On Anxiety and Its Daily Workings

Resistance has got the better of me the last month. I find it exceedingly hard to get up in the morning. I find it impossible to get my story to go anywhere. I keep playing the same Bach invention day after day after day, even thought I know I should start something else. My therapist has suggested I start meditating, but I can’t get that done either. I’m tired of failing, and of not trying hard enough.

In a month I won’t have a steady job anymore. I’m glad I quit, going there every day made me want to jump off a tall building. My finances are in good order, and I have some savings to create a buffer between now and my freelance existence, but I just can’t shake the feeling that I’m doing some terrible mistake. I know this to not be true, but I’m so used to waiting for the next disaster that I don’t know how to be positive about this.

It’s so easy to get up in the morning, check your mail, read the paper and then let the day waste away in front of the computer. There are so many things to see, and to learn. But I’ve come to identify that the internet is my enemy number one. Big surprise, huh? Wow many times haven’t we heard other writers say the same thing?

Sometimes I think that I just don’t want it enough. But I’ve sincerely tried for ten years to live without creating things and performing, and it just doesn’t work. It makes me not want to live.

It will work, I know. I’ll make a life for myself where I can create and perform and not feel like a fraud and a failure, or at least where I can do it even though I feel like a fraud and a failure.

As I’m trying to find work as a freelancer, I have to put myself out there in a way I haven’t before. I’m so scared. I did a test to be a translator this week, and I know I didn’t do very well. I’m horrified by the idea that they might tell me I’m not good enough, but I still did it. Now I’m waiting for the verdict. I regret doing it SO MUCH. Why couldn’t I just have stayed in that stupid office and made it work? Fuck!

This morning I listened to this fantastic podcast with Seth Godin I found on Brainpickings:


I particularly liked these parts:

Anxiety is experiencing failure in advance. Tell yourself enough vivid stories about the worst possible outcome of your work and you’ll soon come to believe them. Worry is not preparation, and anxiety doesn’t make you better.


Vulnerable is the only way we can feel when we truly share the art we’ve made. When we share it, when we connect, we have shifted all the power and made ourselves naked in front of the person we’ve given the gift of our art to. We have no excuses, no manual to point to, no standard operating procedure to protect us. And that is part of our gift.

If I don’t put myself out there, nothing is going to change.

The next step now is to record some demos and put them on Soundcloud. I’m going to do it, even though I’m not super happy with my songs.  They are probably more than adequate, and I’m just talking myself down again. I will stop doing that.

One step at a time. And don’t forget to breathe…