So, I’m home and (mostly) unloaded with an ouchie knee and tired feet but I’m very happy with the overall results of the day. I cannot begin to tell you all how relieved I am to have this first event out of the way! I was far more nervous than I probably needed to be but I didn’t have any panic attacks and I peopled pretty well and I didn’t even get sarcastic once! You could say that today was a pretty big deal.
It probably helps that my friend was at the table next to me.
I went in with absolutely no expectations, which I think was very helpful. I talked to a bunch of people, I sold a few books, a few boxes, a few bookmarks, an Alice in Wonderland inspired miniature topiary, and a few magnets and I bought myself a pretty octopus bracelet. I came out way ahead on the day and I’m actually even looking forward to doing it again. I’m calling today a win all over – not just for my goals but for me in general. I really did expect to have trouble with the people part of it.
For those of you playing along at home, you’ve still got a short bit of time to enter the contest to win one of my books!
I’m finding it a little more difficult than I expected to stop being invisible. Almost my entire life I’ve been striving for functional invisibility. It’s very hard to give that up and try and get people’s attention now but, for my stories, I do try. Marketing is not my strong suit – I find the whole thing overwhelming and scary to be honest. It is really hard to suddenly have to wave around saying look at me when all I want to do is hide away.
I wasn’t always comfortable talking about my anxiety and not just because of said anxiety but because most people treat anxiety like it’s something akin to stubbing my toe. In some ways, I’m glad they do think that as it means they’ve never ever had an actual panic attack. You don’t just get up and walk it off. I talk about it more now not to garner any sympathy – I don’t want that – but because I spent so many years thinking I had these attacks because I was broken and maybe, some other girl will see this and know that she isn’t broken or any of those other negative things she thinks of herself because I wish there’d been that when I was younger and this first really came to a head. Which is a really icky idiom by the way – pretty sure I sat here for five minutes while I’m making a hat ornament thinking about it while I was going over the words I should type. And now that image is going to be in your head too. You’re welcome!
Panic and depression have been arguing over who gets to control me for a whole lot longer than I like to admit. Mostly I win but sometimes it takes me a while. The internet has helped. I’m fairly certain that, with the exception of my monthly support group for families dealing with autism, 99% of my non-family human interaction is online. I do go to the grocery and pet store so that’s the other 1%. Most of my close friends, I have never met offline. I don’t want to think what I would do without the internet!
I’m trying to do better. I’ve even signed on for a slot during one of my publisher’s marketing parties (March 9 at 4:30 please come!). Sometimes it doesn’t feel like I’m doing enough but other times, it feels like much too much.
I love Dune, no question. It was one of those books that actually changed me. The Litany is something I say more often than I’d like but probably not as often as I need to. Fear can be huge and paralyzing. Fear can be small and insidious, sneaking up on you like smoke that’s been hiding in your shadow. Fear can be loud, quiet, boisterous, secretive. For me, fear is the Eater of Worlds, the monster under the bed, the Jabberwocky and the Nothing all at once. It is the mind killer and it takes everything and twists it – everything in my mind is suddenly connected with that fear, that what if, and it won’t let anything else in. Even when logic and intellect tell that fear that it is stupid and unfounded. There’s a difference between understanding and Knowing.
A while ago, I found a tiny little bump. At first I thought maybe it was an ingrown hair or a bug bite. But it didn’t go away, didn’t change, did nothing but sit there and be a tiny little bump. Given my family history, I scheduled an appointment with a dermatologist who couldn’t see me for forever (ok 2 months but also forever). It has been driving me bonkers. And for no good reason as dermatologist confirmed my own opinion on the bump this morning – a clogged pore, a cyst, maybe but nothing to be concerned about.
The bump itself was not the problem. My problem is that fear is also the instigator of my tendency to look at all things through the lens of Worst Case Scenario. I knew the bump was nothing. I knew it but I could not get my fear to understand that. When my mother was diagnosed with melanoma the first time, it wasn’t a mole, a spot, a lesion or the usual, it came in the form of two marble sized lumps on her back. I am older than she was the first time she had cancer. I am not my mother but I can’t help but think in those terms when I find something strange. What would I do if? What would my husband do if? What would my kids do if? I know I’d jump into whatever treatment would be the most effective without care of hair. I know I’d do whatever it took. That’s good to know I suppose.
I haven’t been very productive in the last few weeks because my brain wouldn’t cooperate with me – it wanted to obsess and I didn’t want to so the kids and I had netflix marathons and played games and were bumps ourselves. Hopefully now I can get back to my regularly scheduled weird. I don’t talk about this stuff until after all is said and done because I don’t like to worry people unnecessarily and most everyone I know is dealing with far worse than a tiny little nothing of a bump.
Filed under Anxiety, Life