It seems that a lot of people in the writing world are struggling right now. They’re struggling with waiting, or rejection, or uncertainty, or self-doubt.
You’re right, that last one’s pretty out there. I don’t know ANY writers who struggle with self-doubt.
I’m not sure what it is that’s got so many of us down in the dumps. It could be January and its general lameness. It could be that we are surrounded by the success of our peers and feel that we pale in comparison.
Are you one of the strugglers? If so, I’d like to tell you something.
You’re not alone.
And sometimes, being alone is the problem.
There’s no shame in admitting that you’re having a hard time with something, and there’s no shame in seeking help for your problems. Friends and family are there for just such an occasion, in fact, and it’s important that you talk about what’s going on.
“Sure,” you’re thinking. “Easy for you to say, Anne Riley the Cheerful. You’re never depressed. Just LOOK at your last blog post. There are pictures of rainbows and unicorns, for crying out loud.”
Yes, Grasshoppers. This is true. I am often cheerful, I love to laugh, and I love to make other people laugh.
So it might surprise you to know that I’m about to start counseling.
Last night was sort of a breaking point for me. The weight of so many commitments–being a good wife and mother, putting in the required effort at work, keeping my house in a semi-clean state so as not to invite rodents to bed down in our Piles o’ Crap, working faithfully on the new book I’m writing (1,000 words per day), and then everything else like random appointments, cooking dinner, the extra weight that continues to collect around my waist, making sure people have lunches for the next day, trying to get my 13-month-old to switch from a bottle to a sippy cup (and BY THE WAY, mothers, I will HAPPILY accept advice on that one) . . .
You get the idea.
New year, new panic attack.
But last night was different from my usual meltdowns, which occur pretty much every month in some form or fashion. I knew something really needed to change.
I’m having issues with a few things that I just can’t handle on my own. Not tangible objects, exactly, but more like unhealthy thought patterns and feelings of resentment toward a variety of people and things. I mean, CRIPPLING resentment. The kind that makes you ugly-cry while you drive home after work.
Ever done that? I sure have.
So I emailed my church. (If you’re worried that this is about to get preachy, I assure you, it is not.) Sometimes, church culture in the south can be a bit superficial; I’ve been at churches before where the members basically put on a happy face, acted like their lives were perfect, said “Praise the Lord” a lot, then went home and cried in their bathrooms.
Fortunately, my current church embraces people’s crap. We talk openly about our problems in all their spectacular grossness. THAT should get a “Praise the Lord.”
Anyway, I emailed my church and asked if there was a counselor on staff that I could meet with. Within ten minutes, I had a response and a counselor to contact. So I emailed her.
That was five minutes ago. No, I haven’t heard back yet, but I’m looking forward to setting everything up. This will be my first foray into the World of Counseling.
Maybe I should feel embarrassed. I don’t.
I considered not telling anyone except for my husband. I’ve decided to tell the world.
That doesn’t mean I’ll be divulging the details of my counseling sessions with you, but I might blog about a few things here and there. I just wanted you to know that this is happening, and that those who seem the happiest often need the most encouragement.