Facing the Fear of Writing Recovery

While quietly honing my craft behind closed doors, I hear (or read) of other writers who get to that milestone of receiving the recognition I’ve always wanted for myself.

And I get green, I won’t lie. It’s always been my dream. I’m writing copiously, but publishing or posting is a whole other matter.

Recovery is what I want to talk about, but I want to be more than a Recovery Specialist…

I want to be a Recovery Reporter.

Ask people about their stories and use the counselling skills I’ve acquired to listen to their journeys and write them all down.

I’m not writing for the sake of writing.

I have a goddamn story to tell.

I have many. And my passion is true stories (though I do love some good dystopian fiction, don’t get me wrong)…

I grow sick to my stomach when I remember my own failures, doubling over and holding my belly… I wonder what it is I’ve done wrong… The perfectionist streak grips me like a vice.

And I want to burst.

Revving up that Engine

The only true failure… is when I don’t start.

…This is why I haven’t updated in nearly a month.

Even as I went through the trouble of all the planning for this endeavor and bought a domain. I got a site design going on, however simple, talked up the idea to too many people I know, I was so excited.

Being a freelance writer has been my dream since I was a teen (a writer in general since the age of 5), and here we are in an Era when it’s easier than ever to get your voice out there and I feel like I’m squandering it.

Why?

Why do I find myself freezing before a blank page?

At 33 years old, naturally, there have been a myriad of events in my life, yet I still feel behind my peers in some ways. Maybe some of them are married with families, have traveled an impressive portion of the world, and here I am…on my quirky journey.

But why do I question the value of accomplishments I’ve worked so hard to attain?

Mentally, I comb over the past to see what I can get to write. And truly, ideas are not in short supply.

Actually – they’re everywhere!

They fly at me like sparks all of a sudden…

(and too frequently during times when I can’t write, ie. driving or the shower). But then the time comes to put it down and hit that “publish” button.

I freeze.

“Let’s look over it later”, I tell myself, but then – you guessed it – I don’t. 

Inspiration plummets and that hot idea that I craved to write loses its potency, turns black and burnt, then dies. Was there any way I could’ve saved it?

Yes, I could just take a risk, right? Get the courage to say, “F*ck it”.

What’s really ironic and odd, is blogging is not exactly new to me. 

I came of age in the early 2000s, an era brimming with “proto” social media sites, like OpenDiary, LiveJournal, or Xanga. (Anyone still remember those?)

I’ve used Blogger and Weebly, respectively.

 So, what’s my problem, again?…

Well, you know, I carry that Self-Doubt demon, the clawed, little beast who carries the voice of any and every bully I may have encountered in my life. The worst part is how sneaky of a bugger she is, with a quiet whisper, she speaks:

“…Don’t publish that yet… no, not. Just. yet.” 

It doesn’t take too much soul-searching for me to realize that at this rate… “yet” is never going to arrive.

Isn’t this just a Goliath level of resistance?…

Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain

Maybe if I go just backstage and take a little peak, I’ll realize there’s no demon at all, just a tiny, scraggly voice of insecurity.

Telling a story, seeing my byline… knowing that I’m writing for a good cause, intending to question the status quo of traditional mental (and endocrine) health… Is this part of the issue, I ask myself, is there a conflict of interest? 

But how could it be when the Recovery Model encourages a variety of opinions and voices?

Am I afraid of “getting too real”? What happens then? …

Will my livelihood be threatened if I ask the wrong question?

Breathe in, the Wise Mind… 

Frankly, plenty COULD happen but likely, will NOT happen. It all depends on how I go about writing… I could get hyper-focused on PR, but I don’t want to be a bullshitter. 

Recovery is all about honesty, and, of course –

so is writing.

Bullshit’s never gotten me anywhere… if anything, lying to myself was a huge catalyst for me to “get sick” the way I did in the first place.

I credit not facing those inner Rage Monsters earlier on in life as being the deeper catalysts for my later downward spiral with Manic Depression.

The only way for any of us to parse through all the gnarled branches of our internal lives, is to take an honest look at who we are and where we’re going. 

Be Yourself, so they say

One of the things I love the most about being a Recovery Support Specialist is it’s the only sort of position I’ve ever had where I can be mostly myself. There are no stuffy presumptions or suffocating roles.

Everyone knows you’ve been through some ferocious times in your life – and not only is it okay, but it’s the BIGGEST element of what you bring to the table in terms of counselling other people in recovery.

Just like writing, it’s another way to tell a story.

Recovery Support and writing go together like two distinct yet complementary puzzle pieces.

Image by annca from Pixabay

They don’t have to contradict or threaten each other.

Both of these practices tug from the trenches of my life and from all the most sludgy parts, pull forth something that can cast a shimmer… And maybe,

even help some people.

Who knows – if I don’t start?

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