Wrestling with Self Doubt During Recovery

A stream of consciousness ride on my interior rollercoaster

I’ve been restless lately

On one hand, the clouds have recently parted in my brain. I am more content than I’ve been in my life, my energy has returned.

But I’ve been restless.

There seems to be nothing in my head but buzzing bees and sawdust.

I’m full of energy but feel stuck.

Where did my creativity go?

Is my mental health inversely proportional with my creativity?

I’m terrified being healthy is sapping me of my creativity and talent. So much of my inspiration for writing comes from my angst. In the absence of angst, what is there?

Wait. Stop. This sounds eerily like the voice of self doubt.

I’m calling bullshit.

I think I’ve been restless because I’m putting pressure on myself. Pressure to create, to make money, to “do.” I just quit my job, you see. And I quit my job in order to devote myself to my mental health. In order to take a big risk on a career in writing. In order to take a risk like I’ve never allowed myself to take before. 

My interior voice of self doubt never allows me to take risks. I’m such a perfectionist, if I’m not automatically good at something the first time I try it, I will never do it again. I start building evidence in my head about why I shouldn’t take risks. I keep myself safely within my comfort zone. 

And over time, that voice of self doubt starts to sound like the voice of reason as my conclusions appear to be based on evidence. And that self doubt turns into a trap. And I start feeling stuck. Like I feel right now.

Because here I am, putting pressure on myself. And putting pressure on myself to be automatically perfect in the midst of a mental breakdown is raising my stress level and squashing my creativity.

That’s all that’s been happening here.

I’ve slipped back into old habits of anxious loops about money, putting pressure on myself to maintain an unfair standard. I forgot about the mental breakdown thing. I forgot about easing into working again, taking it slow. I forgot.

It is striking me as I write this how easy it is to slip into old habits. This is what I mean when I say my life is a rollercoaster right now. Like flicking a switch, certain triggers can make my brain revert back into old thought habits without even realizing I’m doing it.

It’s not until my anxiety has me strung out, pacing circles around my house at 4am like a ghost with unfinished business, that I realize how far gone I am.

So here we are, hitting the reset button again. 

I need to go back, and look at my priorities. 

I need to rationally remind myself of the care and thought that went into each of my recent decisions. 

I need to take a bath, do a tarot reading, and take some deep breaths. 

I need to rub my eyes clear of the self doubt that has recently gathered there. 

I need to remember who the fuck I am. 

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