I kept posting, though, and I was able to make the tremendous leap from "perfect" to "really good." This was hard. I stressed about commas and semicolons, and I proofread and had multiple drafts, and I made it all the best "really good" I could possibly do.
There was anxiety, of course, about how people would read my words. Would they like them? Would they think they were perfect? If I didn't think that I was damn near "really quite good to near perfect," I wouldn't post it. It had to be just the right blend of funny, and serious, and profound and articulate and meaningful to all. No pressure.
I kept posting, though, and I managed to scale that anxiety back further (can you imagine?). Through posting, and particularly through posting daily, I have managed to scale that anxiety further and further and further back, until you have where I am now.
Where am I now, you ask?
Well, I'm typing this directly into the blogger box, which I know is a mistake because something will probably crash in a minute and I'll lose these 4 blessed paragraphs and have to start over. And this is okay. In a few minutes, I will scan it (quickly) for any glaring typos and push publish. Then, I will go to bed.
"Amazing!" you say. "Such good work reducing your anxiety. This is fantastic."
So you think, say I. But I haven't told you what happens after I go to bed. (I say this in a deep, ominous, secretive voice as I beckon you closer).
"Wh-wh-what happens?" you ask. "What happens after you go to bed?"
I laugh a loud, obnoxious laugh as you stare at me, wide-eyed. Wouldn't you like to know? I cackle.
/ end scene
I don't know where that came from. Inspiration struck, I suppose.
Anyway, what happens after I go to bed?
I freak the frack out. I'm not even kidding. Every.Single.Freaking.Night. I push publish, I think "awesome, glad that's done," I brush my teeth, take the dog out one last time, climb into bed, turn out the night, take a nice deep breath, and think...
OMG!!!! EVERYBODY IS GOING TO HATE IT AND THEY'RE GOING TO THINK I'M AN AWFUL PERSON AND I NEED TO GET UP AND DELETE EVERYTHING RIGHT NOW! RIGHT NOW!
Then the rational brain comes in and pisses me off with her calm rational-ness. You do this every night. Go to bed.
BUT I PROBABLY MADE TYPOS!! I wail. TYPOS! DO YOU UNDERSTAND TYPOS?? AND I DIDN'T CHECK MY PUNCTUATION. I PROBABLY HAVE DANGLING MODIFIERS AND COMMA SPLICES!!! DO YOU WANT PEOPLE TO SEE YOUR COMMA SPLICES!?!?!
And so it goes. I can drive myself crazy. Sometimes, I have to get up and look at it again. Sometimes, I convince myself that everybody in the world is going to hate everything that I write and will disagree with me and that I'll alienate people and insult people with something I wrote. This will continue until either (a) I find something else to
As I have mentioned before, I work with a lot of children with anxiety, and my treatment of choice for anxiety is always exposure, whenever possible. Scared of public restrooms? Guess where we hang out for our sessions? Have anxiety about people coughing or babies crying? YouTube has videos galore for our viewing pleasure. Don't like things to be unpredictable, or are you scared of doing embarrassing things? I have stopped myself midsentence and suggested to a client that we go run up and down the hallway, or change session rooms, or pick a different game to play. I have walked around the lobby with toilet paper on my shoe and tape on my face on purpose.
So...if I were my own therapist, I would say this: "write a really bad blog post, riddled with comma splices, typos, dangling modifiers, and offensive statements. Then POST IT, and see how long you can let it stay up there. Force yourself to sit with the anxiety of YOUR COMMA SPLICES invading blogworld, and see that it will be okay."
The only thing I can say to this...is that I'm really glad I'm not my therapist.