Updated: Sep 12, 2019
I feel shame
After all these years, after discussing my bipolar with friends and family, I feel ashamed.
So there. I said it. Now what?
HOW ANXIETY FEELS IN THE BODY
My upper torso is tight. Its chest and throat are very uncomfortable. My upper arms are screaming, as only upper arms can scream. Tight, jangly, holding back.
Throat is tight and I feel like crying. I want to cry and let it out, but I’m holding the emotion in.
I don’t want to. I can’t. I’m scared.
The feeling of being scared is the strongest. I am terrified.
What am I afraid of?
I’m scared that I won’t have a good showing.
I’m scared that I won’t be good enough,
That there is something wrong with…everything.
Wait a minute!
No, I don’t feel that there’s anything wrong with what I’ve written.
It’s the failure to promote, to advertise, to market this book.
There’s my recognition that I really don’t want anybody to read it.
It’s an effort every time I give a copy away.
I know that what I have written has value and is valid and true.
I just don’t want anybody else to see it.
I’m afraid to be seen.
Is Shame the same as Fear of Being Seen?
How do I overcome this terror?
It’s a step-by-step process.
One step at a time.
I won’t even know which steps are the best, but I must take them, one at a time.
DIALOGUE WITH ANGER AND FRUSTRATION
ME: You have been such a constant part of me for so many years, Anger. The tightness in the jaw was diminished and I thought you might be gone, but here you are! Why are you here?
ANGER: I am here because you keep saying you want to write and publish but act like a little child when it begins to happen. Just go with the flow. Write. Publish. The steps are all laid out for you by writing gurus and even by Kindle. Just do it, for crying out loud! Stop whimpering! You are a strong, smart person, Ann. Just do it. And then go on to the next project. Stay on track you will. You will complete the roll-out.
ME: I feel the jaw tightening up as that last sentence is typed. I will complete the roll-out. Will that appease you Anger?
FRUSTRATION: I’m not angry! I’m Frustration. I can’t believe you are still whimpering about this “I don’t want to be noticed bit!” You have been dying to be noticed your entire life! You want people to see you! You are the one who was seen and not heard and jumped through hoops your entire childhood so that your parents would notice you! Yes, they expressed concern that about modesty, but that modesty thing is their problem! Don’t let it be yours.
ME: OK. Frustration, you sound like you could use a bit of a break from me. Is there anything I can do to help you calm down and relax?
FRUSTRATION: I AM NOT…OK, maybe I am a bit. But you will not manage me. I am leaving now. No, wait. I would like you to blog about this exchange. Let people see how to dialogue with self. I am part of you and I would like to be calm. But I am so frustrated. Just write, Ann. And Art. Don’t forget to make collage cards and doodle. It really helps keep you from being so…Make a collage card and post this blog. Then I will relax. Maybe.
OK Thanks Frustration and Anger, Shame—all the parts that me me who I am). I appreciate you. It helps to…
FRUSTRATION: Oh, shut up already!
Frustration Card #1
TOO MANY IDEAS!
I feel frustrated because I have too many ideas and can only do them one at a time.
Frustration card #2
YOUR CAN'T GET THERE FROM HERE
I feel blocked at every turn. This is taking too long! I’ll never get there!
SOLUTION FOR BOTH CARDS
Prioritize your goals.
Complete tasks step by step.
If you don’t know how to do something, use Google or YouTube.
Don’t move to the next project until you’ve completed this one.
Reward yourself for completion.
It's very important to acknowledge and reward the completion.