure what it is I'm anxious about or waiting for but I've got the nagging feeling that I've forgotten something basically all the time.
These high anxiety weeks happen, they go in and out, and they are fewer and farther in between now than they ever have been, but that doesn't make them much easier to deal with. Anxiety has and continues to be one of my biggest struggles. I find myself staring at my computer screen or at my ceiling, paralyzed by all of the things I should be doing (learning a new song, writing a new song, working on my kickstarter, finalizing the song list for my first album, sending that important email, making that important phone call, updating my schedule for the next month, writing that blog post...) and tallying the list of reasons why I can't/shouldn't/dont-want-to do them because it will probably suck/fall-apart/be-stupid-stressful. And then the guilt starts when I cannot manage to make any movement past that overwhelming, paralysis by analysis, fear stage. And then I'm afraid that because of this lack of willpower I will never get anything done ever again, that I will be stuck like this forever being afraid to take a single step for fear of fucking up the whole journey. But then it occurs to me that maybe that whole "being stuck" thing might be preferable to actually doing all of those things that I should do and then everyone hating me and thinking I'm a failure when everything goes wrong because I am an awful terrible human being that can't do anything right ever.
It is irrational. It is destructive. But it happens.
Anxiety spirals are kinda my thing.
So the question is: What can I do about it?
I can make an effort to be more patient with myself. Acknowledge that clearly I'm having difficulty with something and need to dedicate more attention to that struggle. Freaking out on myself doesn't solve anything, it just makes me want to shut down further and delay dealing with the problem. Checking in and giving myself the space to breathe can make all of the difference in how I choose to respond to anxiety.
I can make a point to remember that a big part of the human experience is emotional and on many occasions exceptionally unpleasant, but that there is always something to learn within every exchange. Just because some emotions aren't perceived as positive in the moment doesn't mean that they aren't valuable. If I can live with that awareness I have the opportunity to take something positive from an exchange that otherwise may not have been deemed so. I can trust that even the shitty days are completely necessary so I'll be equipped to handle life further down the line.
I can try to divide my attention more evenly. I don't have to lose myself in whatever it is that I'm focused on. I can remember to eat and also manage to finish writing a song, I can maintain friendships and still have time for me, I can start a book series or a tv show and still manage a semi-socialable existence before its been consumed to completion. By living with a little more balance I can maintain a productive lifestyle without sacrificing my physical and emotional wellbeing.
I can break big things down into smaller parts so they are less intimidating. Launching an entire Kickstarter campaign has been terrifying for me, the idea has seemed so daunting that I've put it off in its entirety for way too long, however committing to completing a little bio blurb thing today is much more attainable, I can deal with the next step tomorrow.
I can make an effort to focus on myself before all else, and not extend myself when it isn't asked of me. I don't have to come up with a plan. I don't need to make sure everyone is having a good time. I don't need to worry about what anyone is doing or when they are doing it or how they are getting home afterwards. And I certainly don't need to feel let down when things don't go according to my plan when nobody asked me to come up with a plan in the first place. I'm the only person that I'm in control of, and as long as I have my bases covered I don't need to assume responsibility for anyone else unless otherwise asked.
So why are you writing about this?
I want to be a little more transparent as a person. I know my music can be highly personal sometimes, and I want people to understand the girl behind the music. I have a tendency to try to seem very put together all of the time, to never let people know when I'm struggling, but the reality is that sometimes (okay lets be honest, a lot of the times) I do struggle because I'm human.
Yes, I struggle regularly with this whole life thing, but that doesn't mean I'm going to stop fighting to be better than myself all the time. I want to hold myself accountable for my creativity. I don't want to be able to hide in myself and my anxieties anymore. I know that I'm not the only person with anxiety, but it can be a very isolating feeling when you're ashamed to talk about it. So I thought that if I created this space to talk about the struggles and fears that I'm encountering on this journey then maybe I'll be able to find courage and support in the community that finds me and maybe if I open the doors and air our the closets that maybe I won't feel so ashamed and shut down about how I'm feeling and maybe I'll get back into a more solid and productive space faster than I normally would on my own. Maybe.
I'm looking forward to getting to know you all and myself a little bit better. I'm not going to pretend like I have a plan here, I'm not sure exactly what my schedule will be or what these posts will be about. All I can say is that I'll make an effort to not bullshit anyone here. This is my blog, its going to be a pretty realistic look at me and who I am and what I think about stuff, and authenticity is what I am going for here.
So thank you for reading. I hope you enjoy it!